TIME / TV: 6:30pm ET on Big Ten Network
Ohio State will be playing it's first game this year as the number one team in the country. They shall not look past Iowa, as they did give the Buckeyes a scare on the road on January 4th.
Ohio State is looking to show improvement in this game, they have won four close games to Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Penn State. Not exactly, top-ranked teams, excluding Minnesota. Coach Thad Matta agrees that his Buckeyes must improve if they want to live up to their "lofty" expectations as the number one team in the country. They need to improve because playing games at Illinois, at Purdue, at Michigan State, at Wisconsin and at Minnesota, games that are all still on the schedule, won't be an easy task. Those games are all games that the Buckeyes could get beat in. Bringing any of those teams to your home court is a challenge, none the less going on the road to face them.
Iowa has yet to get their first Big Ten win, and Coach Fran McCaffery has yet to beat a Big Ten team, while at Iowa. They are 0-5 in the conference.
Ohio State is a familiar opponent to Coach McCaffery. You may recall not too long ago, Siena knocked off a great Ohio State team in a huge upset in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.Ohio State is lead by many scoring options such as Jared Sullinger, William Buford, David Lighty and Jon Diebler.
Iowa is lead by Matt Gatens, Bryce Cartwright and Eric May, who all average double digit scoring.
Iowa is really no match for Ohio State at home, and according to ESPN they have only a four percent chance of a victory while, Ohio State has 96 percent chance of victory.
All numbers aside, if Iowa could pull off this upset, it would be one of the most historical things to happen to Iowa in a long long time.
Overall, I don't think that happens though. I think OSU will win comfortably, as predicted. Iowa might challenge at times, they did challenge Minnesota on the road, but then again, I don't think it will be the Iowa Hawkeyes night. But prove me wrong, half of the conference would love to see Iowa challenge the number one team on the road.