The Ohio State Buckeyes (16-9, 6-8) host the Northwestern Wildcats (12-13, 3-11) for an 8:30 pm tip-off Wednesday evening on BTN. The Buckeyes come into this game following a 62-44 loss at Michigan State on Sunday. Northwestern, meanwhile, is in the midst of a six-game losing streak, with their latest loss coming at home to Nebraska this past Saturday. Ohio State and the Wildcats will play again in two weeks.
Who: Northwestern at Ohio State
What: Men’s Basketball
Where: Columbus, OH — Value City Arena
When: 8:30 pm (BTN)
Why: Because every game still matters for a little while longer.
Line: Ohio State -7
+ With 251 wins in the last nine seasons (2010-19), Ohio State already has more victories this decade than in any other in the program’s history. Ohio State won 189 games from 1980-1989 and 188 contests from 1960-69. The winning percentage of .725 (251-95/346) in the last 10 years is the best previous winning percentage in a decade in Ohio State history. The win total is No. 12 nationally over the last 10 seasons and second only to Michigan State’s 259 wins among Big Ten teams.
+ Ohio State leads the all-time series with Northwestern 118-46. Th e Buckeyes are 68-15 in Columbus and 49-31 in Evanston. The teams have met just once on a neutral court, an Ohio State win. Ohio State won 31-consecutive home games in the series dating back to 1977 before a loss to the Wildcats in Columbus in 2017. No current Buckeye has played in more than two games vs. the Wildcats. C.J. Jackson averages 9.5 points in a pair of meetings. He averages 5.5 rebounds as well. Kaleb Wesson scored 8 points to go with six rebounds in the only meeting a year ago.
+ Chris Holtmann’s latest starting five of Kaleb Wesson, Andre Wesson, Musa Jallow, Luther Muhammad, and CJ Jackson is 4-3 on the season. It is the seventh different starting lineup used so far. The Buckeyes are 8-2 with Kyle Young in the starting lineup instead of Jallow, but only 1-1 in conference play. Young is still trying to get back to 100% following a broken leg. The only other lineup used more than once has been Jackson, Muhammad, the Wessons, and Keyshawn Woods, which is 2-2 on the season and 0-2 in the B1G.
The Northwestern Wildcats
What You Need to Know
+ The Wildcats are holding teams to just 64.5 points per game, which ranks in the top-30 nationally and fourth in the B1G. Northwestern has held major conference opponents under their season scoring average on 16 occasions and have done so in eight straight games dating back to Jan. 18 at Rutgers.
+ Senior center Dererk Pardon holds the NU record for career field goal percentage (.607). His .607 career field goal percentage ranks 27th among active DI players and fourthin the Big Ten. He owns a 58.6 FG percentage in B1G games (6th in B1G). His 7.8 rebounds per game rank eighth in the Big Ten. Pardon ranks second in the B1G with 3.04 offensive rpg and is one of two active players in the country with more than 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 140 blocked shots in 105 games played or fewer. He is also one of four B1G players to tally these totals in 105 games or fewer since 1993.
+ After falling by nine points last time out at Nebraska, Northwestern has played 13 games this season that have been decided by 10 points or fewer. Of those 12 games, 10 have been decided by seven points or fewer, including five by three points or fewer. The Wildcats last four games have been decided by an average margin of 5.0 points with the Iowa and Rutgers game coming down to the final possession.
+ Forward Vic Law ranks 9th among all Big Ten players with 15.5 points per game. Law’s career scoring average is 11.5 points per game. He is one of two active Big Ten players to tally over 1,200 points, 650 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals in a career. Only four NU players have accomplished this feat: Kevin Rankin (’90-’94), John Shurna (’08-’12), Drew Crawford (’09-’14). He has scored in double figures in 20 of 24 games played and 15 or more points on 13 occasions.
+ Northwestern leads the Big Ten and ranks in the top-15 nationally in guarding the three-point line, holding teams to just 29.6 percent shooting from deep. In wins this season, NU is holding teams to 23.9 percent from three (47-for-197). Ten of Northwestern’s 12 wins have come when holding teams to five or fewer triples. The Wildcats are 9-2 when connecting on eight or more triples in games this season. The only setbacks are a one-point loss to Iowa (Feb. 13) and an overtime defeat to Oklahoma (Dec. 21).