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Ohio State’s Big Ten Title Fate Rests With Michigan

By February 25, 2022 (2:00 pm)Basketball

The Ohio State women’s basketball team has already secured a double-bye in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament with a top-four seed, but one game remaining in the regular season leaves a world of possibilities.

The Buckeyes’ final game will be on the road Sunday against Michigan State, with tipoff set for 2:30 p.m. If Ohio State drops its regular-season finale, it will end up as either a third- or fourth-place finisher in the Big Ten. If Ohio State wins, however, a number of possibilities could play out, including a Big Ten regular-season title for the Buckeyes.

In the scenario of an Ohio State win, everything would hinge on the results of Michigan and Iowa’s matchup, set for a 4 p.m. tip on Sunday. If Michigan wins, the Wolverines would become outright Big Ten regular-season champions with a 14-3 conference record, surpassing Ohio State (which would be 14-4) in winning percentage since the teams played a different number of games. The Buckeyes would then have the No. 2 seed for the tournament.

If Iowa were to win, however, the Hawkeyes would become co-champions with Ohio State for the regular season, both finishing with a 14-4 conference record. Though the Big Ten does not do tiebreakers to decide the regular-season champion (unless teams played a different number of games), Ohio State would receive the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament due to its head-to-head win over Iowa earlier this season.

In the event that Ohio State was to lose to Michigan State and Iowa downs Michigan, the Hawkeyes would become sole Big Ten regular-season champions, and the Buckeyes would have the No. 4 seed. With Iowa’s win over Rutgers on Thursday, Ohio State no longer had the opportunity to win the title outright.

It would be the first regular-season Big Ten title for Ohio State since 2017-18, in which the Buckeyes won both the regular-season title and the conference tournament.

“We’re talking about (the standings) non-stop, all day, like, ‘Who could lose to who?'” graduate forward Tanaya Beacham said. “We’re just going to keep fighting, working hard and just playing our game so we can just win the regular season.”

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