Tourney preview: Ohio State
All day, we'll break down each team's chances at the Big Ten tournament at the United Center:
No 2 seed: Ohio State
Their coach ... should have won Coach of the Year instead of Bo Ryan. The job Thad Matta did in the final month was amazing, his Buckeyes coming within a tipped shot of winning a fourth consecutive Big Ten title.
Their MVP ... is from our favorite city, Fort Wayne. As potent as he was in his junior season, Deshaun Thomas (above) needs to step it up in Chicago, however. In two previous Big Ten tournaments, Lefty’s only averaged 11 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Their Chicago connection ... will help Ohio State’s bus driver with directions to the United Center. Leapin’ Sam Thompson was a prep star at Whitney Young, which is a Braxton Miller bomb away from the House That Michael built.
They’ll cut down the nets if ... Aaron Craft keeps playing like Mike Conley. The point guard showed more than defense in the last week, averaging 14.5 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals.
They’ll be bummed if ... they have no energy left from the late-season surge. Brutus’ winning streak (five) is easily the longest in the league.
We see the Buckeyes ... celebrating like they usually do under Matta at this tournament. His winning percentage (16-5) ranks No. 1 and will only get better with another 3-0 run, capped by a win against Michigan.