Just kidding. As you know, I've been crushing on Ohio State for a while and since the Buckeyes (20-7, 10-4 Big Ten) lost a game they should have won at West Virginia last month, they've bounced back so impressively that I thought there was no team in the country playing better than them.
Two of the Big Ten's best get together in Columbus as Purdue visits Ohio State with a share of first place on the line for the Buckeyes. They've already met once this season with Evan Turner (32 points, nine rebounds) leading OSU to the 70-66 win in West Lafayette. But after dropping the following game at Northwestern, Matt Painter's squad has won seven straight to move into a tie in the loss column with Michigan State and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are also playing well, having won six straight and their last nine Big Ten games so something's got to give.
Evan Turner wasn't necessarily a highlight reel Sunday, but his overall play was instrumental yet again in Ohio State's most recent triumph.
The visiting Buckeyes blasted a pretty good Illinois team riding a five-game winning streak, including a pair of victories over Big Ten heavies Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Wednesday was a big night in Conference USA with the top six teams in the standings playing each other. And with the results the race is now pared down to four teams separated by one game, with Tulsa and UTEP both coming back from double-digit deficits while Memphis beat UAB in a game much tighter than the 85-75 final would indicate. There were 31 lead changes, with the Tigers taking the lead for good on a pair of Wesley Witherspoon free throws with 3:40 remaining.
There are some big games on the schedule Saturday, with the biggest possibly being Ohio State visiting West Virginia in a non-conference game that could have major implications come March in regards to seeding. Outside of the Buckeyes' Dallas Lauderdale you won't see big men on the floor, with both teams possessing a number of versatile players in the 6-5 to 6-9 range. The two best players on the floor: Ohio State's Evan Turner and West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler, both of whom are looked to as catalysts of their team's offense.
It didn't look too good for Ohio State at the half of their game at #6 Purdue on Tuesday night. Robbie Hummel put on a shooting exhibition, knocking down eight three pointers on the way to 29 first half points as the Boilers went into the locker room up 41-29. But when you have one of the leading candidates for national Player of the Year you're never out of a game, especially if he's still recovering from a broken back. Ohio State outscored Purdue by sixteen in the second half in picking up a key Big Ten road win 70-66, with Evan Turner leading the way.
1. Kansas (56) 13-0 1,614
2. Texas (8) 13-0 1,550
3. Kentucky (1) 15-0 1,489
4. Purdue 13-0 1,457
5. Duke 12-1 1,348
6. Villanova 12-1 1,279
7. Syracuse 13-1 1,173
8. West Virginia 11-1 1,147
9. North Carolina 11-3 1,098
10. Michigan State 11-3 1,009
11. Kansas State 13-1 996
12. Georgetown 11-1 911
13. Connecticut 10-3 760
14. Mississippi 11-2 699
15. New Mexico 14-1 667
16. Tennessee 10-2 649
17. Wisconsin 12-2 526
18. Florida State 12-2 446
The final day of the decade also offers conference openers in both the Big Ten and Pac-10 with the best matchup being Ohio State visiting Madison to take on Wisconsin. Bo Ryan's club has been dominant during his tenure at the school in Big Ten home games, boasting a record of 61-5 in those games. Trevon Hughes is arguably playing the best basketball of any point guard in the conference and with the Buckeyes still without Evan Turner points could be even tougher to come by.
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