The 5th seeded Ohio State Buckeyes (23-8, 10-8) will begin defense of their 2013 Big Ten Tournament Championship with a Thursday afternoon game against the 12th seeded Purdue Boilermakers (15-16, 5-13). 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 BTN.
The Boilermakers staggered home at the end of the season; they went 2-11 over the last seven weeks, and ended the regular season on a 6-game losing streak. So, it’s safe to say that the Boilermakers aren’t exactly peaking going into the B1G Tournament. This is the first time that Purdue has finished last in the Conference, so it’s been a season-long challenge for them. Here’s the aggregate statistics of key players against Ohio State in regular season play:
A.J. Hammons also blocked 8 shots in the two games. Clearly, Hammons will continue to present a challenge to Williams/McDonald. Let’s hope that LQR doesn’t get matched up defensively against AJ.
Ohio State University Buckeyes
Over a comparable period, the Buckeyes were 8-3. Not terrific, but not a bad closing kick going into tournament play. They still have times with interior play, however Trey McDonald has had a couple pretty solid games of late, and LaQuinton Ross has been more active in the paint over the past few games. Trey’s improvement will come in handy against A.J. Hammons, because he and Amir Williams will be in a tag-team against him.
Here’s the aggregate statistics of key players against Purdue in regular season play:
|32||L. Smith Jr.||6’4″||G||30||6|
If Thad can keep his players focused, Ohio State should come away with the win. These teams are on opposite trajectories. Having said that, my ‘qualification’ stands; if OSU takes Purdue lightly, Purdue has a good chance of winning this game.
The game is Thursday afternoon, tipping off at 2:30 (or so) PM EST. Television coverage will be provided by BTN, 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