Nebraska thoughts, standings, & Ohio State predictions
What you see at left is what Nebraska Coach Tim Miles tweeted at halftime tonight. So now does this mean we have to turn over Abe to the cornheads?
You don’t need me to tell you, but the second half is where the train went off the tracks tonight. Before that, Ray Rice was back to his confidently-driving-to-the-rim self, and Jon Ekey and Joe Bertrand were not sulking despite losing their starting spots for the second game in a row. So what changed? Honestly I’m not sure. I do know that it doesn’t help when you can’t convert at the free throw line when you’re in the bonus early. And a career night from Shavon Shields doesn’t help the cause either. Can you tell I’m letting out a giant sigh while typing this? The momentum is out there somewhere.
Going to give you all of postgame Groce this time...
Another interesting round of picks this game. Predictions were once again split right down the middle…11 for Illinois, 11 for Nebraska. Illiniearl takes top honors, and those who picked the Huskers registered decent, single-digit RSDTs. For the rest of us, including yours truly who came in dead last this go around, the nine point margin of victory meant a double-digit RSDT was unavoidable. Overall, the standings have shaken out once again, with now just three lead dogs. Although everyone in the left column except mvillini is still in the running with six games to go. And so far, everyone who has picked every game is at or above .500. So you got that going for you, which is nice. Also want to give a shoutout to our current #2 dog, Stephen Walko, who’s not only proving himself as a prognosticator (he won the football pick ‘em this past fall) but also a loyal reader, as he e-mails me with his scouting report before most games. And we also picked up a new picker this game (DaisyJ), which puts us at 37 for the year.
We turn our attention now to Ohio State, whose up and down season continues…16 wins in a row to start the year, then losses in five of six, then a three game win streak leading up to this week’s loss to Michigan. Despite the identity crisis, media reports out of Columbus indicate that the team’s shooting and ability to finish has improved lately. And the numbers show that they’ve been outstanding at defending the three ball all year. Even though a Big Ten title is probably out of the question for the Buckeyes this year, I still think they’ll be the more motivated team this weekend, as their schedule sets up well for a strong finish and a low seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
After the Michigan loss, OSU coach Thad Matta talked about what it takes to sustain success in the Big Ten this year…
My prediction: Ohio State 70, Illinois 58
Coming up Saturday: OSU thoughts, standings, & Minnesota predictions
[Miles tweet via twitter.com/coachmiles, Matta audio via ohiostatebuckeyes.com, Brutus gif via BTN]