Ohio State Buckeyes
(23-0, 10-10 ATS)
Minnesota Golden Gophers
(16-6, 10-12 ATS)
The last undefeated team in the country will get back in NCAA basketball betting action on Super Sunday, as the Ohio State Buckeyes try to avoid their first ‘L’ of the year against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
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The Buckeyes just barely avoided disaster earlier this week against the Michigan Wolverines at home, as they trailed at halftime before finally turning on the jets a bit at the start of the second half to put away from Big Blue. Jared Sullinger played all 40 minutes on the night and came up with 19 points and 15 boards to help avert a potential disgrace. We continue to talk about how many minutes the big men on the No. 1 team in the country play, and we are insistent that at some point, this is going to come back to bite the Buckeyes, whether it be in the regular season, the Big Ten Tournament, or worse, in the NCAA Tournament. Jon Diebler also played all 40 minutes against Michigan in spite of the fact that he only scored nine points, while William Buford only came off of the court for a brief moment. The bench only went two players deep, as Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas combined for 42 minutes and just 10 points. Dallas Lauderdale, the team’s starting center, isn’t used to playing all that many minutes, and this week was no exception when he only logged eight of them.
Unlike last year, the Gophers are still in no serious trouble right now to miss out on the NCAA Tournament, as they really, at least right now, have done enough to get into the field, especially now that it is 68 times wide. However, this two game losing streak on the road at least send up some warning signals, especially since the team isn’t going to be favored on the college basketball odds in this game, and might not be so against the Illinois Fighting Illini next week either. Then it’s back on the road, where we know that anything can happen against any team in this conference. In order to beat the top team in the land, Blake Hoffarber just has to be an absolute star. He is a sharpshooter from beyond the arc at 40.0 percent, but 14.1 points per game just won’t cut it. Trevor Mbakwe has to neutralize Sullinger on the inside, as he is a double-double per game man at 13.3 points and 10.5 boards. Ralph Sampson III has the athleticism to stick around on the inside as well. Head Coach Tubby Smith and company already almost beat the Buckeyes once this season, losing by just three points at Value City Arena in Columbus.
The time is here for the Buckeyes to go down. These close calls are going to come back to bite them eventually, and this is the game. Minnesota’s athleticism already caused them troubles once. This time, they’ll get caught, and will be defeated for the first time all season long.
College Basketball Free Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers