Ohio State vs. Michigan Basketball Game Preview And Prediction

Ohio State vs. Michigan Basketball Game Preview And Prediction

BuckeyeWire

Ohio State vs. Michigan Basketball Game Preview And Prediction


Ohio State is coming off of perhaps its worst performance of the year in a blowout loss to Penn State. It still controls its own destiny in the race for the regular season Big Ten crown, but can the Buckeyes rebound in Ann Arbor?


Ohio State (22-6) (13-2) vs. Michigan (21-7) (10-5) Game Preview

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Sunday, February 18
Game Time: 1:00 pm ET
Venue: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Network: CBS


Contact @PhilHarrisonBW

Suddenly, this Buckeye squad looks like it is coming back down to Earth after a tough loss at Penn State, and it wasn’t the fact that OSU lost the game, it was how it lost the game.

There appeared to be a lack of effort, focus and attention, and it resulted in a hole the Buckeyes just couldn’t pull out of.

The road doesn’t get any easier, as Ohio State must bow-up, and go on the road again to play a Michigan team that is nationally ranked at No. 22, and headed themselves to the NCAA tournament.

The Buckeyes are still in a share of first in the Big Ten, but can ill-afford to slip up anywhere else if it still has designs of hanging one of the most unexpected and astounding banners in its program history.

Ohio State Short Attention Span Game Plan

This Michigan team has shooters all over the court that like to space the floor and spread you out. The guards can all penetrate, move the ball, and knock down threes, and the big men like Moe Wagner can also step out and drill shots from deep.

The Maize and Blue can be a matchup nightmare when the shots are falling.

The good news for Ohio State is that the template to beat the Wolverines has already been set based on the second half of the first game in Columbus. In that one, defenders began to close things out on the perimeter and make the outside shooting tough.

Then it was an effort to keep Michigan off the boards and limit second chances. OSU mixed up defenses, but played mostly man to not allow uncontested looks from beyond the arc. That same effort needs to travel in this one too.

On the offensive end, Keita Bates-Dion and C.J. Jackson had big days, mostly finding room getting inside a Michigan defense that lacks the height and length of other teams.

It doesn’t have to be the same two players, but getting in a three-point shooting competition with the Wolverines — who have been much sharper as of late — will result in another embarrassing day on the road.

Get dribble drives, look for the defense to collapse, and use the pass to get open looks inside the arc. Then crash the boards hard.

Key Player For Ohio State

C.J. Jackson. He showed up big in Columbus. Jackson was able to beat his man off the dribble and either score in the lane, or draw fouls on the Michigan defense. He also chipped in two threes, but made seven of eight free throws because of his ability to create. He finished with 17 points to pace a furious comeback.

He appears to have lost a bit of confidence over the last few games, but OSU needs him to be more aggressive and push the action when it makes sense. Be strong with the ball, distribute to the open player, but when he has the good shot, take it.

How It’ll All Go Down

This is going to be a tough one for Ohio State I’m afraid. Michigan has been extremely tough at home, only dropping one game to Purdue by just one point.

The Wolverines have a tendency to live and die by the three at times, but more often than not, the comfortability of playing at home, with the crowd backing them results in a good shooting night. It’ll be a surprise if Michigan has any issues dropping shots in this one.

Look for the Buckeyes to bounce back with a better showing, but one that ultimately falls up a bit short.

Final Score

Michigan 72, Ohio State 64

Line

Michigan -3

 

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