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Ohio State



College Basketball Pick 


These teams met a little over a week ago with Maryland walking away as 77-71 victors in Columbus. It was a close game throughout, with the Buckeyes down by no more than three points for the final 10 minutes until free throws pushed the lead to six. Since that game, things have gotten a bit more interesting for these teams as Maryland fell to Purdue and then surprisingly at Penn State on Tuesday. Ohio State had a similarly surprising result, but finished on the winning side at Michigan on Saturday.

But will the Buckeyes be able to carry that same performance on the road in this game? They’ve been the opposite of consistent in road games this season, from losses at Illinois and Iowa and then wins at Nebraska and Michigan. While they’ve been blown out a couple times, this team has remained competitive with some of the Big Ten’s best, Wisconsin not included. Maryland will be decent-sized favorites in this game, but this still isn’t the easiest team to trust.

In conference play, the Terrapins have only beat Illinois, Indiana and Rutgers at home while they have lost to Nebraska and Purdue. They have some solid road wins, like the one at Columbus, but still nothing has really come easy for this team. Now with a young squad facing some adversity, the Terps will get a tough test against an experienced Ohio State team in this game.

The difference in the first meeting was Justin Jackson for Maryland, who did whatever he wanted en route to 22 points and 12 rebounds. Ohio State had no answers for him defensively, but held serve for most of the game with a balanced offensive attack led by the usual suspects of Jae’Sean Tate and Marc Loving. Finding a way to stop Jackson will be one of OSU’s biggest tasks in this game with senior Loving expected to match up with him most of the way. If Loving gets eaten up again, then there truly is no hope for the Buckeyes in terms of a postseason tournament. Simply put, as the only senior on the team, Loving has to take it upon himself to defend the freshman Jackson.

Of course, Maryland still has the duo of Anthony Cowan and Melo Trimble in the backcourt, while sharpshooter Kevin Huerter sits on the outside. The Buckeyes tried to get Trevor Thompson as much work as possible last game, but he was only able to make 4-of-10 shots for nine points against Maryland’s combo of Damonte Dodd and Ivan Bender. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if Ohio State took that same route of attack. In addition to that, Maryland still needs to find a way to stop Tate, as well as JaQuan Lyle and Kam Williams, among others. Ohio State has a bevy of talent, but none of them are all that consistent, hence the record.

The Buckeyes should have enough to once again keep this game close, but it’s hard to see them pulling out a late win, something they’ve had trouble with all year. But for anyone backing OSU, there is hope that something isn’t right with the Terps after losing their last two.

our pick - Ohio St +7

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