The Ohio State Buckeyes hit the road tonight in Big Ten college basketball action when they take on the No. 17 Iowa Hawkeyes. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Iowa favored at home in this one by a couple of possessions.
Ohio State is struggling in Big Ten action, winning only four of their nine conference games to this point in the season. Iowa has been getting beat up as well, but they've gotten out to a 6-3 conference mark and now they sit in third place overall in the Big Ten. Michigan and Michigan State, who both have victories over the Hawkeyes, sit above them in the conference standings.
Fran McCaffery's squad is very good in home games, winners of 11 of 12 contests there this season. In this contest we'll see a really good offensive club in the Hawkeyes and a really good defensive club in the Buckeyes. Which will come forward tonight and make the biggest impact in the game? Iowa is very good at scoring in home games. We'd certainly give them an edge in this game so far.
A victory here tonight would solidify the Hawkeyes as that third-best team in the Big Ten. The conference is one of the best in the country and having three teams at the top, ranked highly, will help them during seedings on Selection Sunday. Iowa lost at home to Michigan State last week in a game where the Spartans got them out of their comfort zone. But the Hawkeyes responded in their next game, beating Illinois.
Ohio State will look for a big game from defensive specialist Aaron Craft, who also is one of the best point guards in the conference. Iowa averages better than 84 points per game and they shoot better than 47 percent from the floor. The Buckeyes are going to have to slow that down anyway they can tonight. If any team can do it, Ohio State should be the one — they allow only 58.9 points per game to their opponents this season.
But the Buckeyes are just 3-3 on the road this season. That's not going to help them very much tonight. The Hawkeyes won at Ohio State in the first game between these clubs a couple of weeks ago. Prior to that Ohio State had won eight straight games over the Hawkeyes.
Roy Devyn Marble will look to score tonight. He leads the Hawkeyes at better than 16 points per game. Aaron White is the only other player for the Hawkeyes that averages in double figures. LaQuinton Ross leads the Buckeyes at better than 14 points per game while Lenzelle Smith Jr. tosses in nearly 12 per game. The duo that plays better tonight will determine who wins this game. We like Iowa to get the victory here.
Free Pick: Iowa 66, Ohio State 59
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