This past Wednesday, the 18th, in Cornhusker territory the Buckeyes lined up for its final possession. Nebraska had an idea what was about to happen….
“They were lined up in a play where they cross a big, and they kind of circle out their other big, and then they cross their wings and then they send one of those wings out,” Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles said. “I just felt like it was going to be (Marc) Loving or Kam Williams coming off for a jumper.”
His assumptions were right on too. But it just did not matter. The Buckeyes ran a screen in an attempt to get the ball to an open Williams, Glynn Watson, Jr. lost his footing which resulted in leaving Marc Loving completely open and underneath the basket. CJ Jackson displayed wondrous patience, allowing the development of Watson’s floundering moment, before feeding Loving with exactly 0.6 seconds remaining on the clock. It was a great moment in the 2016-17 season for the Buckeyes – pulling off a 67-66 victory in such a thrilling moment.
After such a sweet victory the Buckeyes now come home and will face the Wildcats of Northwestern on Sunday the 22nd at Value City Arena scheduled for a 1:01 p.m. tip-off. It can be checked out on BTN, Sirius 145/XM 195 and 97.1.
Northwestern is currently tied for third in the Big Ten Standings with a 4-2 Conference record and 15-4 overall. The Wildcats in this season thus far fell to both Butler and Notre Dame in nonconference games while losing to *ichigan State and Minnesota within the Conference. In the nonconference category they beat the likes of Texas and Wake Forest. That actually doesn’t play as well as it sounds when you search further – Texas in the Big 12 is 1-5 and 7-11 overall; while Wake Forest in the ACC is 2-4 and 9-10 overall. But defeating the two schools, on the surface sounds good, right?
Northwestern is led by Scottie Lindsey a 6-5 Junior G-F with 15.8 points per game. Derek Pardon a 6-8 Sophomore C out of Cleveland is averaging 7.5 rebounds per game. Bryant McIntosh a 6-3 Junior G leads the team with 5.6 assists. The Wildcats have three players averaging in double figures point-wise; Scottie Lindsey (15.8), Vic Law (14.2) and Bryant McIntosh (12.3).
The last time the Buckeyes and the Wildcats met up was on February 9th of 2016 in Columbus. The Buckeyes came from behind in sweeping fashion while heading to a 71-63 victory. In that game five OSU players scored in double-figures. Kieta Bates-Diop pumped up the energy for the Buckeyes in the 2nd half with six of his eventual 11 points.
Northwestern is having a good year. They have never been invited to the NCAA Tournament and are hoping that some of that Cubs magic swings their way come March.
The Buckeyes continue to be led by Jae’Sean Tate with a 14.1 points per game average. Trevor Thompson continues to lead the team with a 9.0 rebounding average per game. And JaQuan Lyle has an average of 5.3 assists per game. The Buckeyes have five players scoring in double figures per game; Jae’Sean Tate (14.1), JaQuan Lyle (12.3), Marc Loving (11.4), Trevor Thompson (10.6), and Kam Williams (10.3).
The energy level that the Buckeyes have displayed since the disappearance of Keita Bates-Diop is such a reversal of how it was all panning out prior to …. This is good! Kieta was the contributor on the team of the unnoticeable “things” that keeps a team in the hunt. Now it seems as if more than one is willing to step into that role – just to mention two is Kam Williams and CJ Jackson. The Buckeyes are playing as a team and with a tempo that keeps them in games – always advancing that diamond moment – of a win!
I strongly believe the Buckeyes can win this one decisively. It factors into the home court advantage, but I believe there is more to that. They see their abilities more then at any point in this season. They are feeling good as a team – and that is the key – a team. But, do understand, the Wildcats of Northwestern is having that Cubs moment and cannot be ignored. They will come to play – and play they can. If the Buckeyes can contain Lindsey and Skelly they will have this one in the bag. But let’s wait and see ….
GO BUCKEYES ….