Ohio State basketball: Road-losing streak has taken its toll

The Ohio State basketball team hasn't won a road game in over a year. The losses have piled up and they have taken their toll on the program's hopes to make the NCAA Tournament.

Jan 23, 2024; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Evan Mahaffey (12) shoots the ball
Jan 23, 2024; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes guard Evan Mahaffey (12) shoots the ball / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
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The Ohio State basketball team hasn't won a road game since the first day of 2023. They won at Northwestern, who ended up finishing second in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes take on Northwestern tonight at 8:30 to try to end the long losing streak on the road.

Even before this game is played, all of the losing has taken its toll on the Ohio State basketball program. They won just five games in the Big Ten last season and missed the NCAA Tournament. They had their worst record in almost 25 years. While this year has started better, the road woes continue.

Not winning a road game has now moved the Buckeyes on the outside of the NCAA Tournament picture. They're not even on the bubble at this point. They are squarely out of the field. You have to win road games to make the NCAA Tournament, plain and simple.

This road-losing streak made the fans reach a boiling point with the leadership of the program. More and more I see fans talk about how their needs to be a new coach leading the program because it has slipped into mediocrity. I agree and have agreed for the past year-plus.

The extension Gene Smith needlessly gave Chris Holtmann looks worse and worse the longer this losing streak continues. Unfortunately for fans, I don't see Smith firing Holtmann as he walks out the door. He's going to leave Ross Bjork to deal with him for another year.

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Can the Buckeyes beat the Wildcats tonight? Based on the talent on the floor, sure. Do I think that they will? I certainly do not. At this point, I won't predict the Buckeyes to win a road game until I actually see them do it. That's where Holtmann has led this program to this point.