Dayton has always been a city of disappointment for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Ohio State is 1-2 in NCAA tournament games played there, but I have a feeling the trend will change this year. Of all of the Big Ten teams that have survived the grind of a rugged season to earn a spot in the tournament, Ohio State appears poised to be the team from the conference that makes the deepest run.
The Buckeyes have, at times, looked more unstable than a table with three legs, but they go into the Madness of March as champions of the Big Ten tournament.
Sure, a conference tournament championship guarantees you absolutely nothing, but the Buckeyes seemed to have found their stride at the right time of the year. They closed out the regular season with five consecutive wins and then made a three-game run to the conference tourney title.
If the Buckeyes can maintain their high level of play, including getting consistent play from Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft, they will be in a position to make a run at the Final Four and perhaps even win a national championship.
Of course, in a year where chaos has reigned supreme, a year where the No. 1 ranking has been a revolving door and a year where not one dominant team has emerged head and shoulders above everyone else, the Buckeyes could easily be gone after this weekend.
But if I have to pick one Big Ten team to thrive in the tourney, it’s Ohio State. Teams that peak at the right time usually thrive, and the Buckeyes seem to fit that bill.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.