|Ohio State 18-9, 8-8 Big Ten Roster | Schedule||March 3, 2009 9:00 PM ET - BTN —— Carver-Hawkeye Arena Iowa City, IA||Iowa 14-15, 4-12 Big Ten Roster | Schedule|
For the second straight year, Ohio State's tournament hopes come down to the last week of the season and the B10 tourney. I'm not complaining though, not long ago, their dance ticket was rejected in early February.
On paper this is a game Ohio State should win, but the Hawkeyes can play some D and it's also a roadie, so nothing can be taken for granted.
There is no doubt, OSU needs to win this game in order to have an NCAA aspirations. If they win their last two, it would give them a 10-8 conference record and 20 wins heading into the B10 tournament, putting them on the cusp on a touney bid.
|4||PJ Hill||2.7||1.3||1.7||G||5||Matt Gatens||11.0||3.9||2.2|
|33||Jon Diebler||11.2||3.3||2.6||G||32||Jake Kelly||11.1||2.9||2.9|
|21||Evan Turner||16.6||7.2||3.6||F||15||Devan Bawinkel||4.0||1.5||0.4|
|44||William Buford||11.3||3.4||1.2||F||24||Aaron Fuller||4.2||2.6||0.4|
|52||Dallas Lauderdale||4.6||3.7||0.3||C||50||Jarryd Cole||3.2||2.7||0.1|
Iowa ranks last in conference scoring with 57 points a game, shooting 42.4 percent from the floor. They do lead the league in FT shooting at 74.6 percent and have attempted and made the 3rd most 3-pointers (117 for 347), good for seventh at 33.7 percent.
Todd Lickliter has really shortened his bench as of late and starts a lineup consisting of 2 freshmen and 2 sophomores. Cyrus Tate, who started the first matchup, has been moved to the bench coming back from injury and played 27 minutes last game, registering 3 points and 5 boards. They lost the services of Jeff Peterson, their 3rd leading scorer, back in early February and haven't scored more than 56 points in regulation since then.
Iowa has lost 8 of their last 10, scoring above 60 only once (a 70-60 OT win) and they don't start anyone over 6'7".
Thad has yet to win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, going 0-3 in his first four years. The Buckeyes beat Iowa 68-65 in the B10 opener back on December 31st, a game in which Diebler hit 7 bombs, but was outdone by Iowa's 14. In fact, Iowa had a chance to tie at the buzzer.
The Buckeyes have lost 4 of their last 5, including that 25 point ass whooping at Purdue on Saturday. They will have a huge advantage inside, but who knows if they will make good use of it. We can't count on Lauderdale to give them any scoring and Mullens has scored in double digits just twice in the last five games. The two have combined to grab only 12 rebounds over the last three games, thus the explanation of the rare boxout photo.
It is going to be interesting over the next couple of weeks, as to which Ohio State team will show up. To me, Mullens has one foot out the door, a little Beanie-itis if you will and looks frustrated by the overall lack of touches this season. Turner seems to be running out of gas as teams collapse on him and Buford has reverted back to old defensive ways at times. The zone is killing them, allowing a second to last in the B10, 66 points a game.
As of right now, the Bracketology has the Bucks a 10 seed playing against Utah, which is better than the projected LSU matchup they had last week. I want the Bucks to get into the dance, simply because I love the event, but I fear a one and done scenario and wonder if the NIT would be a better route for such a young team. The extra practice and potential home game(s) would be more valuable. Regardless, I think the game could be a stinker tonight, but OSU will pull it out 58-54.
- Iowa's Devan Bawinkel has attempted 120 shots, 115 of which have come from beyond the arc.
- This will be Thad's 301st career game, he is 225-75 in his 9th season.