Some people want to talk about the offensive issues the Ohio State has dealt with at times this season, but the Buckeyes can play defense as well as any team in the Big Ten, and they proved it again Tuesday night.
Yes, that was Ohio State digging in defensively and chiseling out a 58-49 win over the equally defensive-minded Wisconsin Badgers.
During one seven-minute stretch in the second half, the Badgers bricked all seven of their attempts from the field and turned the ball over three times. The defensive effort by the Buckeyes helped fuel a decisive 15-0 run.
Ohio State isn’t the favorite to win a conference championship this year, but it is a team no one can count out to end up as the champion.
After all, not only can the Buckeyes get after it on defense as well as any team in the country, but they have Deshaun Thomas in their corner.
Thomas torched the Badgers for 25 points, including 10 during the 15-0 run.
“I think his growth would rank at the top,” Ohio State head coach Thad Matta said in a post-game press conference. “Evan Turner grew a lot as well in his career, and it’s always great to see them turn into men. I think he was offensively efficient and he was high on his shot.”
The combination of great defense and a prolific scorer such as Thomas gives the Buckeyes a chance to win every time they take the floor.
And while they aren’t the favorite to win a conference crown, don’t be surprised if they do win it.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.