Two of the nation’s most battle-tested teams face off on Saturday afternoon when the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes visit the No. 13 Kansas Jayhawks. Each team will be facing its third ranked opponent of the year in a matchup loaded with future NBA talent.
Where: Phog Allen Fieldhouse
When: 3:15 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN, or live stream at espn.com
Listen: Ohio State, ESPN 1460—Kansas, KLWN-AM 1320
Betting Line: Ohio State at -2.5, according to sportswagersource.com.
Assuming Jared Sullinger plays, the Buckeyes should win, which is really all it’ll take to cover this spread.
Ohio State PF Jared Sullinger (back), questionable
Kansas PG Tyshawn Taylor (knee), probable
What’s At Stake?
The Buckeyes are looking for a win in their first game away from home, which would be their third victory over a ranked team, and all but lock up a No. 1 seed. Kansas, if they can beat their first-ranked foe in three tries, would elbow their way into the top-seed discussion pending their performance in Big 12 play.
What They’re Saying
Ohio State coach Thad Matta looks forward to his team facing its first hostile crowd, telling The Washington Post, "In terms of that type of atmosphere affecting you, you’ll find out a lot about your team…This will be a great opportunity."
Kansas coach Bill Self has no desire to get any advantage from Sullinger missing the game. He told the Post, "I hope everybody’s healthy and everybody plays and it’s an unbelievable game where you have two terrific teams and sets of players going after each other."
Ohio State Player to Watch
SG William Buford has been the Buckeyes’ second-leading scorer at 16 points per game. If Sullinger is less than 100 percent, the pressure will be on the three-point-shooting Buford to pick up the slack.
Kansas Player to Watch
PG Tyshawn Taylor has stepped up as a scorer in his senior year (16.8 points a night). He’ll need to have his wits about him against quick-handed Aaron Craft of the Buckeyes.
Ohio State PF Jared Sullinger vs. Kansas PF Thomas Robinson. The two best in the nation at their position, this duo will be the focus of the offense on both ends of the floor. A big advantage—and if Sullinger’s out, Robinson will have one—in scoring either way, will be all it takes to settle this game.
If Sullinger is out, Robinson will overwhelm what’s left of the Buckeyes' front line. More likely, though, Sullinger will play, and play well, in a close OSU victory.