Ohio State Basketball: How the Buckeyes Upset the Wolverines

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /

Keys to the Ohio State victory.

Ohio State had a difficult situation coming off a tough loss to Maryland at home and going on the road to play Michigan. The Wolverines promised to give the Buckeyes problems playing in front of their home fans against their rival.

While watching the game it was almost impossible to see any scarlet in the sea of maize.  With the Buckeyes struggling on the road, Michigan had confidence especially with their 12-3 home record.

Early on it looked as though the home court advantage was going to make the difference as Michigan jumped out to an 11 point lead. Ohio State fought back though and were up by one at halftime.

The Buckeyes played a solid second half and pulled out a 70-66 victory. Let’s take a look at the keys to the Ohio State win.Ohio State was about  86% at the foul line.

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    • The Buckeyes foul shooting is usually their weakness but it was one of their biggest attributes towards winning the game.
    •  OSU showed a promising 24 of 28 on foul shooting. Loving and Jackson were a perfect 10 for 10 from the line combined.
  • OSU outrebounded Michigan
    • 42-24, quite an impressive turnout in rebounding for the Buckeyes. Although the Buckeyes are usually in the plus margin for number of rebounds versus conference teams, they really hit the boards against Michigan.
  • Buckeyes overcome a slow start
    • While starting out the game, the Buckeyes looked pretty sloppy. Trailing by 11 in a crazy atmosphere was the last thing they needed to be order to pull out a win.
    • Ohio State shot fairly well in the paint the whole game, which is their strongest point, while Michigan took a lot of 3 point shots, making some but not many. The Wolverines took a lot of terrible shots, but the Bucks also played great defense.
  • Foul Trouble plagued Michigan
    • With only playing 22 minutes, Michigan starter Moe Wagner fouled out.
      • He only had 5 points in those 22 minutes.
      • Loosing a 6’11 big guy made life a lot more difficult for the Wolverines
    • DJ Wilson and Mark Donnal finished with 3 fouls, Wilson playing only 25 minutes

Winning this game was a huge confidence boost for Ohio State defeating Michigan on the road. Notching another win certainty will raise the spirits of the Buckeyes.

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Maybe this is exactly what they need to have a glimmer of hope of possibly making the tournament (it’s still a LONG shot), but there is now reason for some optimism. Any Buckeye fan loves to see the Wolverines lose, especially to their team. On Wednesday, Ohio State faces Rutgers, which is a very obtainable win at home.