Ohio State is off to the NCAA Tournament for a matchup against sixth-seeded Iowa State, and the odds of Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes advancing past their first matchup (let alone competing for a championship) are long.
That's primarily because of a roster that needs an enormous infusion of talent. It's also because this feels like Duke's year. The Blue Devils have a human named Zion Williamson on its roster, while the rest of the tournament field is limited to mere mortals.
It got the Eleven Warriors staff thinking — which past Ohio State basketball team would match up best against Williamson and the Blue Devils?
2006-07 Squad Led By Greg Oden and Mike Conley
A common theme throughout this exploration is a simple question — who guards Williamson? The '06 team was guard heavy with the likes of Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, Jamar Butler and Ron Lewis taking a big share of minutes. Greg Oden was the best rim protector in the country, but what forwards did the Buckeyes have who could check Williamson on a possession-by-possession basis?
// checks roster //
That would be Ivan Harris, fighting Matt Terwilliger and Othello Hunter.
2010-11 Team that Lost just Two Regular Season Games
The 2010 squad felt like a super team with the perfect combination of upperclassmen and young talent. The Buckeyes had veteran leadership like David Lighty, John Diebler and William Buford but young guns in true freshman Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger.
The 2011-12 team blasted Duke 85-63 in the ACC - Big Ten Challenge, but that Blue Devils squad was led by Austin Rivers and had two Plumlees on the roster. The other that immediately comes to mind is an enormous throwback — the 1959-60 team that won the national title.
Hall-of-famers Jerry Lucas (center) and John Havlicek (forward) would make things tough for Williamson on the interior, and you know Bobby Knight would crack Wiliamson over the head with a folding chair like a WWE villain if he started to get hot.
What are your thoughts? Which past Ohio State team would you want going up against this year's Duke squad?