Plenty on line tonight when Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball takes on No. 2 Indiana Hoosiers

By Rusty Miller | Associated Press Published:

By Rusty Miller | Associated Press

COLUMBUS -- This has been a season of mayhem in the Big Ten.

Now Ohio State would like to scramble it even more.

The No. 14 Buckeyes travel to play second-ranked Indiana tonight as the conference's wacky regular season winds down to its final week.

It'll be a crimson-letter evening for the Hoosiers, that's for sure. They've already captured a share of the conference title. To win it outright for the first time since 1993, they need to beat the Buckeyes or win at No. 7 Michigan on Sunday.

At least half of the Big Ten will be hoping that doesn't happen.

"They're not the only ones playing for something," Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft said. "We're also playing for something, too."

Ohio State, Michigan, 22nd-ranked Wisconsin and No. 10 Michigan State all still have a shot at getting a piece of the regular season championship -- but only if the Hoosiers lose their final two games.

That makes for some strange bedfellows.

A year ago, Ohio State stunned Big Ten-leading Michigan State on a last-second shot by William Buford on the final day of the regular season to drop the Spartans into a three-way tie for the conference title with the Buckeyes and Michigan.

A week later, before Ohio State and archrival Michigan played in the Big Ten tournament, Wolverines coach John Beilein said to Buckeyes coach Thad Matta, "I'd never seen a group of Michigan guys rooting so hard when Buford made that shot."

The Big Ten has a series of tiebreakers if two or more teams end up atop the standings. But none of those mean much if the Hoosiers (25-4, 13-3) have their way with Ohio State (21-7, 11-5) like they did in an 81-68 beatdown on Feb. 10 at Ohio State's Value City Arena.

In that game, the Buckeyes were done in by the then-No. 1 Hoosiers' three-headed monster of versatile swingman Victor Oladipo, who scored a career-high 26 points, center Cody Zeller, who had 24, and distance-shooting Christian Watford, who added 20, to account for 86 percent of Indiana's offense.

Heading into the final week of play, Indiana has a two-game lead -- with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin all hoping that they can win their final two games while the Hoosiers are losing twice.

"This league is so (good), and there's a lot of upsets," said Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas, the leading scorer in the Big Ten. "Now it comes down to us. We're in a great position now."

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