After flinching big time in the final three minutes of their 66-64 loss at Rutgers this week, Ohio State (14-6, 7-4) will try to pick up a Quad-1 win tonight when they tussle with the Michigan Wolverines (13-9, 7-5) at Crisler Arena. The Buckeyes are 3-5 in true road games this season — in addition to their loss at Rutgers, they have also lost at Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Xavier.
Tonight’s game tips off at 6:00 p.m. ET and is Ohio State’s fourth ESPN game of the season. The Buckeyes are currently 2.5-point underdogs according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and are 2-4 this season when Vegas picks against them. Currently, the moneyline for Michigan is -135 while it sits at +115 for the Buckeyes. Total points sits at 140.5 for tonight’s B1G rumble.
Michigan has been shaky all season long, but appears to have turned a corner recently. During their nonconference slate they were pulverized by Arizona and North Carolina, while also losing to UCF (KenPom No. 98) and Seton Hall, who Ohio State beat on a buzzer-beater shortly thereafter.
After a 1-3 start in conference play that included an embarrassing loss at home to Minnesota, the reigning Big Ten champions have won six of their last eight games, including a 24-point blowout of No. 3 Purdue just two nights ago. Juwan Howard’s squad knocked down 57% of their three-pointers and each starter scored in double-digits. On the season, Michigan is a 36% three-point shooting team.
Now five years into his tenure at Ohio State, Chris Holtmann knows the OSU-Michigan basketball rivalry isn’t quite as toxic as football, but he still has no interest in losing to TTUN.
Holtmann on the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry: "Any time you're playing against a quality team and a rival, there's certainly gonna be heightened whatever you want to call it. We're well aware of the quality of program they've had for a decade and a half plus."— Griffin Strom (@GriffinStrom3) February 11, 2022
Last season, the Wolverines won the lone regular-season matchup between the two teams, 92-87 in Columbus on Feb. 21, 2021. The Buckeyes got revenge in the Big Ten Tournament, dispatching the top-seeded Wolverines 68-67 in the BTT semifinals.
What say you? Can the Buckeyes buck their road woes and knock off the defending Big Ten champs?