COLUMBUS (WCMH) — No. 23 Ohio State (18-9, 8-8) moved up two spots in the AP Top 25 Poll after taking down top-10 Maryland and the Buckeyes look to keep that momentum going when they face Nebraska (6-20, 2-14) on Thursday night.
OSU has won six of its last eight games and the Buckeyes have primed themselves for a possible five seed in the NCAA Tournament if they can win at least two of their last four games. The Buckeyes have two games left against ranked teams (No. 19 Michigan and No. 24 Michigan State) and two games against unranked teams starting with the Cornhuskers on the road.
The Buckeyes beat Nebraska 80-68 on January 14th, which snapped OSU’s then four-game losing streak and was only one of its two wins in the month of January. In the win, six different players scored in double digits and the team shot a stunning 55 percent from the field. It was also the first Big Ten game in which the Buckeyes scored at least 80 points since beating Penn State on December 7th.
But this time around the Buckeyes will most likely be without junior forward Kyle Young who suffered a right ankle sprain late in the first half against the Terrapins. It’s the same ankle he aggravated a few games ago and he’s already missed time this season after undergoing an appendectomy in early January. Back then, Chris Holtmann stressed the importance of needing E.J. Liddell to step up and that will be the case once again.
The Cornhuskers are second to last in the Big Ten standings and dead last when it comes to scoring defense allowing 76.5 points a game. Nebrasksa is also last in several other categories including field goal percentage (41.3 percent), free throw percentage (60. 5 percent), rebounding defense (35.3 per game), rebounding margin (-10.1 per game) and blocked shots (2.4 per game).
Tip off is set for 9:00 EST.