If basketball were as popular as football in Columbus, Terrence Dials could give Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith a run for athlete least likely to need to pay for his own dinner in the Buckeye state. Dials registered his fifth straight double-double yesterday and led his team past Michigan 64-54. The win concluded OSU's sweep of Michigan--not only the two basketball games, put last fall's more storied football showdown as well. Domination of a rival can't get much sweeter then this.
Later in the evening, Ohio State got more good news. Iowa fell at Illinois, and the Buckeyes have sole possesion of first place. With just a road date at Northwestern and a home game against Purdue remaining, it would take a major collapse for the Bucks not to get at least a share of their first title since 1992, and even denying them an outright crown looks unlikely.
Iowa fell into a second-place tie with Illinois, and Wisconsin will have a chance to stay a game back today against Minnesota. The Hawkeyes hopes for a conference title in what may be Steve Alford's farewell campaign look dim, but don't blame Greg Brunner, writes Pat Harty at Hawk Central. The senior forward scored 27 points and got a good-natured "good riddance" from Illini coach Bruce Weber afterward.