There are plenty of college basketball fans that don’t really tune in until the conference seasons get under way.
After all, that’s when football season is winding to a close and the battle for positioning in the NCAA tournament really starts to heat up.
However, if you are an Ohio State basketball fan, doing that would be a mistake for the 2012-13 season (of course, with no bowl game, the football season will end a bit earlier for Buckeye fans). There are a handful of early nonconference games that will have a lasting impact on the season as a whole.
I’m not saying Thad Matta and company will be spending March at home if they lose these games, but Ohio State has bigger plans than just a Big Dance participation ribbon. These nonconference showdowns loom large in terms of seeding and, perhaps most importantly, momentum heading into the conference slate.
Here are four nonconference games that will truly matter.