The Buckeyes enter this week with two important games at home. Let’s hope the blow out loss at Wisconsin is a distant memory.
The loss at Wisconsin is a microcosm of the entire season. Teams have stuck to the formula of allowing Thomas to get his 20-25 points (which he has had to work for) and making the “supporting cast” beat them. The problem is the “supporting cast” has been wildly inconsistent offensively. We have been asking for weeks who is going to step up and be the consistent 2nd and 3rd scorers. I believe we have our answer for this year, no one, consistently. Sunday’s game at Wisconsin was the first time I really questioned the team’s future (specifically next year). It will basically be the same team minus Thomas. I am not one to have a doomsday outlook or focus on the negative, but there are questions that will abound about next year’s team. In my opinion, it is too late in the season to get those questions answered this year, but hopefully I will be proven wrong.
The questions about next season will have to wait for another post for another day. The Buckeyes still have a chance to capitalize on a good seed in this year’s NCAA tournament. In order for that to happen, we need some W’s starting with the two games this week.
2/20/2013 @ 7 PM (BTN) Minnesota (6-7 Big Ten) vs Ohio State (8-5 Big Ten)
As with many teams in conference this year, the Gopher’s season has been up and down. They beat Wisconsin and got blown out by Iowa last week. That being said, no game should be taken lightly this year in conference. This is the only meeting between the Buckeyes and Gophers this regular season. I look for Minnesota to be hungry after getting embarrassed by Iowa. The Buckeyes will need to need to match the intensity, which by all accounts has been questionable over the last few weeks. The main question I want answered in this game is where is the fire and passion. Will the buckeyes be ready to play? I anticipate Matta will have the team ready after the debacle in Madison. I see the Buckeyes winning by 10.
2/24/2013 @ 4 PM (CBS) Michigan State (11-3 Big Ten) vs Ohio State (8-5 Big Ten)
The Buckeyes will be facing another strong test on Sunday. The Buckeyes are 2-4 against the top 4 teams in conference. The Spartans will enter the game coming off an emotional tight loss to Indiana. This seems to be happening over and over where the Buckeyes are facing a hungry team coming off a loss. Provided that the effort is there, I think the Buckeyes can edge out a very close win against the Spartans. A second win this week will go a long way in boosting the confidence of this team.