Men's Basketball

Monday Shootaround — Nebraska at Ohio State Preview

Ohio State Basketball Shootaround


The No. 22 Ohio State men’s basketball team (17-4, 8-0) hosts the Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-7, 5-3) Monday evening at Value City Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 pm and the game will be aired on BTN.

The Buckeyes are coming in off of a 67-49 win over Minnesota at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Nebraska, meanwhile, destroyed No. 23 Michigan 72-52 last Thursday in Lincoln.

Opening Tip

Who: Nebraska (14-7, 5-3) at Ohio State (17-4, 8-0)

What: Men’s Basketball

Where: Columbus, Ohio — Value City Arena (18,809)

When: Monday, 8:00 pm (BTN)

Why: Because it’s been over a week since you’ve seen them in Columbus.

Line: Ohio State -11

Ohio State

Three Point Territory

[Eight Is Not Enough] Chris Holtmann is the first Big Ten coach to record an 8-0 record in conference play during his first season since Sam Barry went 11-0 to start the 1923 campaign at Iowa 95 years ago. Holtmann is the third coach in conference history to start his career in league play at 8-0 or better: Walter Meanwell, Wisconsin, 12-0 in 1912; Sam Barry, Iowa, 11-0 in 1923; Chris Holtmann, Ohio State, 8-0 in 2018.

[No Place Like Home] Ohio State is No. 1 nationally for the most home wins with a 145-23 (.863) record since the 2009-10 season. Maryland is the next-best Big Ten team at No. 14 with 130 wins. Going back to the 2008-09 season to the present, the Buckeyes own the most home victories with 160 wins over 186 games (160-26). The Buckeyes also have played the third-most ranked teams in the country since 2005. Ohio State has played 130 opponents ranked among the Associated Press Top 25 during that span. That total trails only North Carolina (131), Michigan State (139) and West Virginia (141).

[Front Court Leaders] Junior Keita Bates-Diop has paced the Buckeyes over the first 21 games of the season with 19.7 points a game with a total of 187 rebounds (8.9 rpg.). He is one of three regulars shooting better than 50 percent from the field (155-307/.505). He also leads the Buckeyes with 37 blocks. Senior Jae’Sean Tate connects on 55 percent of his shots (105-191) for an average of 12.4 ppg. He is second with 60 assists. In 17 starts over 20 games, freshman center Kaleb Wesson has scored on 76 of 138 field goal attempts (.551) and leads the team in both made (69) and attempted (93) free throw attempts. As a team, Ohio State has scored at least 80 points in 11 games this season (3 in 2016-17) and has made 50 percent or better in nine games (11 in 2016-17).

What You Should Know

+ The last time Nebraska beat ranked teams in consecutive games was 2008. That season, NU defeated No. 24 Kansas State and won at No. 22 Texas A&M.

+ Ohio State leads the all-time series, 14-4, in a series that dates back to 1936. The Buckeyes are 10-2 against the Huskers since Nebraska joined the Big Ten with Nebraska’s wins coming in 2014 (Lincoln) and 2017 (Columbus). The last three meetings have been decided by a total of five points, including a pair of one-point decisions in 2016-17. The Huskers’ are looking for their second straight win against the Buckeyes after a 58-57 win last season.

+ James Palmer Jr. led four Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska turned in its best defensive effort of the season in posting a 72-52 win over No. 23 Michigan Thursday night in front of a crowd of 15,794 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Palmer had a game-high 19 points, while Isaiah Roby added a career-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting to lead the Huskers to their first win over Michigan since 1964. Prior to tonight, the Huskers were winless in eight tries against the Wolverines since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12.

+ Nebraska’s biggest improvement over the last month has come on the defensive end of the court. Since giving up a season-high 94 points to UTSA on Dec. 20, the Huskers have held their last eight opponents to 38.8 percent shooting, including just 28.8 percent from 3-point range. NU has held its last seven foes to under 45 percent shooting, including three straight under 40 percent.

+ The Huskers are averaging 73.4 points per game and are on track for one of the best offensive seasons in recent years. NU’s 73.4 points per game marks only the fifth time in the last 22 years that NU has averaged at least 72.0 points per game through the first 21 games. The Huskers are 12-2 this year when scoring at least 70 points, including six games of at least 80 points (6-0).


Nebraska played about as well as they could last week against Michigan and only managed to score 72 points in a 20-point win. While the offense has been shaky this season, the defense for the Huskers has been outstanding of late. They have won three of four, with the lone loss in overtime at Penn State. The Buckeyes should have the best offense that Nebraska has faced in that stretch, but Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate have struggled from the field of late. This is a quick turnaround for Ohio State, so there may be some wear and tear. The Huskers are going to terrorize the Buckeyes on defense, but OSU has shown they are more than just KBD and Tate.

Ohio State 66, Nebraska 56