Ohio State Basketball: Predicting The Finishing Stretch Of The Big Ten

Ohio State Basketball: Predicting The Finishing Stretch Of The Big Ten

BuckeyeWire

Ohio State Basketball: Predicting The Finishing Stretch Of The Big Ten


It’s been a great season so far no matter how you spin it for Ohio State. But the season’s not done. There’s still the nibble of a carrot out there called a Big Ten Championship to worry about. But can the Buckeyes seal the deal?


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Where Will Ohio State Finish In The Big Ten?

Okay, we’re almost there, and somehow, someway the Buckeyes sit in first place in the Big Ten with just four games to play. But the road in front of them is filled with potholes and animal crossings. Three out of four are on the road at less than friendly places to play.

So let’s take a look and predict how each matchup will go and where Ohio State is likely to finish. Before we do, let’s discuss what the two programs breathing down the neck of OSU have in front of them and what the projection for each is.

Purdue (12-2)

The Boilermakers are just one game back, and also have just four games to play.

02/15 – @ Wisconsin (WIN)

02/18 – Penn State (WIN)

02/22 – @ Illinois (WIN)

02/25 – Minnesota (WIN)

Projected finish: 16-2 (Tied For First) – No. 1 Seed

Maybe things get dicey against a surging Penn State squad, but I think the schedule is very favorable for the Boilers to win out. The two roadies are against two struggling teams, and there’s just no way I think Minnesota can muster enough desire to win in West Lafayette.

Michigan State (12-2)

Sparty is tied with Purdue and also has four games left to make an impression.

02/13 – @ Minnesota (WIN)

02/17 – @ Northwestern (WIN)

02/20 – Illinois (WIN)

02/25 – @ Wisconsin (WIN)

Projected Finish: 16-2 (Tied for First) – No. 2 Seed

There’s three road games here, but Minnesota is a shell of what it was earlier in the year, Northwestern has had issues recreating the magic of last year, and Wisconsin is a few hops of barley short of a cold brew and brat this year.

Now, let’s look at the Buckeyes’ remaining schedule:

Ohio State (13-1)

02/15 – @ Penn State (LOSS)

02/18 – @ Michigan (LOSS)

02/20 – Rutgers (WIN)

02/23 – @ Indiana (WIN)

Projected Finish: 15-3 (3rd) – No. 3 Seed

There’s no doubt that Ohio State has the toughest remaining schedule of the three contenders. Like Michigan State, there are three road games. Unlike Michigan State, there are some challenges there. It’s not hard to see at least two losses here on the way out the door.

Penn State is playing very well lately and has already beaten OSU in Columbus, and Michigan is a great shooting team that seems to get a boost with the home crowd. Indiana is starring in a Big Ten renovation project this year, but even they have taken teams like Purdue and Michigan State to the wire in Bloomington.

Even if OSU ends up finishing as the No. 3 team, you can’t take away from what this it’s been able to accomplish this year. And who knows, maybe the Scarlet and Gray continue to prove all the doubters wrong and waltz into Madison Square Garden as the No. 1 seed.

Funnier things have happened, and happened this year now that I think about it.

 

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