Panic was palpable in Columbus, and felt all the way through the Midwest corridor. Nothing was falling for Buckeye Nation, except for the temperatures of the bitter cold. Frostbite, hypothermia and hysteria setting in, the Ohio State Buckeyes needed some form of warmth, and they found it in the least likely place: on the road.
Ohio state (18-5, 5-5) snapped a three-game road losing streak by knocking off the Wisconsin Badgers, and carried that momentum into another upset victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes. Before getting to .500 in Big Ten play, the Buckeyes were expected by man to drop 3 of their next four, and drop down to 4-8 in league play and possibly out of contention for a NCAA Tournament bid. I told you Thad Matta wouldn't let that happen.
Ohio State looks to continue in their winning ways Saturday against the Purdue Boilermakers followed by their only showdown of the year against Michigan on Tuesday. The Bucks' are only four games back of first place, with both the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans remaining on their schedule. The Spartans get a visit from Ohio State for the regular season finale, and that could go a long way in deciding the Big Ten title.
After the Wolverines come to town and before Keith Appling and Aaron Craft square off, the Buckeyes have a five game stretch against the bottom of the Big Ten. If the Bucks' approach each game as a must win, they could very well control their own destiny going into the last week of the season ... with a little help.
The offense has seemed to find its rhythm, shooting a combined 47% in it's last two wins. Aaron Craft's 17 points against Iowa was a welcome sign, as the averages just over nine points per contest. His outing was his best in Big Ten play offensively, and definitely his most efficient, shooting 86% from the floor including 2-2 from deep. The theme going forward for the Buckeyes needs to be efficiency, offensively at least, because their defense will keep them in any contest.