Buckeyes get semifinal they wanted: Rematch with Michigan

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Ohio State junior guard Duane Washington Jr. had a reminder for the media Friday after the No. 9 Buckeyes' 87-78 overtime win over Purdue in the quarterfinal of the Big Ten tournament.

The victory gave the fifth-seeded Buckeyes (20-8) the rematch they wanted, playing fourth-ranked and top seed Michigan (20-3) in the semifinals Saturday in Indianapolis.

The championship game is Sunday afternoon.

The Wolverines won the first matchup 92-87 in Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 21. The loss sent the Buckeyes into a four-game losing streak that ended Thursday when they edged Minnesota to open their tourney play.

"They're a very good team," Washington said. "I told you guys in another interview that we're going to see them again, and here it is. We're super excited."

While the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is big, the Wolverines are coming off an intense 79-66 victory over Maryland in which coach Juwan Howard received two technicals and was ejected midway through the second half after jawing with Maryland coach Mark Turgeon during a timeout.

Howard charged his counterpart after he said Turgeon told him not to talk to him. After Howard received two technical and Turgeon one, the Big Ten announced a few hours later that no further action would be taken against either team or their coaches.

The Wolverines were undeterred by the encounter, as Mike Smith led the way with a season-high 18 points and a tournament-record 15 assists.

"He's a great player. He is really good and really fast," Turgeon said. "They are just an unbelievably well-put-together basketball team. They can score and they can defend. They've got great size. They've got inside game; they've got outside game."

Smith said the key against the Terrapins, as it will be vs. the Buckeyes, is to play with tempo.

"I'm really fast and today it showed," he said. "Coach said, 'It's going to be an up and down game and if we run with pace, we'll win the game.'"

Michigan will be without forward Isaiah Livers, who was diagnosed Saturday with a stress injury to his right foot. Howard said he will be out indefinitely.

Ohio State started and ended well against Purdue, jumping to an 18-point halftime lead, blowing all of it, then having to go overtime before closing out the win.

A big reason for the meltdown was losing senior forward Kyle Young to a concussion early in the second half after an inadvertent elbow by Purdue's Trevion Williams. Young had tied his career high with 18 points, all in the first half.

He has been ruled out of Saturday's game.

"You saw the effect Kyle had on the game, the impact," Ohio State guard E.J. Liddell said. "We picked him up and got the W for him."

Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann knows Michigan may have an advantage having played one game in the tournament while the Buckeyes will be on the Lucas Oil Stadium court for the third time in less than 72 hours.

"Well, I think (my players) are still feeling this, coming down a little bit from this one," he said. "They do understand we're playing a terrific Michigan team that's well coached and really, really good.

"We've got to get our legs under us and be able to respond to a team that is really a complete team offensively and defensively."

--Field Level Media