Just a little over two weeks ago, Ohio State had a 39 game home winning streak, the second longest in the nation. They had just escaped a hot shooting Purdue team, but looked to be too much in the end. Ohio State was 21-3. They were the #3 team in the country.
When looking at Ohio State, you really couldn’t blame them for their losses. A loss at the Phog without Jared Sullinger, a narrow defeat at a rabid Indiana squad, and a loss at Illinois during which Brandon Paul dropped 43 on the Buckeyes were all justifiable. Since then, Ohio State has lost 3 of 5. Their home winning streak is gone, and the most recent defeat, at home to Wisconsin, really makes you wonder what this team is made of.
The last 2 games for Ohio State are at Northwestern and at Michigan State. I wouldn’t be shocked if they lost at Northwestern, and they will most likely be a 5 point underdog at Michigan State. There’s a very real possibility that Ohio State could end up as the #3 or 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament, tasked with taking down most likely Indiana or Purdue. Imagine if the Buckeyes, consistently the #1 team in many rankings systems out there, entered the tournament on a 4 game losing streak and losers in 6 of 8.
The Buckeyes have a significant depth issue which seems to be coming to the forefront. If Sullinger and Buford do not get it done, there is very little elsewhere to pick up the pieces. I don’t know if it’s just an increased focus by opposing teams on stopping Sullinger, but he’s clearly been less effective down the stretch. I think this was a better team last season, and they got ousted by a hungrier Kentucky squad. Depending on these last few games, I will have serious reservations about having Ohio State advancing far in my bracket.