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Ohio State vs. Wisconsin Preview

Ohio State begins its huge week of games at 20th-ranked Wisconsin. Tip-off is set for 9:00 EST. Ohio State is coming off a double overtime win over Maryland, including a 24-point effort from Bruce Thornton. Roddy Gayle Jr. added 17 points, including the highlight windmill dunk, to seal off the game. 

Feb 10, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Bruce Thornton (2) dribbles the ball / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

These teams met earlier this season, with Wisconsin winning 71-60, with Jameson Battle leading the scoring for the Buckeyes with 18 and Max Klesmit leading the Badgers in scoring with 18 as well. Ohio State led the game in rebounding with 3 points, yet was still outscored by 11. This is a good sign for the Buckeyes, as Wisconsin is on a four-game losing streak, and they have proven they can lead in major statistics against a top Big Ten team. 

Jan 10, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Roddy Gayle Jr. (1) dribbles past Wisconsin Badgers forward Tyler Wahl (5) during the first half of the NCAA men’s basketball game at Value City Arena.
USA Today

Wisconsin enters today's game on a four-game losing streak. They went from the 6th-ranked team in the country to the 20th-ranked team, with key losses being to Michigan and Rutgers. AJ Storr has still been on fire for the badgers, as he had 28 in a road loss at Nebraska. AJ Storr leads the team in scoring right now with 16 points per game. 

A key player in today's game is, as you guessed, Bruce Thornton. He led the Buckeyes in scoring, rebounding, and plus-minus in the double overtime win vs. Maryland. Bruce Thornton leads in major statistics for the Buckeyes, like scoring with 15.8 points per game, assists per game with 4.2, and field goal percentage with 41.4% from the field. Another additional key player is Roddy Gayle Jr. He is a spark everywhere on the court for the Buckeyes. In overtime, he was great on defense against Maryland's top scorer, Jahmir Young, and contributed 17 points.

Ohio State needs to speed up the game. Wisconsin against Purdue took a long time down the stretch to get into their offense. They tend to play slower and play at their own speed. Ohio State's roster is much more athletic. This could lead to a fast transition heavy game that would counteract the badgers slow and methodical offense. This means Ohio State needs to be good on the glass and get out of transition.

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