The Ohio State Buckeyes are on a two-game losing streak, but those two losses were at the hands of two of the top three teams in the nation. While it isn’t okay to take losses, when they come at the hands of two possible number-one overall seeds for the NCAA Tournament, it makes it a little more acceptable.
Tolerable as those losses might be to soak in, Ohio State can’t go around and just keep losing games. The Buckeyes still have seeding to fight for, as well as some pride.
Luckily for Ohio State, the two game skid ends tonight. Not because they have figured out a fancy way to become better in a short time. Nor is it that they are getting key players back from some form of injury. No sir, the skid is ending by default. The default victory isn’t coming because of a forfeit. While I am sure Ohio State would take it any way they could, this default victory is coming from the hands of the Northwestern Wildcats.
Northwestern is one of the schools in a major conference who you always find yourself rooting for. Reason being, they don’t feel like they belong playing with the big boys. Heck, I’m not sure if a team like the Wildcats, or another team similarly built from a major conference, would do all that well in a mid-major.
It’s not that they are doing anything wrong. Northwestern, and teams of their ilk, just lack the talent to compete with great teams every night.
While a mid-major might be able to pull a regular season upset over a power conference foe, they only have to do it once in a while. Northwestern has to deal with the Ohio States of the world every game.
It’s not that Northwestern is horrible, nor is it because Ohio State is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s a default game, as in the game is supposed to be won by Ohio State. Similarly to the way when you play a video game and simulate against bad teams. Because really, who wants to play the Club State Pool Cleaners when, with just one simulated game, you’re playing a ranked team in the country?
And what happens when you simulate that game against the horrible team? You win, because the computer deems your really good program to be better than the lower-level foe. It’s a default setting.
Northwestern is college basketball’s default setting. Ohio State, who probably wishes they could simulate this game, wins it by default.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports who primarily covers the Catholic Seven. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone