Friday, March 12, 2010
Turner's miracle shot lifts Buckeyes to win
By Adam Rittenberg
INDIANAPOLIS -- If there were any doubts left about who should win National Player of the Year in college basketball, Evan Turner just extinguished them. He's the best. Case closed.
Turner's leaning 3-pointer from 37 feet away a flicker before the final buzzer lifted top-seeded Ohio State to a 69-68 win over No. 8 Michigan in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. Officials reviewed whether the shot got off in time before ruling it good.
Ohio State remains alive for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament after a true escape job today against its archrival. The Buckeyes will face Wisconsin or Illinois on Saturday.
Michigan guard Manny Harris, who was brilliant in the second half with 22 of his 26 points, appeared to secure the upset on a fallaway jumper with 2.2 seconds left. The Wolverines spent the entire half clawing out of a hole they had created with a poor end to the first.
Watching Turner dribble up the floor, you have to question Michigan's defensive strategy on the last play. Everyone in the arena knew Turner was getting the ball, and he faced surprisingly little push-back as he crossed the half court stripe and launched the game-winner. After a strong first half, Turner struggled a bit in the final minutes, but once again, he came up big when Ohio State needed him most. David Lighty and William Buford also stepped up nicely for the Buckeyes.
You have to feel for Michigan, which ended an extremely disappointing season with one of its better efforts. Harris and guard Stu Douglass were brilliant in the second half as Michigan took its first lead since midway through the first half with 29.4 seconds to go. The Wolverines were a preseason top 15 team hoping to build on an NCAA tournament appearance, but they finish 15-17.