One team is ranked #14 in the country, boosts the leading scorer in the best conference in the country, boosts at least one defensive dynamo in the backcourt, and is looking to build up their confidence before critical league games in a few weeks. The other is Penn State, crippled by the loss of their best player to injury, and is just trying to build up a young team and find a way to steal a Big Ten victory or two.
That victory probably won't be today, even though the game is at Penn State. OSU has beaten the Nittany Lions 16 times in a row under Matta, with the last three by an average of 18.7 points. That margin is certainly within reach tonight, although Matta would probably be just as happy if the Buckeyes are consistent in effort and output over the entire game.
The key matchup here is with the backcourts. Penn State's scoring is dominated by their guard duo of D.J Newbill and Jermaine Marshall, who have accounted for more than half of Penn State's scoring in conference play. Both guards can get to the basket and fill it up, but they've also been careless with the basketball, averaging 7.1 turnovers during Big Ten play. With noted ballhawks Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott on the other side, this matchup has serious mismatch potential. If Penn State can be efficient offensively without falling into the turnover trap though, they have a chance.
A big one? Probably not, but that's why we play the basketball games on courts, instead of on blogs.
Join us in the comments thread! Be good to each other, and we'll all get along just fine.
|Ohio State Buckeyes||Penn State Nittany Lions|
|14-4, 4-2 | #14||8-11, 0-7|
|Date:||January 26th, 2013 ||Location:||State College, PA |
|Time:||12:00 p.m. ET ||Arena:||Bryce Jordan Center|
|TV:||ESPN2 - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware 1302 HD/32 SD, WOW! 222 HD/34 SD, DirecTV 209, DISH 144||Spread:||Penn State +13.5|
|Radio:||WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460||Over/Under:||129.0|
|Internet:||WatchESPN||SBN Affiliate:||Black Shoe Diaries|
|Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians - except for the occasional mountain lion steak.|