The No. 15 Michigan Wolverines hit the road again tonight in Big Ten college basketball action against the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes. The game is scheduled for a 9 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Ohio State as a small favorite here in this game.
Rivalry week continues on ESPN tonight as the Wolverines and Buckeyes battle in their only meeting of the regular season. Ohio State being favored isn't a big surprise. The Buckeyes have been pretty solid at home this season, going 14-2. Reports have the students standing out in the freezing weather waiting for this team and the rival Wolverines.
The Buckeyes have won three straight games in the conference and have climbed back into the rankings. Ohio State got as high as No. 3 in the rankings this season before reaching the conference slate and dropping five of their 11 games so far. Now the co-conference leader Michigan enters Columbus looking to continue leading the league. A win here tonight over Ohio State would give Michigan a half-game lead over Michigan State as the Spartans don't play until Thursday against Northwestern.
This matchup tonight at Ohio State is Michigan's third conference road game in 10 days. They were blown out Saturday by Iowa and need a good showing here tonight in order to get back on track. Nik Stauskus is one of the best pure scorers in the country and he's struggled on the road at times this season. He's averaging 17 points per game and also leads the Wolverines in 3.7 assists per game. Glen Robinson III needs to come with a great effort tonight. When he plays well, Michigan wins.
The Wolverines have not won in Columbus in more than 11 years.
The battle inside tonight with Michigan's Jon Horford, Jordan Morgan and Ohio State's Amir Williams will be critical. Neither team is great at rebounding the basketball, so the interior game will be important. Michigan is a very good shooting team and even if they trail in the second half, they can't be counted out too early.
Ohio State will rely on Aaron Craft's defense and the scoring of LaQuinton Ross. The guard combination will battle with Michigan's 3-guard set of Stauskus, Derrick Walton Jr. and Caris LeVert. Michigan has taken some lumps on the road but they've also picked up some solid wins on the road as well. Michigan has already won at Nebraska, at Wisconsin and at Michigan State to name a few. We like their ability to knock down big shots tonight against Ohio State.
In the only scheduled matchup between these schools, expect a big time effort from both schools. Ohio State is going to be fueled by the energy of their crowd, but Michigan will be able to silence them with their shooting. This should be a fun one to watch.
Free Pick: Michigan 71, Ohio State 67
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