“Ohio State is the lowest of all competitors today in positive momentum; they are 346th in the country in that particular metric.”
- Erik Haslam
No one ever said that Ohio State’s late Friday night matchup with Iowa State in round one of the NCAA tournament would be easy. The Cyclones are a very good team, fresh off a Big 12 title run, and the Buckeyes are, well, inconsistent at best, just plain bad at worst. On top of the natural mismatches that come with a 6v11 game in the tournament, Ohio State also apparently has one more thing working against it, according to Erik Haslam of haslametrics.com:
Momentum. Specifically, the fact that Ohio State is one of the least hot teams in the country, coming in at 346th in the momentum metric. Now, as mentioned further down in the thread, a lot of that can be chalked up to the Buckeyes playing their final three regular season game without star Kaleb Wesson. Ohio State has won three of their last five games with Wesson on the floor, including a blowout win over Iowa, but lost all three without him, which certainly impacted their “momentum metric” heading into tonight’s game.
Still, not ideal when playing such a great opponent.
Muhammad due for a big game?
It’s been a rough month or so for Luther Muhammad. After a solid start to the season for Ohio State’s highest rated freshman, Muhammad has hit one hell of a freshman wall, and turned into a bit of a non-factor, at least on the offensive side of the ball as of late. After scoring 20 against Penn State on February 7th, Luther has scored more than five points in the last 11 games just three times. He’s averaging 3.7 points per game, after averaging 9.7 in the first 20.
He told Cleveland dot com’s Stephen Means that he thinks his drought may be coming to a close soon though.
“I’ll say I think I’m maybe due for a good game,” Muhammad said Thursday. “I felt like I started hitting shots in the Big Ten Tournament so that’s putting me on the right track leading up to now. Coming into this game on the right track offensively.”
Getting the Luther from the early season back would obviously be a huge deal for the —at times— offensively challenged Buckeyes. If he can get his shots to fall tonight against the Cyclones, that could be the key for Ohio State to pull off the big upset and move onto the round of 32.
Everything you need to be ready for tonight’s game
We here at Land Grant Holy-land understand that it’s impossible for one person to fully keep up with the Ohio State world at all times. Luckily, we have a large staff, and that large staff has you covered from every possible angle, for everything you need to know before the Buckeyes square off with Iowa State tonight.
- Full preview for the game
- Why making the tournament is such a big deal
- Q&A with Wide Right Natty Light
- We’re still picking Ohio State to win the national title, despite all evidence indicating that they won’t
- A look at Ohio State’s recent tournament history
- A brand new podcast
- A full breakdown of Iowa State’s starting lineup
As you can tell, we’re pretty excited about the big game, and now you can be too. Go Bucks!