2009-10 Pomeroy: 5
Note: an earlier version of this post listed the wrong time and TV network. My apologies to readers and to the national viewing public on whom this game will be inflicted.
Indiana travels to Columbus today to play Ohio State in a game that since December has appeared to be the most hopeless game on the Hoosiers' schedule. The Buckeyes have not lost at home this season. If there is any encouraging statistic, it is that the Buckeyes have been more dominant at home against the better teams in the conference than against the lower tiers. OSU beat Purdue by 23, Illinois by 19, and Michigan State by 10, while their margins against Michigan, Penn State, and Iowa have been within single digits (Iowa is the exception to the odd trend). The Buckeyes are at or near the top of all computer polls.
On offense, the Buckeyes shoot incredibly well and take very good care of the ball. On defense, the Buckeyes aren't overwhelmingly good on field goal defense but they rank #7 in defensive turnover percentage and rebound very well. The Buckeyes are a matchup nightmare for IU (and most everyone else) at every position. JAred Sullinger is a beast of a freshman, Dallas Lauderdale is a force on defense and the boards, and the Buckeyes have a seemingly endless supply of 6-5 to 6-7 guards who can shoot the lights out. They are tough for anyone, and I really think the Buckeyes, with their frontcourt strength and backcourt experience, should be the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. I can't say I would be thrilled to see a school that cares so little about basketball win it all, but I think OSU has a better chance than anyone else.
I hope to see improvement from the Hoosiers today, but I do not really know how to measure it. NCAA bound teams have lost badly in Columbus. Anything approaching a competitive game would be a surprise. Unfortunately, IU's days as a favorite are over for the season, and any win will require a huge upset. That's where we are.