For a team picked to finish anywhere from second to sixth in the Big Ten heading into the season, the unexpected emergence of D'Angelo Russell into one of the two or three best players in the entire country was a pleasant surprise. Of course given some of the higher end of those predictions -- along with the lofty standards Thad Matta's raised a once mostly dormant OSU basketball program to -- the season that followed was equal parts frustrating in its own right.
But that all gets pushed aside now, as the win-or-go-home portion of the season is finally upon us.
Though expectations presently range from jaded/cynical-to-just-plain downtrodden amongst some of the more casual in Buckeye Nation, Ohio State's postseason roads begins in the West Region.
Though in all likelihood this is the only time we'll see Russell in the postseason, a disappointing-by-their-recruiting rankings senior class can alter their legacy with but a few more quick pushes, and he'll play a major part in that. If Thad Matta is able to shock the world (and certainly Buckeye Nation) and make a sustained run with this group, it could represent one of his better coaching jobs, despite the way this season by and large played out.