Friday, February 6, 2009

Ohio State Game Preview

#19 Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-4, 6-4) at Ohio State Buckeyes (16-5, 6-4)

This will be an interesting game. I wish I could watch it but I will be at the Gopher hockey game against the Badgers. It will be interesting to see how the Gophers respond to the beat down in East Lansing. It will also be interesting because the Gophers and the Buckeyes are very evenly matched. Neither is the elite like Purdue and Michigan State but they are very good and could beat anyone on any day. Here is Ohio State's resume:

Wins to showcase:
  • vs. Purdue 80 - 72
  • at Notre Dame 67 - 62
Losses to hide from:
  • vs. West Virginia 48 - 76
  • at Illinois 49 - 67
Previous Result
  • Minnesota 68, Ohio State 59
Two of Ohio State's big wins aren't looking as good now as Miami and Notre Dame seem to be headed to the NIT and not the top 25 teams they were supposed to be. In the previous game it was close until a late run by the Gophers in the first half gave them a big lead they did not relinquish. Ohio State has gotten better since then. The highly anticipated freshman are coming into their own. BJ Mullens is averaging 10.9 ppg and William Buford has 15.2 ppg in Big Ten games. They combined for 11 points in the first meeting.

That said I think RSIII can handle Mullens like Tisdale and unlike Suton. When Ohio State is shooting well like they have been lately they are hard to beat so the key to Minnesota will play tough D and not allow an easy shot. The problem is that it is on the road. While the Value City Arena is not intimidating with its fans sitting and thinking about next year's football team but the Gophers have yet to play well in a true road game. Until they do so I can't in good conscience pick the Gophers to win.


Ohio State 77, Minnesota 73

P.S. As I'm writing this the Gopher hockey team is down 2-0 in the second period despite out shooting the Badgers 21-8. It is becoming increasingly frustrating to be a Gopher hockey fan.

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