The Big Ten Tournament is underway in Indianapolis, and things will really start to heat up on Thursday. There will be four games on the slate on Thursday, including the Ohio State Buckeyes taking on the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota entered this tournament as the number 12 seed, and they were actually the first team to get a win in this event on Wednesday night. The Golden Gophers were able to hang on to defeat the Northwestern Wildcats by a score of 51-46.
Ohio State fell to the number 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament after losing four straight games to finish the year. The Buckeyes are still ranked in the top-10, and a deep run in this event could land them a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota won the only regular-season matchup between these two teams, but that game came very early in conference action.
Minnesota at Ohio State Preview: Carr Carrying Golden Gophers
Minnesota guard Marcus Carr is leading the team with 19.6 points and 4.9 assists per game, and he has to do almost everything for his team. Carr came up big for Minnesota in the win over Northwestern on Wednesday night, and he will have to be special for his team to continue to advance.
The Golden Gophers are averaging 73 points per game, but that number has been dropping each time Minnesota takes the floor. This team has been hit hard by injuries late in the season, and getting to 60 points will be a struggle against Ohio State.
Minnesota is one of the worst shooting teams in the country, making less than 29 percent of their shot attempts from behind the arc. The Golden Gophers will need to get hot to pull off this massive upset.
The defense has also been an issue for Minnesota, despite giving up just 46 points to Northwestern in the tournament-opener. Minnesota is allowing more than 74 points per game, and that won’t work against a team as good as Ohio State.
Minnesota at Ohio State Preview: Ohio State Needs Some Depth
Despite being a top-five team for much of the season, Ohio State does not have a ton of depth. This is felt in all aspects of the game, but it really comes into play on the offensive end of the floor.
Forward E.J. Liddell has been the go-to scorer for Ohio State this season, leading the team with 16 points per game. Liddell has gotten help from Duane Washington Sr., but Ohio State is looking for more players to step up and help score some points.
Ohio State has been a solid defensive team all season long, holding opponents to less than 70 points per game. The Buckeyes will be looking to stop this skid by playing great on both ends of the floor.
Minnesota at Ohio State Preview: Buckeyes Beat Down Golden Gophers
The story coming into this game on Thursday morning is the current four-game losing streak for the Ohio State Buckeyes. That losing streak will come to an end on Thursday morning and the Buckeyes will start to get back on track.
Minnesota does some things that can give Ohio State fits, but they have just been dealt too many serious injuries to pose a real threat. The Golden Gophers were able to get a win on Wednesday night, but their stay in Indianapolis will be short-lived.
It might take some time for Ohio State to shake off some rust on Thursday, but it won’t take long before they figure it out. Ohio State is not going to mess around in this one, as the Buckeyes blow out the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Ohio State 81