Men's Basketball

Ohio State’s Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament History

Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament History

Ohio State is about to play in its 23rd conference basketball tournament, this year in Indianapolis. The Buckeyes’ Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament history runs the gamut from five championships to a few ugly crash-and-burn early exits.

OSU’s five titles (one later vacated) is more than any other school in the conference besides Michigan State.

The Buckeyes won their first title in 2002, which was later vacated due to NCAA issues surrounding Boban Savovic.

They won again in 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2013.

OSU has never cut down the nets at the Big Ten Tournament when seeded lower than No. 2.

They have, however, gotten close. Their first runner-up finish came in 2003 as a wholly-unremarkable No. 8 seed in the tournament. That year, they made a shocking run, knocking off 9th-seeded Iowa, upsetting top-seed Wisconsin, and No. 5 seed Michigan State before falling in the championship game to Illinois.

The Buckeyes were the top seed when they finished as a runner-up to Iowa in 2006.

OSU was seeded 5th in 2009 when they reached the finals, but fell to Purdue, 65-61.

They came close to knocking off top-seeded Michigan State as a 3-seed in 2012, but lost 68-64.

Ohio State played in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament in every season but one from 2006 to 2013. However, the Buckeyes have not made it to Sunday since then.

Here is a year-by-year listing of the Buckeyes’ performance in each of the previous 22 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournaments.

Championship seasons in bold, runner-up seasons in italics.

1998: (11 seed) Lost to No. 6 Indiana
1999: (2 seed) Beat No. 10 Michigan, Lost to No. 11 Illinois
2000: (1 seed) Lost to No. 9 Penn State
2001: (3 seed) Lost to No. 6 Iowa
2002: (2 seed) Beat No. 10 Michigan, Beat No. 3 Illinois, Beat No. 9 Iowa
2003: (8 seed) Beat No. 9 Iowa, Beat No. 1 Wisconsin, Beat No. 5 Michigan State, Lost to No. 2 Illinois 
2004: (9 seed) Lost to No. 8 Indiana
2005: (6 seed) Beat No. 11 Penn State, Lost to No. 3 Wisconsin
2006: (1 seed) Beat No. 8 Penn State, Beat No. 5 Indiana, Lost to No. 2 Iowa
2007: (1 seed) Beat No. 8 Michigan, Beat No. 5 Purdue, Beat No. 2 Wisconsin
2008: (5 seed) Lost to No. 4 Michigan State
2009: (5 seed) Beat No. 4 Wisconsin, Beat No. 1 Michigan State, Lost to No. 3 Purdue
2010: (1 seed) Beat No. 8 Michigan, Beat No. 5 Illinois, Beat No. 6 Minnesota
2011: (1 seed) Beat No. 8 Northwestern, Beat No. 4 Michigan, Beat No. 6 Penn State
2012: (3 seed) Beat No. 6 Purdue, Beat No. 2 Michigan, Lost to No. 1 Michigan State
2013: (2 seed) Beat No. 10 Nebraska, Beat No. 3 Michigan State, Beat No. 4 Wisconsin
2014: (5 seed) Beat No. 12 Purdue, Beat No. 4 Nebraska, Lost to No. 1 Michigan
2015: (6 seed) Beat No. 11 Minnesota, Lost to No. 3 Michigan State
2016: (7 seed) Beat No. 10 Penn State, Lost to No. 2 Michigan State
2017: (11 seed) Lost to No. 14 Rutgers
2018: (2 seed) Lost to No. 7 Penn State
2019: (8 seed) Beat No. 9 Indiana, Lost to No. 1 Michigan State

A few other interesting notes

The Buckeyes have never faced Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament, and have only played one game each against Northwestern (won in 2011) and Rutgers (lost in 2017).

OSU played Iowa four times from 2001 to 2006, but has not faced the Hawkeyes since then.

The team that has knocked the Buckeyes out the most: Michigan State (5-3 against OSU).

Ohio State has six wins in seven games against Michigan, the most the Buckeyes have against any program in Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament history.

The Wolverines have won the tournament three times, with one of those titles later vacated. Those came in 1998 (vacated), 2017, and 2018. None of those seasons was played in Indianapolis.

Only seven of the 14 league members have ever won the tournament. Most of them are the teams you would probably guess: Penn State, Rutgers, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Nebraska.

However, neither Maryland (which only played in the event for the first time in 2015) nor Indiana (0-for-22) has ever won it, either.