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The Ohio State Buckeyes (15-7 / 5-6 Big Ten) and the Indiana Hoosiers (13-10 / 4-8 Big Ten) will take the Assembly Hall court on Sunday afternoon for the only meeting of the season in Big Ten Conference play.
The 1 p.m, ET jump will bring in two programs struggling to find any type of consistency in Big Ten action this year with both teams under the .500 mark.
The Buckeyes are at least showing us a semblance of life lately, as they have taken 3 wins from their last 4 outings and carry a modest 2-game win streak into tonight’s contest.
The Hoosiers? Well, they did recently snap their 7-game Big Ten Conference losing skid with a win over Michigan State, which was impressive being that the Spartans were double-digit favs and expected to keep the Hoosiers reeling. So what did they go out and do to follow up the big win over Sparty? A 5-point loss to Iowa was the response, so it’s back to the drawing board again for the Hoosiers!
Buckeyes Needing A Big Road Win On Sunday In Bloomington
The Buckeyes will be needing this game to get back to the .500 mark in Big Ten play, as well as trying to stay in the upper half of the standings as the conference tournament gets even closer by the game.
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) February 10, 2019
Ohio State has 9 games left to play before the Big Ten Tourney, and there is nothing easy ahead of this outing with the Hoosiers which puts that much more emphasis on getting a win tonight in Bloomington against a struggling Hoosier program.
While it’s nice that the Buckeyes have found 3 wins from their last 4 games, let’s not get too carried away as we review who those wins came against.
Nebraska, Penn State and Rutgers people!
Nebraska, we know is in a heavy downfall with injuries hurting their season, and Penn State along with Rutgers haven’t exactly had themselves anything to write home about either.
The Buckeyes barely escaped with a win over Penn State this past Thursday, 74 – 70, although what a decent night of shooting it was for Ohio State!
How does 7 of 14 from distance (50%) and 22 of 44 from the floor (50%) look to you? I mean yes, it is 50% on both counts, but 44 total shots for he entire game? That’s what makes the 74 points seem even more impressive when you throw in the 23 of 29 from the charity stripe (79.3%).
Freshman guard Luther Muhammad found his way to a 20-point night, which is even bigger because he is now only 1 of 3 players averaging double-digits on the year (10.2 PPG). His 24-point night against Nebraska was a career-high, and he has found his way to double-digits in 4 of his last 5 outings after that ugly 2-point night in the blowout to Maryland back on January 18.
The Buckeyes top-2 scorers both came away with 15 points a piece in the Penn State win, as team-leader Kaleb Wesson brought his average up to 14.9 PPG with the effort and senior guard CJ Jackson brought his average up to exactly 13 PPG.
Hoosiers Begging For A Big Ten Win Lately
The Hoosiers have simply not been able to find their way since the calendar turned to 2019, as only 2 wins have come from 10 affairs in Big Ten play over that span, and the road ahead is filled with bumps and ranked teams.
The home of Indiana Basketball is more than just Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. pic.twitter.com/meQzkc2q4w
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) February 9, 2019
Indiana will head to Minnesota for their next Big Ten Conference game on February 16, and then they will face 4 straight ranked teams before their final 2 games of the regular season against a rising Illini squad and Rutgers at home to close out the schedule.
To say this is a down year would be the understatement of the century in Bloomington, as freshman sensation Romeo Langford is doing all he can, but his surrounding talent might not be what he needs to get this program to the next level.
Langford could go out and score 30 a night if he really felt like, and we all know he is among the nations biggest talents, but he is being asked to do a lot and he is doing just that.. a lot!
Langford leads this team with 17.6 PPG, 5.4 boards a night and 2.3 dimes, and #0 is simply a stud, no doubt. He grabbed another 22 points last time out in the loss to Iowa, but his minutes are certainly adding up too, as he has been on the floor quite a bit in his opening, and possibly only, campaign in Indiana.
Senior forward Juwan Morgan is certainly a load to deal with when he has it going right, as he takes in 15.9 PPG and eats up 7.8 rebounds a night on top of that. Morgan has been a double-digit performer in 14 of his last 15 games, and ironically, the one time it happened the team won against Michigan State (5 pts last Saturday)
• Home team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
• Hoosiers are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Indiana.
• Buckeyes are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 vs. Big Ten.
• Over is 3-0-1 in Buckeyes last 4 Sunday games.
• Buckeyes are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I can’t believe I have to do this, but I also can’t trust that Ohio State will go on the road and get a damn thing done either.
This game is a tough call, but I see the Hoosiers finding a way, somehow!
Indiana -2 is the 3* Play on the Side.
Prediction: Indiana -2
Full-Game Total Pick
I just see some points coming here too, with the Hoosiers finding a way to take this game, 74 – 71, which gets us over this number offered from the line setters on this Sunday afternoon in Bloomington, IN.
The Over 135.5 is the 3* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Over 135.5