Another solid week of basketball from the Buckeyes as the prepare for the toughest week of basketball they’ll face until tournament time. This isn’t going to be easy. A pissed-off Michigan team tonight could be quite the buzzsaw for the Buckeyes. And then Indiana on Sunday. I think we all can agree that emerging from this daisy cutter of a week with one win will be quite the achievement. Win them both? Thad Matta gets a statue out front of the Schottenstein center.
Week in Review
1/29/13: Wisconsin 49 – #11 Ohio State 58 (16-4, 6-2 Big Ten)
Wisconsin acted like they were allergic to the painted area and were throwing up threes like it was their job. It turns out that they are really bad at their jobs and should probably be fired, or at least sent back to washing the dishes. Especially that ginger. They can’t run the registers like that. They hit 36.5% of the field goal attempts and took ZERO free throws. This game was not a great showing for the Badgers.
Deshaun Thomas led the way with 25. Laquinton Ross chipped in 8 points including a promising 2-2 from beyond the arc.
2/2/13: Nebraska 56 – #11 Ohio State 63 (17-4, 7-2 Big Ten)
First off, I really have to tip my hat to the Nebraska fans. They were really into this game, making more noise than I thought a Nebraska crowd could muster for a basketball game. They came alive at key points in the game, especially when it was closer than it really had any right to be.
This game shouldn’t have ever been that close, but it was. Nebraska got solid, even inspired, play out of their big man Andre “Big Continent” Almeida, pulling down 8 rebounds (3 of them offensive) and 3 blocks. For a guy who has got the vertical of a tortoise, he was nimble on his feet and used his substantial mass and personal gravitational field to his benefit most effectively.
On the Buckeye’s side, Amir Williams asserted himself in the first half, pulling down rebounds and getting to the free throw line. Lenzelle Smith was the game’s top scorer, accounting for 21 of the Buckeyes 63 points and hopefully getting used to scoring when Deshaun is having an off-night or is getting the majority of the defensive attention.
Week in Preview
2/5/13 @ 9 PM (ESPN) #3 Michigan (20-2, 7-2 Big Ten) vs #10 Ohio State (17-4, 7-2 Big Ten)
This game is a make or break for Michigan, really. They’ve now lost on Ohio State and Indiana’s home courts and MUST defend home court if they want to be counted among the elite. I think Ohio State is going to have its hands full and more this evening against Michigan. Aaron Craft did a number (proving he’s the best PG in the B1G in the process) against Trey Burke last time these two teams met and you’ve got to believe that Burke will take that challenge personally. If he’s on and Craft can’t stop him, it’s going to be a long night.
Michigan also has too much talent around Burke to struggle like this forever. If Stauskas or Tim Hardaway Jr. can hit open shots, Michigan is going to have smooth sailing. But if Ohio State’s defense continues to stymy the Michigan offense and holds Burke in check, Michigan fans are going to be despondent. (Please let this happen, basketball gods)
2/10/13 @ 1 PM (CBS) #1 Indiana (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) at Ohio State (17-4, 7-2 Big Ten)
I really, really, really want to be Indiana this Sunday. It’s just two days after my birthday. I’ll take a victory as a belated birthday gift, Buckeyes. I won’t even be mad.