March 4, 2007
Game Ten No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Purdue
Conseco Fieldhouse Indianapolis
No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Purdue is a rematch of the 2006 Big Ten Tournament final. It is the first time in tournament history the same teams have faced each other in the championship game in back-to-back years.
Ohio State and Purdue have met twice before in the Big Ten Tournament championship, both of which were played to the wire. Purdue won the 2003 title as a No. 3 seed over the No. 4 Buckeyes, 67-65. Last year, No. 1 Ohio State defeated the No. 2 Boilermakers 63-60.
The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met three previous times in the championship game, with the No. 2 seed having the slight 2-1 advantage. In 2001, No. 2 Iowa defeated No. 1 Purdue 75-70. In 2004, No. 2 Purdue beat No. 1 Penn State 59-58. Last year was the first time a No. 1 seed beat a No. 2 seed for the title.
Purdue has advanced to the title game nine times in the 13-year history of the Big Ten Tournament, more than any other school in the conference (Penn State is second with six appearances). The squad's five tournament titles also are the most of any Big Ten member (Two schools - Penn State and Iowa - have two tournament titles each).
The Buckeyes and Boilermakers have played against each other six times in Big Ten Tournament history, with Purdue owning a 4-2 advantage. Ohio State defeated the Boilers in the first event in 1995 with a 72-59 win in the quarterfinals. The Buckeyes also won last year when the two teams battled for the title. Purdue beat Ohio State in 1999 (semifinals), 2001 (quarterfinals), 2003 (final) and 2004 (semifinals).
Ohio State has advanced to the title game for the fourth time and won its first championship in 2006. The Buckeyes also played for the '95 tournament title as a No. 7 seed (lost to No. 1 Penn State 68-63) and in 2003 as a No. 4 seed (lost to No. 3 Purdue 67-65).
The Big Ten Tournament final will feature two top 15 ranked teams for the fourth consecutive year with No. 5/6 Ohio State and No. 15/15 Purdue. The 2004 final was the only one that featured to top 10 teams in No. 6/7 Penn State and No. 7/7 Purdue
Head coaches Sharon Versyp and Jim Foster have the highest winning percentages in Big Ten Tournament history among active coaches. Versyp is first with a 4-1 (.800) record (second overall, behind Carolyn Peck). Foster is second among active coaches (fourth overall, behind Peck, Versyp and Kristy Curry) with a 9-3 (.750) mark.
Versyp is making her first appearance in the Big Ten Tournament championship game, while Foster is making his third (2003 and 2006) appearance.
Ohio State is 20-11 (.645) all-time in the Big Ten Tournament while Purdue is 24-7 (.774) overall in tournament play.
The Buckeyes own a 31-23 advantage in the all-time series with Purdue. The two squads met just one time this season, with Ohio State defeating the Boilers, 64-55, in Mackey Arena back on Jan. 29. Four players scored in double-figures for the Buckeyes, led by Star Allen's 21 points. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton led Purdue with 13 scores.
Ohio State has won the last three meetings with Purdue, including earlier this season and the 2006 title game. The Buckeyes also defeated the Boilers, 67-58, on Feb. 23 of last season to even the 2005-06 series. The last time Purdue beat Ohio State was earlier that year, a 61-59 win in West Lafayette on Jan. 1, 2006.