CHICAGO -- Ohio State is the champion of the Big Ten tournament -- again.
DeShaun Thomas scored 17 points and the 10th-ranked Buckeyes used their stout defence to beat No. 22 Wisconsin 50-43 for their conference-best fifth tournament title on Sunday.
Thomas was 6 for 19 from the field, but made some big free throws down the stretch as Ohio State won the championship for the third time in the last four years. Aaron Craft had nine points and six rebounds, and LaQuinton Ross delivered a couple of huge plays for the Buckeyes (26-7).
Travon Jackson scored 10 points for the Badgers (23-11), who shot 38.3 per cent from the field. None of his teammates reached double figures, with Sam Dekker next up at eight points.
Wisconsin and Ohio State were close for most of the second half, but the Buckeyes seized on a cold spell by the Badgers to move in front down the stretch.
After Dekker scored on a reverse layup with 7:01 remaining, Wisconsin went scoreless for the next 4 1/2 minutes while Ross stepped up for Ohio State. He had a strong offensive rebound and putback, then converted a layup to make it 47-41 with 2:39 to go.
Jackson made two free throws to stop the scoring drought for the Badgers, who forced a shot clock violation on the other end. But Ben Brust missed a long 3-pointer and Thomas went 3 for 4 at the line in the final minute.
Dekker's basket was Wisconsin's last field goal of the game.
Thomas had seven rebounds as the Buckeyes enjoyed a 50-43 advantage on the glass.