The #5 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (24-8, 10-8) got past bottom-dwelling Purdue and now faces #4 seed Nebraska Cornhuskers (19-11, 11-7). This is the second game of the day and is scheduled to start 25 minutes after conclusion of the first game. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 or so, and television coverage will be provided by ESPN2, check local listings.
Ohio State and Nebraska twice this season, with each team winning on their home court. The Buckeyes won in Columbus, 84-53 (review and recap) and the Cornhuskers won 68-62 (preview and recap) in Lincoln.
University Of Nebraska
The Cornhuskers finished the season on a strong stretch. After beating Ohio State on January 20th, Nebraska went 10-3, including eight of their last nine games. Their defeat of Wisconsin on Sunday moved them into the 4th seed. Here’s the aggregate statistics of key players against Ohio State in regular season play:
Ohio State University Buckeyes
Over a comparable period, the Buckeyes were 8-4. Not terrific, but not a bad closing kick going into tournament play. They had troubles with interior defense in their previous game against Nebraska, getting outscored 38-26 in the paint. Also, from the table below, in the two games this season, Amir had a total of four rebounds. He needs to play more inspired ball than that on Friday.
Here’s the aggregate statistics of key players against Nebraska in regular season play:
|33||A. Della Valle||6’5″||G||19||5|
|32||L. Smith Jr.||6’4″||G||13||7|
I’d like to think that Ohio State will come away with the win. The Buckeyes aren’t playing bad right now, but the Huskers are playing better and with a lot of confidence. One difference may be the absence of Nebraska’s Deverell Biggs, who scored 11 points in their win against Ohio State. He was dismissed from the team just days after that game, but as mentioned in the “Nebraska” section, they’ve done well without him. So, maybe it won’t make a difference.
The game is Friday afternoon, tipping off at 2:30 (or so) PM EST. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN2, check local listings. Live chat coverage will be provided by tBBC, check back here. Please join us for our live chat approximately 30 minutes before tip-off.
Note: Player and team stats courtesy of statsheet.com