Why beating Nebraska was the biggest win of the year for the Ohio State basketball team

The Ohio State basketball team was able to take down Nebraska earlier in the week. Here's why that's the biggest win for the program so far this year.
Feb 29, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jamison Battle (10) celebrates with
Feb 29, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jamison Battle (10) celebrates with / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State basketball team took down Nebraska 78-69 on Thursday night. It was a great game that showed that the Buckeyes have some real momentum heading into the month of March. That win has given the Buckeyes some hope that they can still make the NCAA Tournament.

Since Jake Diebler took over, Ohio State is 3-1. They have wins over Purdue, Michigan State, and Nebraska. Those are solid wins that look good on a Tournament resume. Yet, the win at Nebraska is the biggest win for this team this season even though the Cornhuskers weren't ranked.

The reason for that is the circumstances in which the Ohio State basketball team won the game. They were without their best player, Bruce Thornton, for the game. They had to have other players step into roles that they weren't used to. More players had to be aggressive and look to score.

The Ohio State basketball team is getting help from multiple sources

Devin Royal has played a big role with this team in the last few games. He has not only added a little bit of a scoring punch, but he has played solid defense down low. Royal also has the body type to be a switchable defender on the perimeter in ball-screen situations.

Royal is finally getting some playing time with Diebler leading the team. Why he wasn't playing while Chris Holtmann was leading the team is beyond me. Royal was Mr. Basketball in the state of Ohio for a reason. The freshman is getting some much-needed reps in games that matter.

Having both him and Jamison Battle play as well as they did against Nebraska shows that this team has more depth than anticipated. Thornton doesn't need to carry the offensive load as he did earlier in the season. The Buckeyes have other options to go to when they need a bucket.

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Fans hope that they can use the momentum of the Nebraska win to finish off the season strong by beating TTUN and Rutgers and then making a run in the Big Ten Tournament. Doing that would give this team a chance to earn an unlikely berth in the NCAA Tournament.