Ohio State Basketball vs. Illinois: Preview and prediction

Esther Moore
February 8, 2018

Their only loss in conference play this season thus far came on a half-court buzzer-beater against Penn State.

Fittingly, it came down to the nation's top wrestler in Ohio State heavyweight Kyle Snyder in the last match of a matchup of the nation's top-two ranked teams.

The Illini have their first Big Ten winning streak of the Brad Underwood and now head out on the road to take on one of the biggest surprises in the country in the Ohio State Buckeyes.

This was a loss for the Illini that brought the team back down to a.500 record at 12-12 overall, and they are 2-9 in Big Ten play.

According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Ohio State is favored at home in this game, as the Buckeyes are getting odds of -12 points against IL.

Snyder, the youngest Olympic and World champion in US wrestling history, won his match against Nick Nevills, 15-10, but it wasn't enough to secure the dual-match win as No. 1-ranked Penn State edged No. 2 Ohio State, 19-18, in State College, Pa.

You will also note that Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop, the front-runner for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, had a sensational game with 35 points and 13 rebounds.

February could be challenging.

The Illini have played themselves out of multiple wins this season - see Northwestern, Maryland and Minnesota losses.

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"They're clearly a team that can reach a Final Four and win a national championship", OSU coach Chris Holtmann said of Purdue. We have the Big Tens coming up and the NCAAs and it's one of three battles. IL managed a pair of wins recently, but they were both at home.

"If our guys aren't ready, then that's on them and me and us".

"They wrestled very well in the second half". Alstork had a season high 19 points against Ohio State on Sunday. To see just how precious one of the almost 7,000 seats in the arena is, we turn to our friends at VividSeats for a full breakdown.

Tomasello held onto the big lead through the third period, rolling to a 21-12 major, but a late escape and near-reversal in the final seconds kept the Rec Hall crowd on its feet. A riding time point put the bout away, as Penn State went up 19-15.

"Listen, this is special what this group is doing right now. Illinois' defense is incredible in terms of how much they can take you out of stuff". He finished with his 10th double-double of the season.

The Illini shot the ball well against Rutgers, connecting on 71 percent of their two-pointers, 40.7 percent from 3-point range and 73.7 percent from the free-throw line.

IL regained the lead in the second half behind Alstork and freshman guard Trent Frazier. He has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 13 games. "It's about shooters and passers, to be quite honest".

At this point, No. 14 Ohio State should safely be in the NCAA tournament field in March.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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