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No. 11 Ohio State vs No. 6 Iowa State: Matchup to Watch

Paired up with the Big 12 tournament champs, the Buckeyes have to be at their best

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Michigan State vs Ohio State David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the key to Ohio State basketball is Kaleb Wesson, the post-specialist center averaging 14.4 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. While lacking in height at 6-foot-9, he makes up for with his massive strength at 270 pounds.

Michigan State completely shut him down with a combination of Nick Ward and Xavier Tillman, forcing him to foul out and only play 16 minutes. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, that may not be a problem against the undersized Iowa State Cyclones, led by 6-foot-9 forward Michael Jacobson, who only weighs in at 231 pounds.

Big Ten fans may recognize the name Michael Jacobson. Two years ago he played for Nebraska and while he started, didn’t put up nearly the type of numbers he is now with Iowa State, averaging 11.5 PPG and 6.0 RPG. Why is that the case? That’s a whole other story that I won’t get into right now.

Iowa State is much better than Ohio State, but this matchup between Wesson and Jacobson could be a game changer. Feeding the ball into the post, Iowa State will be forced to double team or foul, Wesson is too good.

Not to mention Jacobson is a long, versatile forward, he doesn’t spend too much time down low. He will have to change positions to deal with Ohio State’s post-scoring, and it remains to be seen if he can do that. Back with Nebraska, Jacobson played the 4 position, and struggled with the Big Ten brutes for centers.

Marial Shayok and Lindell Wigginton will feast on Ohio State’s back court, but if the Buckeyes want to stand a chance, they must feed the ball down low. Wesson is the only way OSU wins, can he handle the pressure?