The Big Ten delivered all season while cementing its place as the top conference in college basketball, and Sunday’s conference tournament final served as a fitting cap. No. 2 seed Illinois outlasted No. 5 seed Ohio State 91-88 in an overtime battle of heavyweights destined for great seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
Ohio State battled back from an early 27-10 deficit to take their first lead of the game with 5:35 left. But the Illini found their footing from there to lock up their first conference tournament title since 2005. That 2005 team went on to appear in the national title game, and this team has similar aspirations as it heads to the Big Dance with a 23-6 record.
Despite the final loss, the Big Ten Tournament represented a return to form for Ohio State (21-9), which had dropped four straight to close the regular season. The Buckeyes won three close games — including an overtime victory against Purdue in the quarterfinals and a dramatic victory over rival Michigan in Saturday’s semifinals — to reach the final. Duane Washington Jr. led the Buckeyes with 32 points on Sunday.
But in the end, an Illinois team led by star guard Ayo Dosunmu and center Kofi Cockburn proved too much to handle as the Illini captured a 2-1 lead in the season series with Ohio State. The duo also had plenty of help Sunday as Illinois saw six players reach double figures.
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Below is the complete schedule and results from the tournament. For a look at the updated Big Ten Tournament bracket, click here.
2021 Big Ten Tournament schedule, scores
All times Eastern; some start times approximated
Second round — Thursday, March 11
Game 3: No. 8 Maryland 68, No. 9 Michigan State 57 | Recap
Game 4: No. 5 Ohio State 79, No. 13 Minnesota 75 | Recap
Game 5: No. 7 Rutgers 61, No. 10 Indiana 50 | Recap
Game 6: No. 6 Wisconsin 75, No. 11 Penn State 74 | Recap
Quarterfinals — Friday, March 12
Game 7: No. 1 Michigan 79, No. 8 Maryland 66 | Recap
Game 8: No. 5 Ohio State 87, No. 4 Purdue 78 (OT) | Recap
Game 9: No. 2 Illinois 90, No. 7 Rutgers 68 | Recap
Game 10: No. 3 Iowa 62, No. 6 Wisconsin 57 | Recap
Big Ten Tournament Championship Game — Sunday, March 14
Game 13: No. 2 Illinois 91, No. 5 Ohio State 88 | Recap
Follow below for updates, analysis and highlights throughout the event.