(Photo courtesy NCAA & CBS Sports)
The Ohio State University’s Men’s Basketball team has slid into the 2019 NCAA Tournament in the 11th seed for the Midwest Region. They are to match up against the sixth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones in the first round on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma – who just won their fourth Big 12 Tournament in six years against the “world’s” prediction to win – Kansas by a score of 76-66.
The Cyclones finished the year with a 9-9 in conference record and 23-11 overall. Perhaps their best win, outside of the Big 12 Tournament victory over Kansas, was against Texas Tech on January 16th with a 68-64 win.
The Cyclones are led in scoring by three guards, Senior Marial Shayok with a 18.7 ppg, Sophomore Lindell Wigginton with a 13.4 ppg, and Freshmen Talen Horton-Tucker with a 12.2 ppg. The Rebound leader Senior Forward Michael Jacobson with 5.6 per game. And the assists leader, Senior Guard Nick Weiler-Bab feeds off 4.0 per game.
The Buckeyes can win this one. Some how they need to shake off the woes of the 2019 beginning, the lack of focus, and just be the team they were at the beginning of the season. Players like CJ Jackson and Luther Muhammad must step in as the focus of the Cyclone defense shifts to Kaleb. Duane Washington, Jr., too must be consistent.
The aftermath of this “truly possible win” will most likely be Houston. And that’s going to be a whole different discussion.
But for now, allow us to relish in the fact that the Buckeyes have made the Dance. They do deserve it, though we all, certainly speaking for myself, was initially having difficulty in believing it was possible after that horrendous Big Ten season. But surprises do come in odd gifts, huh?
Believe. Against the Cyclones CAN HAPPEN.
Shall I – or dare I make a prediction? Hmmmm! Let’s say it’ll be ……