Do you feel it now, Mr. Krabs? That’s right, college basketball season is approaching with the quickness, which means we’re going to have a hell of a lot more stuff to talk about pretty soon than our favorite Bill Walton moments.
Ohio State tips off against Indianapolis in 24 days in an exhibition (open to fans!) and then will play Akron in their real home opener eight days later on Nov. 9. That means we are less than four weeks away from real, meaningful basketball where fans are in the stands. Let’s go.
The Buckeyes’ schedule starts off light with a few MAC foes as well as Niagara, but then begins to heat up a bit in late November. While Ohio State will likely be favored to beat Xavier and Seton Hall, neither of these games are shoe-in victories. Shortly afterwards, Ohio State will welcome Duke to the Schott, which will be one of the biggest home games in the history of the Schottenstein Center.
With all that said, when will Ohio State take their first loss? That is our question this week.
But first, a recap:
Last week, Connor and Justin picked their favorite Bill Walton moments, and you all voted on which one was funnier. Connor went with the 2015 “I’ve been milked” quote, where Walton gave no explanation to how or why he was milked. Justin went with the two times that Walton ate a cupcake — lit candle and all — on live television. By a count of 53%-47%, Justin’s cupcake fiasco won the vote, and he took the win.
After 22 weeks:
(There has been one tie)
But back to the topic at hand. When will the Buckeyes lose? Will they be upset before the Duke game? Will they lose the Duke game? Will Ohio State just keep on a-truckin’ right past Duke and into the new year? Here are our best guesses.
Today’s Question: Who will be the first team to beat Ohio State this season?
Connor: Duke (Nov. 30)
Listen, just because it’s the obvious choice doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Duke was the only school in the nation to pull in three 5-star recruit from the class of 2022 in Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, and Trevor Keels. Banchero and at least one of the two others will start against the Buckeyes alongside Duke holdovers such as Joey Baker and Wendell Moore, as well as Marquette transfer Theo John.
We talk a lot about how much “stars matter” vs keeping the core of a team together and relying on chemistry. Can Duke sustain their high turnover every season by rolling out the most talented team in the country and assuming they’ll figure it out? Yes, they do nearly every year.
Banchero is a 6-foot-9, 235-pound SF who is going to give someone absolute fits. I’m not sure if that’ll be E.J. Liddell, Justice Sueing, or Kyle Young that’s matched up on him, but he’s going to be a problem. Banchero alone will be worth the cost of admission, and there will certainly be NBA scouts in attendance on November 30.
Keels and Griffin are both insanely talented as well, as both were ranked inside the top-20 of the 2022 class according to 247Sports. E.J Liddell is a better basketball player than the aforementioned baby Blue Devils, but Duke may have the three most talented players on the floor during this game with their trio of phenomenal freshmen.
This pick has a lot to do with the teams Ohio State plays before Duke, too. Akron, Niagara, and Bowling Green are easy on paper. Seton Hall and Florida at a neutral site could result in a small slip-up, but I think more likely not, the Buckeyes win those few. That means Ohio State would be 6-0 heading into the Duke game, and I just think Duke is the more talented team.
As a fan, I hope Ohio State sends Coach K packing and interrupts his lovely farewell tour. But as the nonbiased sports journalist that I also am, this game with the Blue Devils is going to be about as tough as it gets this year for the Bucks.
Justin: At Indiana (Jan. 6)
The true answer that I wanted to put here is never, but lets be honest, that likely isn’t true. The Buckeyes will lose multiple games. This is college basketball everyone but Gonzaga will lose games. Gonzaga will just wait until March to do it. Nevertheless, I like Connor’s pick of Duke, but I do think the Buckeyes veteran leadership and experience will help them get through that game.
The Buckeyes finishing their non-conference schedule undefeated will not be easy, but it is not impossible. The two main tough games are Duke and Kentucky, both talented teams, but young and unproven at spots. Seton Hall, Florida and Xavier are all talented teams too, but the Buckeyes can take down all of them.
Also, this Indiana game is one of the first really tough Big Ten games. The first three they play before this one are Penn State, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Those games don’t exactly scream 0-3 this season. Most likely, they scream 3-0.
Not to mention, this is a road game. Which means it is not just any road game, it is one where they are heading to Assembly Hall. One of the toughest venues to play at in the country and a place that no one has sustained too much success.
They also have Trayce Jackson-Davis. Jackson-Davis is one of the more talented and versatile big men in the conference and is a nightmare matchup for most teams the Hoosiers will play, but especially for the Buckeyes. He is athletic enough to make Kyle Young and EJ Liddell work hard and he is big enough to go up against Zed Key and Joey Brunk. Brunk is a former Hoosier so that could help, but with a new coach coming in, the game plan and culture will likely be different.
Who will be the first team to beat Ohio State this season?
This poll is closed
They’re not going to lose.....period.