2013 NCAA Tournament Profile: Big Ten Champion Ohio State Buckeyes
Conference: Big Ten Conference
How They Qualified: At-Large Berth
The Ohio State Buckeyes may have not been the best team in the Big Ten during the regular season, but they are clicking now and fresh off a Big Ten Tournament championship. Ohio State did only finish one game back in the regular season conference standings and then ran with their seeding in the postseason conference field. This team has proved all season long that it can keep up with anyone in the country, despite it’s lack of offense at times.
However, the defense gets the job done and that is the main reason why the Buckeyes are so good this year. Ohio State made the Final Four last season and it is good enough to do the same here in 2013.
What You Need to Know:
Leading Scorer: Deshaun Thomas (19.7 ppg)
Leading Rebounder: Deshaun Thomas (6.1 rpg)
Leading Passer: Aaron Craft (4.5 apg)
Bad Losses: None
Good Wins: Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana
Deshaun Thomas is a beast and he will get his 20 points per game. Opposing teams can double cover him all they want, but that will literally do nothing. However, why would they do that when other players on this team struggle to score?
The next leading scorer on this team is Lenzelle Smith Jr., with 10.1 points per game. Someone is going to have to step up in the dance other than Thomas. Whether that be Smith, Aaron Craft or whoever, someone must step up and take care of business in the Big Dance.
Ohio State has not lost to an unranked opponent all season long, at least when it faced them. The Buckeyes have also beaten three top five teams (at the time) this season. You would think that this team would go far in the Big Dance, since it has played great teams all season long, but its defense will have to carry the load.