We are down to the final four teams in the Big Ten Tournament: the two Indiana schools that everyone expected and two double digit seeds. Here’s a look at the first matchup of the day, and be sure to keep an eye out for Jed’s analysis of the IU-PSU game a little later.
Saturday, March 11th | Game 11: #13 Ohio State vs. #1 Purdue
An absolute resurrection has occurred in Ohio State as the freshman guards are lighting it up for the Buckeyes. Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle Jr combined for 36 against Michigan State and that was without the star of the group, Brice Sensabaugh. Sensabaugh will be a game time decision against Purdue with knee soreness, and his ability to go could be a huge swing. In this game, outside shooting will be a deciding factor, as Ohio State does not have much depth in their bigs with Zed Key out. Zach Edey, depending on OSU’s defensive approach, could have a lot of post touches, but if OSU doubles or triples down low as many teams have, Edey will have to pass to shooters to make shots. If the shooters are making shots for Purdue, it’s a cakewalk usually but making shots from outside is easier said than done. On the other side of the ball, we will probably see Edey play a center field approach on defense and the OSU guards will all be covered man-to-man. Ohio State will have multiple shooters on the floor at all times, so perimeter defense will be huge. The X-factor in this game will be OSU’s fatigue level. Playing 4 games in 4 days is bonkers for a team and those legs for the Buckeyes have got to be tired. The first thing to go when you’re tired is the elevation on jump shots, so that could be a deciding factor in this one as well. Although in a completely new environment, Purdue will be going for the 3-0 sweep of Ohio State today and I think Purdue gets it done due to the lack of depth in the OSU front court, the fatigue level of the OSU players, and the potential for Brice Sensabaugh to sit out again.
Ohio State: 62