Sunday’s Michigan vs. Ohio State clash could have been a coronation for the 16-0 Wolverines, but the home-standing Buckeyes wrote a different ending. A dominant first half from the maligned Ohio State defense proved to be just enough to eke out a 56-53 win and knock off the nation’s last unbeaten team.
Barely more than a week ago, lack of hustle and lack of rebounding sent the Buckeyes down to a 19-point defeat at Illinois. Both problems were corrected in spades on Sunday, as Ohio State’s defensive intensity triggered a 16-0 run following Trey Burke’s opening three-point volley.
That the Buckeyes played that kind of defense at all is an encouraging (and welcome) sign for a team that had yet to beat a national contender in 2012-13. That Thad Matta’s troops looked so overpowering against one of the most feared offenses in college basketball suggests that preseason Final Four chatter in Columbus wasn’t so far-fetched.
For the game, Michigan—whose…
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