There is no debate the Big Ten is the best basketball conference this year in the NCAA. With four top 15 teams, the conference is far and away the best in the land. It is so good that the teams at the top are cannibalizing each other and making things very interesting as we hit the final two weeks of the regular season.
The Ohio State Buckeyes had been struggling of late and were in danger of not earning a bye at the Big Ten tournament. Then, of course, it was able to knock off the Michigan State Spartans in Columbus and change the trajectory of the conference. Thanks in large part to 21 points and six assists from Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes beat the Spartans 68-60 to move within a game of second place in the conference and just a loss behind Michigan and Wisconsin for third place.
Ohio State had struggled for most of the year with finding secondary scoring for Deshaun Thomas and Craft proved to be that answer Sunday. Thomas shot just 25 percent from the field and finished with 14 points, but Craft was 7-of-12 from the floor. Sam Thompson and Evan Ravenel both were highly efficient on the floor and combined to score 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting. It was a remarkable turn of events which put the Big Ten on its head.
The race for the Big Ten regular season title now firmly goes through Bloomington, Ind. and the Indiana Hoosiers, who moved two games clear of the Spartans. However, the rest of the conference is in flux and what seemed like a forgone conclusion at the beginning of the weekend has become questionable yet again.