Many people are asking the same question this week: Will the Ohio State Buckeyes ever lose again?
Yes, they will. But when?
Chris Holtmann’s squad is currently riding a five-game winning streak, which is the programs first five-game winning streak since the 2021-2022 season. After winning just 16 games a year ago, Ohio State has an opportunity to stack some wins up before the calendar flips to 2024. More on this later.
Last week, Connor and Justin took a peak at Ohio State’s three-point shooting thus far and asked if the numbers are problematic or not. 55% of the readers sided with Connor, saying that the shooting from distance had some worrisome trends. 45% sided with Justin, saying that it is nothing to be concerned about.
After 128 weeks:
(There have been four ties)
Since losing to Texas A&M, Ohio State has rattled off five-straight wins, and will look to make it six in a row Sunday against Minnesota. As they continue to extend this streak, our eyes have begun to drift to the schedule to see which upcoming teams will pose the biggest threat to break the winning streak.
Today’s Question: How long will the Ohio State men’s basketball winning streak last?
Connor: Lose to Indiana on Jan. 6 (7 more wins)
After growing up with Ohio State basketball for many years, I am typically a jaded, “Let’s just wait and see,” type of person with this team. Especially after the past 10 years or so, I’m generally skeptical of Ohio State ending the season on a high note during any given year. I’m not sure if this year will be different or not — probably not.
But this team is playing very well right now, and is currently enjoying its first five-game winning streak in nearly two years. The last five-game winning streak took place from December 2021 to January 2022.
With several winnable games coming up, plus a few where Ohio State absolutely has a chance to win (even if they aren’t the favorite), this winning streak could actually stretch out for a few weeks or even a month longer. After looking at the schedule closely, I think Ohio State’s next loss will be Jan. 6, at Indiana.
That means seven more wins. That means a 13-1 record to start the year. It looks crazy on paper, but the Buckeyes should be favored to win each of their next seven games. Here’s why I think this streak could go on for a bit, based on the next several games:
Minnesota: Picked to finish last in the Big Ten. Minnesota beat Ohio State at home last year, and I don’t think the Buckeyes will let it happen again.
Miami: Not a bad MAC school. Still a MAC school.
Penn State: Might take some guts to win on the road, but it’s a completely new regime in Happy Valley. If Ohio State is a serious team, they have to win this one.
UCLA: Coin-flip game, but it feels like Ohio State has a better idea of what its identity is than UCLA does at this point of the season. The Bruins are very good defensively, but I couldn’t tell you who “the guy” is on that team. Seems like the Buckeyes match up well here on a netutral floor.
New Orleans: Just lost to Minnesota by 30.
West Virginia: Program is in a transition period. Really bad offensive team, and not a very deep bench.
Rutgers: Elite defensive team, will be a great test for Ohio State. Rutgers is No. 162 in the country in offensive efficiency, and the Buckeyes have shown big imrpovements on the defensive side of the ball this year.
Indiana: This is where I can’t see Ohio State winning. Indiana hasn’t been great this year, but Assembly Hall on a Saturday night is one of the wildest, loudest, and crudest environments to play in. Things tend to spiral out of control for visiting teams, and I’m just not sure if the Buckeyes will be able to control the game and pace playing at Assembly Hall.
If Ohio State was able to hypothetically rip off 12 consecutive wins, it would be the first time that’s happened since the Buckeyes opened the 2013-2014 season with 15 consecutive wins.
Justin: Lose to UCLA on Dec. 16 (3 more wins)
Normally, I am the optimistic one of the group, but I do think the winning streak will end at eight games, and they will fall in the CBS Sports Classic against UCLA.
I think they will beat Minnesota and Penn State, even though I think both games will be semi-close. Minnesota is the first conference game, and Dawson Garcia is good enough to keep it competitive. Penn State is on the road, and that is never an easy game for the Buckeyes, and they will beat Miami of Ohio by 20 points in a game that is never close.
Then, they will head to the CBS Sports Classic and take on UCLA. It is hard to get a gauge on UCLA, as they lost a lot of production to the draft last season, but they are extremely well-coached and reloaded well.
Adem Bona is a problem matchup for any team, averaging 15 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The main breakout star for the Bruins so far this season has been Sebastian Mack, who is averaging 15.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per contest.
This will be a close game, but I think the UCLA offense is tough to stop, and Ohio State won’t get enough stops down the stretch of the game. It won’t be the end of the world, but I have UCLA 76-70.
Obviously, I would love to be wrong.
What seems more reasonable?
This poll is closed
7 more wins, streak ends at 12 (Connor)
3 more wins, streak ends at 8 (Justin)