The The #24 Ohio State Buckeyes (21-6. 8-6) host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-10, 6-8) this Saturday evening. The Buckeyes are out to avenge a 63-53 loss to the Gophers on January 19th. More importantly, the Buckeyes are in the midst of a five game stretch prior to the regular season finale against Michigan State. Currently, the Buckeyes sit in 5th place in the conference, one game behind Wisconsin. Ohio State wants to overtake them to get into the top four to earn a 1st round bye in the B1G Tourney.
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The #11 Ohio State Buckeyes (15-2, 2-2), have dropped two consecutive games and 8 positions in the national rankings. Now they travel to The Barn to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2). Ohio State is coming off a bit of a beat down against Iowa, while Minnesota took MSU to overtime before losing 87-75. Both teams sit at middle of the pack in conference play and need to start winning, since they have each lost against B1G leader Michigan State. In overtime, no less..
Here’s their Profile:
Coming off a tough home loss to the Michigan State Spartans, the Buckeyes were looking to try to get back on track in the Big Ten. Getting a big road win, especially with the kind of focus the Buckeyes displayed in the victory, was important to see after how poorly the team looked against Michigan State. For a while the Bucks looked like they had the game easily under control, but give the Gophers credit for making a fight of it by the end of the game.
William Buford got it going early for the Buckeyes. He sank two quick outside shots, including a three pointer, and a nice floater on the left side before any other Buckeye even attempted a shot. Buford looked extremely focused all game and clearly wanted this win in a big way. He eventually scored 10 straight points without missing a shot before Minnesota began to find a way to defend him better. However, how Buford start’s a game is a good indicator of how the whole game will go – and Buford again had an excellent game.
Minnesota wasn’t just going to let that happen in their house lying down. Andre and Austin Hollins (unrelated) sank a couple sweet long range shots to help the Gophers keep the score close early. The vast majority of of the Gopher’s early points came from outside in the first few minutes as the OSU defense did a good job of shutting Minnesota down in the paint. It came as no surprise with Trevor Mbakwe out for the season.
The Buckeyes travel to the Barn to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the teams’ only meeting this season! The game is on ESPN, scheduled to tip at 9 PM EST. Leading off on ESPN is Florida at Alabama, only a moderate risk of an overtime game.
While you wait, go checkout our Buckeye Blogger Network friends! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 8:30 PM for the start of our liveblog.
Tubby Smith’s troops took one in the chin last year, but you can bet that they’re ready to go this time around. Unfortunately, they’re a little light in experienced ball players this year around, and are missing a couple of key players from last season. Al Nolen, Blake Hoffarber and Colton Iverson (transfer to Colorado State) are all gone from what could have been a very successful team last season.
Take this as a compliment, but I for one am fervently thankful that Hoffarber has graduated and moved on from Minnesota. Easily one of the most dangerous sharp-shooters in the Big Ten last year – and considering the company that puts him with, that’s saying something – Hoffarber drove defenders, and me, nuts with his devastating three-balls. Every time he would spot up for a trey you simply knew it was going down, and it was honestly a surprise when it didn’t.
Well, ok, that only really ever happened against the Buckeyes, but it was still very annoying.
We continue our preseason Big Ten conference previews with the Hoffarber-less Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota fans, we’ll wait while you avert your eyes. I’m sure you don’t want to relive this crime against your basketball team again, and I can’t say I blame you. Read More