Ohio State basketball fans get a real treat today as both the #5 ranked men's team and the #11 ranked women's team receive national coverage. If you're going to watch both, though, you'll have to fire up the PIP on your television. The two teams will be playing at the same time.
The Women: 4:00 on ESPN2
The Ohio State women travel today to East Lansing to battle with the Spartans' of Michigan State. The last time the Buckeyes travel to the state of Michigan was last weekend when they were handed their first loss of the season by the Michigan Wolverines. They rebounded nicely from that lost by fending off a scrappy Northwestern Wildcats team. Today they look to restart their winning streak with a win over the Spartans. It's not going to be easy. The Spartans are 12-5 overall, but 4-0 in the Big Ten, putting them one game ahead of Ohio State in the big 10 standings. Michigan State is currently tied for first place in the Big 10 with Nebraska and Purdue. Ohio State stands alone in second place.
This game is a critical one for the Ohio State Buckeyes, and will be a defining moment for the remainder of the season. If the buckeyes hope to have a shot at the regular season title, they will have to defeat the Spartans now and follow it up with a win over the Cornhuskers on Thursday.
This will not be an easy game for the Buckeyes. The toughest game that the Spartans have had so far in the Big 10 is a 10 point win over Penn State. They're a very good team, and player for player they match up very well with the Buckeyes. Neither team should dominate this game, so look for many lead changes throughout the course of the afternoon. This could very easily be a game where the last team to score wins.
The Men: 4:30 on CBS
Today's men's game is that game that all Buckeye fans have been anticipating. The last time Ohio State played Indiana, the Hoosiers were an unranked team who had already defeated Kentucky, at that time the number one ranked team in the nation. It was a game where the obviously underrated Hoosiers outlasted the Buckeyes, and knocked them from their number two ranking. It was a game where the officiating was simply awful, resulting in both teams having their best players watch most of the game from the bench.
Hopefully the officiating in this game will be less of a factor, and both the Hoosier fans and the Buckeye fans will be able to see their favorite players on the court playing the game.
This is a key game for the Buckeyes. They come into Value City Arena today off of a 10 point loss to Illinois, and tied for fourth place in the Big 10 with Indiana and Purdue, but only one game out of first place. There are currently six teams in the Big 10 who are either in first place or are only one game out of first place. Every game at this point is going to be critical to win in the quest for conference champion.
Expect today's game to be an exciting one. In the last game Ohio State was taken somewhat off guard by the quality of play by the Hoosiers. This time they should be ready for them, and it should be a very different game. It will still be a game that will be hard-fought by both teams. Expect the Buckeyes to get off to their regular slow start, then gradually build into a rhythm after which they will dominate. Anticipate a close score at half-time, then Ohio State winning the game by 10-15 points.
They are, after all, in Value City Arena.
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