Ohio State (18-13) and Indiana (17-4) are a pair of March Madness bubble teams that meet each other in the Big Ten Conference tournament.
In dramatic fashion, two bubble teams are pitted against each other. The loser will end up with an invitation to the NIT, while the winner keeps their March Madness hopes alive.
Ohio State or Indiana can win an automatic bid to March Madness if they run the table and win the Big Ten tournament. However, the probability of that happening is very low. Especially considering that the winner of Ohio State/Indiana will face the top-seeded Michigan State Spartans in the next round.
Ohio State jumped out to a hot 12-1 start. Then the wheels fell off the bus when the Buckeyes hit a five-game skid. They were unable to stay consistent the rest of the season. They win a couple of games and then lose a close one. Ohio State closed out the season with a three-game losing streak.
The Buckeyes racked up losses against Michigan State (twice), Maryland (twice), Wisconsin, Purdue (twice), Michigan, and Iowa.
Ohio State’s biggest win is against Iowa. That’s about it. This is the perfect example of big conference bias versus mid-major teams that can’t catch a break with the selection committee. Ohio State lack significant wins, yet they are still on the bubble.
Kaleb Wesson, 6-foot-9 sophomore forward, leads the Buckeyes in scoring with 14.6 points per game. The Buckeyes are known for their tough defense. They are #36 in the nation allowing only 65.6 points per game.
“Hoosiers” is probably the most popular basketball movies of all-time, but it’s also considered one of the greatest sports films in cinematic history. Art imitates life and “Hoosiers” tells the real story about a small-town team that won the Indiana state championship.
The current incarnation of the Indiana hoops team will need to conjure up some Hoosiers magic if they want to play in March Madness this year.
Indiana went 8-12 in the Big Ten this year. They are only three games above .500 with losses against Duke, Purdue (twice), Iowa (Twice), and Michigan (twice). Indiana also pulled off some big wins by beating Michigan State twice, plus wins against Wisconsin and Marquette.
After a 12-2 start, Indiana lost seven games in a row. They snapped the midseason skid, to only follow it up with a five-game losing streak. The Hoosiers dropped 12 games during a 13-game span. They were 13-14 and hit rock bottom. Since that low point, Indiana won four straight games with tremendous home upsets against #19 Wisconsin and #6 Michigan State. Just when you thought the Hoosiers were dead in the water, they sprung back to life like a villain in a cheesy B-level slasher flick.
Juwan Morgan is the team leader. The 6-foot-8 senior forward averages 151 points per game and a team-leading 8.4 rebounds. However, Romeo Langford is the key to Indiana’s success. If their freshman shooting guard has a good game, then watch out. Langford leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game. His biggest weakness is perimeter shooting; he hits only 27.5 percent of his three-pointers.
Indiana is the consensus 2-point favorite in this Big Ten hoops tournament game. Indiana hosted Ohio State and beat them 55-52 in their only meeting this season.