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College Basketball Pick
The move for fourth place is officially on with Wisconsin and Ohio State currently tied for fourth in the highly competitive Big 10. The winner of this game will technically be tied with Michigan State, but both of these teams already lost to the Spartans once.
The Badgers are coming off two home games in which they split. They lost it late against Michigan State by two points and were done in by poor free throw shooting. However, they were able to get a late one-point win over Minnesota due to a missed free throw by the Gophers to finish out the game.
Ohio State didn't have as many problems this past week as they faced two of the weaker teams in the conference. The Hawkeyes didn't cause them any problems at home and they took care of a conference-winless Penn State squad. The Buckeyes will return home for this Tuesday night matchup with the Badgers. OSU's only home loss came against No. 2 Kansas and they also gave No. 1 Michigan's only loss in Columbus.
The road doesn't exactly phase the Badgers though, which is why they have a win at Indiana, a place not many teams can go and win. On the other end of that, they lost their next game at Iowa. Wisconsin's brand of basketball lets them compete with anyone, but also leaves them susceptible for upsets.
For starters, the Badgers take a lot of three-pointers and have attempted almost 100 more than the Buckeyes this season. If they can hit those shots, they are deadly. In addition to that, they play good defense and at a ridiculously slow pace. How else do you explain less than 100 total points being scored in their last two games?
Even if this game is low scoring, someone will need to step up for Wisconsin. Their leading scorer Jared Berggren has struggled mightily getting the ball in the basket lately and hasn't hit double digits in four straight games. While his stat sheet doesn't look great, he still makes plays on the offensive end by setting up his teammates. Shooters Ben Brust, George Marshall and Sam Dekker all had two threes against the Gophers and were the eventual difference makers. The Badgers were still able to win that game even though Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz combined for just two points.
Just because this game is at home doesn't mean this will be a free win for the Buckeyes. Someone other than Deshaun Thomas will have to step up if they want to win. Against Michigan State, no one other than Thomas had more than six points. In the win against Michigan, four other players had at least six points. While a ton of production isn't needed, little by little, it adds up. Aaron Craft is still a major deficiency on the offensive end, but Lenzelle Smith Jr. has been better lately hitting double digits in two straight games. Thomas has been awesome this year for the Buckeyes and no one has been able to slow him down which is why he's averaging 20 points per game. In the biggest games, he's been able to hit shots when needed.
The Buckeyes are favored, but it only takes a couple of Wisconsin threes to make this a close game in the end.
Predicted Score - Ohio St 60 Wisconsin 56
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