There are a lot of things that come to my mind on how to describe the Buckeyes win over the 2nd ranked Indiana Hoosiers (25-5, 13-4 B1G) that is hard to just pick one. So I’m just going to go with B1G, it was a big win for this Buckeye team. Who needed a signature road win this season; they came close in November when they almost beat Duke at home and going to OT with TTUN last month (that was still a foul on Tim Hardaway Jr.!) Coming into Tuesday night’s game the Hoosiers had a shot at winning their first outright Big Ten regular season title in 20 years, and they were looking to do it on senior night. But Aaron Craft and company had other plans, knowing that a win over Indiana would keep their chances at a Big Ten title alive (but more on this later.) Craft as well as Shannon Scott set the tone defensively for the Buckeyes both recording 4 steals apiece, and causing a massive headache for Victor Oladipo and the rest of the Hoosiers.
You can’t give one or two players all the credit on Tuesday night everyone played a critical part in the victory. Sam aka “Slam” Thompson carried the Bucks offensively in the first half with 7 points, he ended up with only 9 which was the margin of victory. Former Mr. Basketball and Indiana native Deshaun Thomas played a hell of a game as well leading the team in points as well as rebounding (but when doesn’t he) with 18 points and 8 rebounds. This was a hell of a game and I would love to continue to talk about it but there is one more regular season game to play.
The last regular season game of the year gives the Buckeyes and opportunity to avenge an embarrassing loss earlier this season. In January the Buckeyes took on the then ranked #11 Fighting Illini, and were beaten by 19 points. This time around the game is in Columbus on Sunday tip-off at 12:30 pm the game will be on ESPN. The Bucks have to be aware that they don’t come into the game over confident, because Illinois (21-10, 8-9 B1G) will come in play tough, they beat Indiana as well this year. The Buckeyes need to continue to play with intensity on defense and play smart basketball like they have the last 4 games.
Mully’s Keys to Victory:
Craft-tastic Defense: The defense that the Buckeyes have played over the last 4 games has been stellar. The Bucks have held teams to 60 points and lower, which is good because before the Indiana game I didn’t think this team could run with good offensive teams. I was wrong but the Buckeye offense is better when they play good defense and this game will be no different.
Stall Paul: Illinois’ best player is Brandon Paul, and the Buckeyes know this because he has torched them in the past. They need to put a body on this guy at all times and not let him get easy baskets, because he’s a poor man’s version of Deshaun.
Stay Focused: The team needs to stay focused on Sunday, which is going to be hard because of all that will be going on Sunday in other games. But if the Buckeyes do not stay focused they can become a victim of the Illini.
I see the Buckeyes coming out on top on Sunday because of what is at stake for them if they get a win. Buckeyes win 72-58 mark that down.
With a win on Sunday the Buckeyes can keep their hopes for a share of the Big Ten regular season title alive. There is one thing besides a win that needs to happen on Sunday and that is an Indiana loss. The Hoosiers take on TTUN Sunday at 4, in Ann Arbor. This should be a good game and I think Indiana will win but if they do lose there will be a 4 way tie for the Big Ten Title. Those teams would be TTUN, Indiana, Michigan State, and of course our Buckeyes. A tie is a lot like kissing your sister or a TTUN fan you just don’t like it, and it makes you sick to your stomach. A tie would make the Big Ten tournament seeding hard to determine, Indiana gets the #1 seed because MSU beat Wisconsin, so the Buckeyes can get anywhere from a #2-4 seed. Depending on the scenario and it is very difficult to explain and quite frankly it is giving me a headache just thinking about it.
As much as I would love to have a 4th straight year with at least a share of the Big Ten title, I just can’t bring myself to cheer for TTUN and I think if I did my soul would endure eternal damnation, I would rather be frozen in carbonite like Han Solo.
Until next time Buckeye fans, stay safe Go Bucks! And Muck Fichigan!