Ohio State Buckeyes
Record: 25-9 (10-8 Big Ten)
Conference: Big Ten
How They Qualified: At-large
The Ohio State Buckeyes started off the season by winning their first fifteen games. That record was a bit inflated, though. The Buckeyes did not play a single team in that stretch that finished ranked in either the AP or Coach’s poll. Nonetheless, good teams beat the teams they are supposed to, and Ohio State did that in non-conference play.
The Buckeyes found the sledding to be a little tougher when Big Ten play began. Ohio State played to the level of their competition. While the Buckeyes were able to split with most of the top teams in the conference, they lost a game to Indiana and lost twice to Penn State.
In the Big Ten tournament, the Ohio State Buckeyes played two Jeckyl and Hyde games. The Buckeyes needed a dramatic comeback to squeak by Nebraska in the quarterfinals. The next day, another furious second half charge fell short against Michigan in the semifinals.
What You Need To Know
Leading Scorer: Laquinton Ross (15.4 PPG)
Leading Rebounder: Laquinton Ross (6.1 RPG)
Leading Passer: Aaron Craft (4.7 APG)
Bad Losses: Penn State (twice), @ Indiana
Good Wins: @ Wisconsin, @ Iowa, Michigan State
What to Expect
Predicting how the Ohio State Buckeyes will perform in the NCAA tournament is only slightly easier than predicting the correct numbers for the Powerball drawing. The Buckeyes that won consecutive games against Wisconsin and Iowa are capable of making it to the Final Four, but the team that lost twice to Penn State is capable of a first round exit.
There are a few things in the Buckeye’s favor, though. The Ohio State Buckeyes play outstanding defense. The Buckeyes held opponents to a national best 53.5 points per game. Defense translates well in the post season. The Buckeyes can also count on steady guard play by their senior point guard Aaron Craft. Ohio State is also a very balanced team when it comes to scoring. The trouble is that none of the Buckeyes score very much.
The Ohio State Buckeyes will likely perform right at the level of their seeding. They will win close games against the teams they should beat, but the Buckeyes lack the offensive firepower to upset any of the top tier teams.