No. 17 Ohio State lost its fourth consecutive game on Monday night as the Buckeyes fell on the road to Nebraska, 68-62.
The Cornhuskers hadn’t beaten Ohio State since 1985, and in front of a packed home crowd, they held off the Buckeyes by limiting turnovers and playing very good defense.
Although Nebraska had 17 turnovers, they held off on major turnovers in the first half — and down the stretch — and held Ohio State to 39 percent shooting from the field and 28 percent shooting from the three-point line.
Tim Miles’ decision to go with a small lineup to help matchup with Ohio State was another crucial decision. The Cornhuskers were able to defend Ohio State by going small, while also being quicker on the offensive end with more ball handlers.
Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway both led Nebraska with 18 points while Deverell Biggs added 11 points.
It didn’t help that the Buckeyes couldn’t find a go-to scorer. Aaron Craft led the Ohio State with 12 points as LaQuinton Ross (11 points) and Lenzelle Smith (10 points) both struggled hit shots from the field.
Ohio State has lost four straight games — three of which were on the road — and are clearly in a freefall as Big Ten play is underway. The Buckeyes are now 2-4 in the Big Ten and it won’t get much easier from here. Can Ohio State find a reliable scoring threat?
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: