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tBBC tBBC MBB Pregame Glance: OSU vs. *ichigan State


tBBC MBB Pregame Glance: OSU vs. *ichigan State
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


(photo courtesy msn.foxsports.com)

On Tuesday at Value City Arena, The Ohio State University MBB will meet up with the Spartans of *ichigan State for the first time this year. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. tip-off. You can watch the game on ESPN or listen to it on 97.1. Or both..

The Buckeyes are on a nice 4-game win streak which began back on Feb., 9th against Northwestern – 71-63, followed by Feb., 13th versus Rutgers – 79-69, and the sweet one, Feb., 16th against the road-kill up North (TTUN) 76-66, then this past Saturday’s nice (but totally needed) victory against the Cornhuskers in Lincoln in OT – 65-62.

In that victory against Nebraska there were four players in double figures; led by JaQuan Lyle with 19 points, Keita Bates-Diop with 16, Marc Loving adding 15, and Jae’Sean Tate delivering another 15 – and having a double-double with 12 rebounds which led the game for all rebounders.

The season’s leaders for the Buckeyes have not changed. Marc Loving continues to lead scorers with a 12.6 average, though Kieta Bates-Diop is close behind with a 12.0 average. Rebounding remains the same as well with Kieta Bates-Diop snatching 6.5 boards for an average. Assists belong solely to JaQuan Lyle who is averaging out with a 4.3 per game.

The Buckeyes are on a nice roll and are playing hard. Their talent, which we all knew existed, is beginning to hit stride at the right time.

But now – here come the Spartans of up North.

The Spartans in Tuesday’s match-up with OSU is on winning streak themselves – two – the last one being against Wisconsin on Feb., 18th 69-57. In that, Denzel Valentine led the Spartans in 35 minutes of play hitting for 24 points and having an amazing 10 assists. Bryn Forbes in 32 minutes of playtime scored 17 points, and Eron Harris was good for another 10 points in his 25 minutes of play. Their rebounder leader would be Deytona Davis with 9 boards while their season leader Matt Costello snatched 7.

They looked good against Wisconsin who is a quality opponent.

Denzel Valentine is their star. He leads all of his teammates in scoring thus far this season, hardly appearing to be on the verge of relinquishing this title with his average of 19.7, followed by Bryn Forbes who is nailing down 14.1 per game.

The Buckeyes are currently 18-10 overall and 10-5 in the conference. *ichigan State on the other hand is 22-5 overall and 9-5 in conference (all loses within the Big 10). The Buckeyes have three games remaining: 2 against *ichigan State and one against Iowa. Iowa is either 4 or 6 in the rankings – depending on which one you want to believe. MSU is either 8 or 9. What this means – simply the Buckeyes have their hands full.

The Buckeyes are currently on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament. If they win one of these three remaining games – I think they will make a good case – regardless of their status in the Big 10 Tournament. But if they do “exceptionally” well in the Big 10 Tournament along with 1 victory out of the three games remaining – they should concretely be invited to the dance.

The conclusion: The Buckeyes future is in their own hands. They beat TTUN while Vegas had them listed as underdogs. The Cornhuskers too were favored (which confuses me). So, call me an optimist, bring on the Spartans. I feel our Buckeyes are playing as good as it takes to win. They are “smash-mouth” basketball right now – and I love this time of the year.

Let’s be brave: The Buckeyes will win and do so with a more convincing performance than any of us perceive at this moment.

The post tBBC MBB Pregame Glance: OSU vs. *ichigan State appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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