by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Jared Sullinger returned to school for games like these — No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Duke. The player of the year candidate had a workmanlike 21 points and 8 rebounds as his Buckeyes made their argument for a No. 1 ranking with an 85-63 victory.
This game was over after the first 20 minutes as Ohio State ran ahead to a 47-28 halftime lead. The margin grew to as many as 24 points in the second half.
Outside of Sullinger, who Duke had no answer inside for, the difference was the play of sophomore guard Aaron Craft. Known as a defensive stopper, Craft tied a career-high with 17 points to go along with 8 assists and 5 rebounds.
After a 22-point defeat even the Blue Devils had to tip their caps to the Buckeyes.
From The Columbus Dispatch:
“What can I say? Sometimes you just get your butt kicked,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I’ve had my butt kicked before, and we’ve kicked some butt. Tonight, my butt’s sore.”
The win was one of four victories for the conference in Tuesday’s ACC-Big Ten challenge. Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue all added to the Big Ten’s total, while Virginia and Clemson had the two victories for the ACC. The Big Ten will win its third straight title in the event if it can take three of the six games on Wednesday night, headlined by No. 7 Wisconsin visiting No. 5 North Carolina.