Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell
Credit: Bleacher Report
Home » Blog » Ohio State charging, Louisville tested and more

Ohio State charging, Louisville tested and more

We are now in March. All of the jockeying for position has been ratcheted up ten-fold, with scores of teams desperately looking to make one final push before and then into their conference tournaments.

In the power conferences, one potential sleeper which could make a major run are the Ohio State Buckeyes. In January, Thad Motta’s group struggled with an overtime win over the mediocre Minnesota Golden Gophers, followed by losses in two of its next three to the Indiana Hoosiers and Iowa Hawkeyes. Since, Ohio State has rebounded by winning seven of its last 10 including victories against both the Hoosiers and No. 10 Maryland Terrapins.

Currently No. 23 in the Associated Press poll, the Buckeyes (22-8, 11-6) are charging toward the Big Ten finish line. After beating the Penn State Nittany Lions and a contest against the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison on Sunday, Ohio State can really finish strong. If the season ended today, the Buckeyes would be a fourth seed in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin, Maryland and the Purdue Boilermakers.

Without any doubt, the fortunes of Ohio State rest on diaper dandy D’Angelo Russell. Russell, a 6’5 freshman guard out of Louisville, is a likely top-five pick in the NBA Draft this June. Russell does it all for the Buckeyes leading the squad with 19.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, along with 5.3 assists entering Wednesday night. Russell has scored in double-figures every game but one, and helped beat Purdue on Sunday with 28 points and seven rebounds.

Over at ESPN, Joe Lunardi’s has Ohio State as a No. 7 seed in the West region. With a strong finish to the regular season and a conference tourney run, perhaps the Buckeyes can move onto the No. 4 line.

Cardinals getting tested

Louisville has been in turmoil over recent weeks. The team dismissed senior guard Chris Jones on Feb. 22, with rape accusations following him out the door. In the following two games, the No. 17 Cardinals notched a pair of unimpressive wins over the Miami Hurricanes and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets before blowing out the Florida State Seminoles.

This week, Louisville (23-7, 11-6) started with a thud in a 71-59 loss to the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the KFC Yum! Center. On Saturday, the Cardinals welcome the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers in for a visit to conclude the regular season.

Louisville, once considered a top team and a championship contender, will have a chance to prove its worth before going into the postseason.

Undefeated watch

The Kentucky Wildcats are looking to close the regular season with a perfect 31-0 mark after topping the Georgia Bulldogs on Tuesday. The Wildcats take on the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena come Saturday in the regular-season finale.

Game of the Week

On Saturday, the No.3  Duke Blue Devils travel down Tobacco Road to play the No. 19 North Carolina Tar Heels at  9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

  • 100%