Skip to content

Big Ten Tournament: Flailing Buckeyes overcome double-digit deficit, shock Nebraska

Mar 14, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

Della valle AP

Ohio State looked beaten. With roughly thirteen minutes remaining the second half, the Buckeyes were losing by eighteen points and appeared as if they would rather be anywhere other than Indianapolis. The squad was teetering: too proud to lay down and allow Nebraska, one of the nation’s hottest teams, to finish the steamroll, but uncertain if it was worth fighting back. OSU slowly began to chip away, however, and the lead, decreasing minute by minute, evaporated until OSU took the lead with sixty seconds remaining. Ohio State’s rebirth was complete — the Buckeyes escaped the quarterfinals, defeating the Cornhuskers 71-67.

Making their move midway through the second half, the Ohio State win was a combination of traditionally stout Buckeye defense and a complete breakdown of Nebraska’s offense. Tim Miles’ team scored .99 points per possession in the first half, but that rating dropped to .92 in the final twenty minutes; rather than continue attacking their OSU defenders and getting to the basket, NU started settling for long-range attempts (of which they converted only 30 percent), a puzzling strategy since it’s been proven that Nebraska’s outside shooting isn’t robust (32.9 percent in Big Ten play). The moment which encapsulated NU’s offensive timidity came after Walter Pitchford rose for an ally-oop but missed the attempted reverse dunk — Nebraska converted only two shots from the field following the failed dunk.

LaQuinton Ross was the hero of the stat sheet, scoring 26 points on a variety of mid-range jumpers, but the Buckeye who deserves credit for sparking the comeback, and one who clearly enjoys playing Nebraska, is Amedeo Della Valle. The lanky wing, sporting a hairdo that rivals Bradley Cooper’s ‘American Hustle’ character, had previously scored a season-high 15 versus NU, and followed that effort with twelve points today. The sophomore barely played last season, but after a successful summer leading Italy to the U20 European Championship (earning an MVP nod for his efforts), it is evident the wing’s frenetic offense and fearlessness when in the open court could earn him more minutes.

  1. huskerguy - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Huskers got lazy and careless. I wanted them to win so bad but sometimes you learn more on a loss. Coach Miles will do that.

    With that said, I’ll be surprised if we go dancing. NIT here we come…

  2. phillynac - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    I think you are crazy. Nebraska is in. GBR!

  3. barkleyblows - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Glad the Nebraska Thugs choked away this game.

  4. flabuck - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    interesting that you say they wanted to be any but Chicago when they’re playing in Indianapolis

    • Matt Giles - Mar 14, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Ack, you are totally right. Was in Chicago for the tourney last year, mental hiccup. Fixed.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!