Big Ten Tournament: Ohio State vs. Penn State Preview and Prediction

Big Ten Tournament: Ohio State vs. Penn State Preview and Prediction

BuckeyeWire

Big Ten Tournament: Ohio State vs. Penn State Preview and Prediction


Things haven’t gone well for Ohio State when it has matched up against Penn State this year, but now there’s a chance for redemption in the Big Ten Tournament. It’s survive and advance.


No. 2 Seed Ohio State (24-7) (15-3) vs. No. 7 Seed Penn State (20-12) (9-9) Game Preview

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Friday, March 2
Game Time: 6:30 pm ET
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Network: BTN


Contact @PhilHarrisonBW

Here we go again, another shot to slay the Nittany Lion best. Despite having only a .500 record in the league, Penn State has had Ohio State’s number this year, beating the Buckeyes the first two times they’ve faced each other.

Sometimes teams just don’t matchup well against others, and that seems to be the case here. However, this is a different situation, in a different arena, and with a key player for Penn State missing — big man Mike Watkins.

Can the Buckeyes get it done when it matters most and march into the semifinals?

Ohio State Short Attention Span Game Plan

On defense for Ohio State, this one’s all about containing Tony Carr. With limited options inside because of the health of center Mike Watkins, Carr will try and shoulder the load more than ever. He can be up to the task when he’s on, but it’ll be up to the Buckeyes to make life difficult on him, force him into bad looks and then keep the Nittany Lions of the boards.

Don’t be surprised if Chris Holtmann rotates Ketita Bates-Diop over to guard Carr at times. He’s got length and enough quickness to pester Carr and really make him work.

On offense, the absence of Watkins could also be key. Look for Ohio State to try and exploit the absence of his size by moving the offense through the post first.

There should be ample space for Kaleb Wesson, Jae’Sean Tate, and at times Diop to post up the matchup that works. From there, it’s get into good position to make a play in the paint, or if a double team comes, kick it out to the perimeter for an open look.

Key Player For Ohio State

It’s got to be Kaleb Wesson. The Ohio State big man played okay when Watkins was in the lineup bit he’s got to be better. With him out, Wesson should be able to use body and footwork to get plenty of clean looks down low.

There’s really nobody else that can provide the resistance Watkins did in the paint, and Wesson must take advantage and put up some big numbers.

There’s work that needs done on the boards too. With Watkin’s 8.9 rebounds per game sitting on the bench, Wesson will need to clean the glass and keep second chance opportunities to a minimum.

How It’ll All Go Down

Ohio State’s struggles against an athletically gifted Penn State squad are well-chronicled. If this turns into a matchup game on the perimeter, it could be a long day again for the Scarlet and Gray.

But I don’t think this year’s team will let that happen. There’s too much pride and hunger on the line and the Buckeyes will clamp down more on the guards and make Penn State work for quality shots inside the arc. OSU has something to prove.

Penn State will hit some shots and go on some runs, but with the absence of Watkins, a hungry and determined Ohio State team will pull it out late.

Final Score

Ohio State 69, Penn State 64

Line

Coming …

 

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