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1/18 Big Ten Preview: OSU at Nebraska

Preview all of Wednesday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten was supposed to have two games on Wednesday, but after Iowa at Northwestern was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, there is only one game on the docket. Ohio State will travel to face Nebraska in an intriguing matchup.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Ohio State Buckeyes at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State by 5

On January 1st, Ohio State was sitting pretty. The Buckeyes were 10-3 overall, 2-0 in Big Ten play, and were coming off a huge win on the road against an underrated Northwestern squad. The success pushed the team up to 13th nationally on KenPom and significantly boosted season expectations. Most fans were dreaming about some hardware in March.

Fast forward 17 days and things are starkly different.

Ohio State hasn’t just struggled since then, they’ve nosedived. The Buckeyes are 0-4 since that Northwestern win, with some thoroughly embarrassing efforts, including a home loss to a dreadful Minnesota team. The team and fans are now feeling the pressure to get things turned around, and quickly.

This all feeds into Ohio State’s trip to Nebraska on Wednesday night, when the Huskers are hoping to prove spoiler. Because, on paper, the Buckeyes are still clearly the favorites in the matchup. Ohio State is a better team. The question is simply whether that squad shows up and plays well, or if Nebraska can play with enough energy and passion to keep things close.

The matchup to watch will be when Ohio State’s offense tangles with Nebraska’s defense. It’a a strength-on-strength matchup. The Huskers and Juwan Gary (assuming he can play) will have their work cut out trying to slow down Brice Sensabaugh. The Buckeye forward has been on an absolute tear this season, so Nebraska’s going to have quite a challenge.

Another x-factor to watch is how well Ohio State passes the ball. When the ball sticks with a single Buckeye, the team has struggled so far this season. If the Huskers can cut off passing lanes and feeds to the paint, it’s an area to make an impact. Nebraska’s perimeter shooting is also a factor to watch.

Overall, even with the question marks for Ohio State, this still feels like a game the Buckeyes should win. We’ll have to stay tuned and see how it works out.

  • Pick: Ohio State


Picks Record: 71-24-0