Iowa will host undefeated Ohio State tonight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena tonight, looking to hand the Buckeyes their first loss of the season. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Ohio State is 14-0 overall and got the conference season off to a good start when it beat Minnesota at home on New Year's Eve. Tuesday night's game will be the Buckeyes' last tuneup for their first matchup with a ranked team since Novermber, a tilt with No. 21 Minnesota on Sunday at home.
Iowa, 7-6 overall, dropped its first conference game at home against Illinois last Wednesday. The Hawkeyes have had a lot of time to prepare for the mighty Buckeyes, however, so it should be interesting to see what kind of shot Fran McCaffery's squad gives the Ohio State Tuesday night.
Keys to the game after the jump.
When Ohio State Has The Ball
- Obviously, stopping Jared Sullinger will be among the top and toughest priorities for Iowa. The freshman forward is averagin 17.6 points per game and has been tearing through opponents' front courts so far this season. If Iowa can slow him down, it should do wonders for them, but it'll be tough to do that with no one close to Sullinger's 6'9" seeing significant minutes to match up with him.
- The Buckeyes shoot very well from deep, averaging over 40% from the arc on the season. If Iowa can cut into that a little bit, it might slow down the potent Buckeyes offense, ranked No. 11 in the country, to a point where the game can be kept competitive.
When Iowa Has The Ball
- The Hawkeyes need all three of their big double digit scorers to be on Tuesday night. Matt Gatens (12.5 points per game), Eric May (11.2) and Bryce Cartwright (10.5) make up the backbone of the Iowa attack and with any one of them having an off night, it'll be very hard for the Hawkeyes to pull an upset.
- Iowa is only averaging 64% from the line. That's not going to cut it against Ohio State. The Hawkeyes need to cash in on the cheapies to have a chance.
This one really shouldn't be too tough for the Buckeyes. Iowa is getting better but it's still not really close to being able to match Ohio State's fire power. With the game at home, expect Iowa to perhaps land a punch or two early, but by the end of the night, look for the Bucks to escape Iowa City relatively unscathed.