OHIO STATE AT WISCONSIN
Ohio State, the#24 team in the country, will be riding a four
game winning streak into Saturdayís game at Wisconsin. The Buckeyes
have had an up and down season, but will seek to ride their current
momentum to an NCAA tournament appearance. Wisconsinís six game skid
in the month of January likely cost them a chance to make the dance,
but they have recovered since. The Badgers have won three in a row,
including a 13 points triumph over #20 Illinois. This matchup of Big
Ten opponents should be fun to watch, but most of all it should be
great to wager on.
Newspapers were abuzz about the Buckeyes potential after they won
three consecutive games over Miami (FL), Notre Dame, and Butler.
Thad Matta led his team to a 9-0 start until they were brutalized by
Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers. Including that loss,
Ohio State would drop three of their next four. They are back on
track, but must dispose of Wisconsin they want anyone to believe
they can make some noise in March. Other key wins include a sweeping
of Michigan, a revenge win against Minnesota, and a thrilling
overtime win over Purdue.
If the Badgers want to keep a pulse on their tournaments, this game
should be considered a must win. They have two easy games against
Indiana on their schedule, and another against Michigan who they
have already defeated. This game, Michigan State, and Minnesota will
be critical for Wisconsin. Perhaps if they are able to take two of
three, an at large berth bid would not be out of the question. Key
wins for the Badgers this year include Illinois, Virginia Tech, Penn
State and Michigan.
Ohio State is led by Sophomore Guard/Forward Evan Turner. He is
third in the Big Ten in points and rebounds with 17.0 PPG and 7.5
RPG. The Chicago native is shooting lights out, hitting 50.8% of his
field goals. He stands tall for a guard at 6 foot 7 inches. Turner
is clearly the statistical leader, but other than him, the team is
balanced. David Lightly is bringing 9.7 PPG and 5.7 RPG to the
table. Freshman William Buford will be an impact player down the
road, and is already contributing with 11.8 PPG and 3.5 RPG. Jon
Diebler is another young baller who will have the Buckeyes flying
high in 1-2 years. He put up 20 points earlier this year in a
victory over Miami (FL).
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Wisconsin isnít without a few good men. They have a very balanced
attack, so if one guy goes flat, you can expect one of his teammates
to step up to the plate. Senior forward Marcus Landry is the leader
for the Badgers. He is putting up 12.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG. His best
performance of the year came in a win against Penn State where he
went 10-15 from the field and put up 23 points. Junior guard Trevon
Hughes is good for 11.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 3.0 APG.
Wisconsin opened up as a -6 point fav here. We'll back
Ohio State at +6 or better