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Feb. 25, 2007

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Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On Ohio State
“We did a good job on defense. This was such a punch-after-punch game. Wisconsin forced us to compete for 40 minutes. In these types of games, guys have to make plays. The atmosphere here was off the charts today.”

On winning back-to-back Big Ten championships
“You enjoy this because it is something we set out to achieve and we did it. But, we play Michigan Saturday. For our guys to be sitting at 14-1 in the Big Ten, this is a tremendous feat.”

On the No. 1 ranking in the coaches’ poll
“From this standpoint, it has been a challenging year. I’ve never coached a team that was expected to win every time they take the court. When you get to the top, everyone is trying to knock you off. I hope it motivates us and continues to pour gas on our fire.”

On senior night
“Ivan (Harris) and Ron (Lewis) made some big plays down the stretch. Both guys played with a lot of guts on defense for us.”

Ivan Harris, senior forward
On the game
“Our goal was to get a ring. It started when the freshmen got here in the spring and it is a great feeling to accomplish that goal.”

On his career
“The first one (2006 Big Ten title) was great. To leave Ohio State with two Big Ten championships it is something special.”

Ron Lewis, senior guard
On winning a second-consecutive Big Ten title
“It is great. Coming back home in front of my family is great. This group of guys has worked so hard for it. We were in the gym all summer, since the freshmen got here and all we talked about is winning the Big Ten. It is a beautiful thing.”

On Alando Tucker
“We just had to limit his touches. That was the main thing. We knew we were going to get the ball a lot and the main thing was to limit his touches. That was our goal. It was fortunate he missed a lot of his shots and we contested a lot of his shots.”

Greg Oden, freshman center
On the season
“This is what we wanted to do. When I came here I wanted to win a Big Ten championship. At the same time I know we still we have work to do with the NCAA tournament and the Big Ten tournament.”

On the game plan
“Wisconsin is a really good team and they are going to be aggressive and come at you. You can’t back down. You have to keep going at them.”

Mike Conley, freshman guard
On gaining confidence
“This gives us confidence to know we can beat a top ranked team. We are getting better out there. Playing Wisconsin helped expose weaknesses we need to work on. In the long run it is going to help us out.”

On winning the Big Ten Championship
“It is real good knowing we got a ring. We wanted it for the seniors. It is there last home game, but we are still not done. We still have to go to Michigan and have a lot of work to do.”

Bo Ryan, Wisconsin head coach
On shooting when Ohio State’s Greg Oden is on the floor
“It’s tough to get to the free throw line with Oden in there. It’s tough to get any shots off for that matter.”

On keeping the score of the game low
“We didn’t try to keep it a certain score. We tried to take good shots every trip down the floor.”

On offensive rebounds
“If you can draw a big player like Oden out from the lane, you can create opportunities to get offensive boards.”