The regular season has come and gone, and it is time for some conference tournaments. All fourteen teams (at present 12 remain) in the Big Ten have made the trip to Indianapolis and Gainbridge Fieldhouse for the Large 10 Tournament.
Ohio State (19-x, 12-8) comes into the tournament as the No. 6 seed after finishing the season 1-3 over their terminal four games. The Buckeyes beat Michigan Land, but had losses to Maryland, Nebraska and Michigan sprinkled in — all three teams they had previously beaten in the season.
Afterwards the commencement round was completed, the No. eleven seed Penn Country (thirteen-16, seven-thirteen) defeated No. fourteen seed Minnesota (xiii-17, iv-16) to advance to encounter the Buckeyes on Thursday night at 9:00 p.thousand. on Big Ten Network. The winner will face No. iii Purdue (25-vi, 14-six) on Friday night at 9:00 p.grand ET.
Now, it is fourth dimension to throw records and statistics out the window. We don’t carry those with us to March. Now it is solely about if you tin can play 40 minutes of basketball improve than the team in front end of you.
Ohio State now has one of the toughest tasks in basketball game ahead of them — beating the same squad three times in one season. The same thing Penn Country and Tony Carr did to the Buckeyes in 2018, which was Ohio Country head passenger vehicle Chris Holtmann’s first season with the squad. Ohio Country is 2-0 against the Nittany Lions this season. They defeated Penn State on Dec. 5 in their first conference game of the season, 76-64, and and then defeated the Nittany Lions on January. xvi, 61-56, in a game dominated past defense.
Penn Country is one of the top defensive teams in the conference, property teams to simply 64.8 points per game — the best marker in the Big 10. Withal, Penn State has the worst scoring crime in the conference, averaging just 64.v points per game.
The Buckeyes are led by Commencement Team All-Big 10 pick E.J. Liddell and Tertiary Team All-Big Ten option Malaki Branham. Branham was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Twelvemonth. Liddell is averaging 19.4 points, seven.nine rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Branham is averaging xiii.ii points and three.half-dozen rebounds per game. Branham is averaging almost 17 points per game in conference play.
According to the Big Ten, Liddell and Bramham are 2 of the about efficient scorers in the conference from the mid-range.
The Nittany Lions are led in scoring by Siena transfer Jalen Pickett. Pickett is averaging 12.8 points, 4.one rebounds and iv.three assists per game. Seth Lundy and Sam Sessoms are averaging 12.4 and xi.4 points per game, respectively.
Penn Land senior John Harrar is one of the two players in the conference averaging a double-double with 10.v points and x.3 rebounds per game. The other role player is Illinois star Kofi Cockburn.
Penn State is a team that can frustrate anyone on defence force, but they can go long stretches without scoring. Ohio State has to avert letting the Nittany Lions go on whatever runs in this one, because they can be tough to score against.
Ohio Country will exist without gradate senior forward Kyle Immature and Justice Sueing in this one. Meechie Johnson should be practiced to become after pain his ankle confronting Michigan, and Zed Key is a game time conclusion every bit he recovers from an talocrural joint injury also.
This is a tough one because information technology is difficult to beat a team three times in a season. The Buckeyes are not playing their all-time ball and are limping into this one. However, I do call back they will be motivated to keep a run in this tournament to brand upwardly for the poor end to the season. Last flavour, the Buckeyes lost four in a row heading into the Big Ten Tournament and ended up winning 3 games in 4 days, losing in the briefing championship to Illinois by three points.
It is hard to believe just two weeks ago nosotros were talking about the Buckeyes having a chance at a shared Big Ten title, and at present they are the six seed in the conference tournament. They will be motivated to come in and prove themselves as a squad that can make a run in the B1G in the adjacent ii weeks.
Pickett and Harrar make for a tough matchup up top and downward low. Jamari Wheeler is always motivated to play his onetime team, and he will need to bring his all-time to slow down the likes of Pickett, Sam Sessoms and Seth Lundy.
Ultimately, I think the duo of Liddell and Branham sprinkled in with some large shots from Jamari Wheeler and Cedric Russell volition get this job washed and advance Ohio State to the quarterfinals on Friday.
9:00 p.1000. ET
Big Ten Network
LGHL score prediction: 74-64 Ohio Land