Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop and Michigan State forward Miles Bridges have earned their fair share of awards and honors this season, and on Monday both players earned another distinction and were named Second-Team All-Americans by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Last week, both players were named finalists for the Julius Erving Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding small forward in college basketball. Bates-Diop was also voted Big Ten Player of the Year, and Bridges was named a unanimous selection to the conference’s first team.
Both players will get a chance to shine on the big stage of the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State is the No. 5 seed in the West Region and Michigan State is the No. 3 seed in the Midwest region. The Big Ten rivals could meet in the Final Four, but first they’ll have to make it through the gauntlet of their respective regions. The Buckeyes play No. 12-seed South Dakota in the first round on Thursday, while the Spartans play No. 14-seed Bucknell on Friday.
Neither team achieved the result it was looking for in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan State advanced to the tournament semifinal, where it lost to Michigan, 75-64. Ohio State couldn’t get out of the quarterfinals, where it lost to Penn State, 69-68. Michigan went on to beat Purdue, 75-66, to win its second straight conference tournament title.