No. 2 Ohio State squares off against a feisty Northwestern team who has jumped out to a 10-2 start to their season.
With Jared Sullinger on the floor, Ohio State appears unstoppable, and being on their home floor makes them even more dangerous.
Northwestern has played two games against ranked opponents and not-so coincidentally, they have lost both of them. This is a huge road test. Let's take a closer look to see if they can pull off the upset against the Buckeyes.
Where: Jerome Schottenstein Center (Columbus, OH)
When: Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m. EST
Watch: Big Ten Network
Who will cover?
Betting Line: Ohio State -17, according to Sportschatplace
Northwestern was blown away by Baylor at home by 28 points. No way do they roll into Ohio State and avoid an inevitable shellacking.
What’s At Stake?
This game has the power to put Northwestern on the map. This would stand as a decent win for Ohio State as well, but it's the sort of game that can define the Wildcats' season.
What They’re Saying
Head coach Bill Carmody speaks on Northwestern's start.
Jared Sullinger and Brutus pass along their best wishes during the holiday season.
Northwestern Player To Watch: John Shurna
John Shurna has to have a huge game for Northwestern to even have a chance in this one. He's their leading scorer and rebounder and has posted over 30 points twice this season.
He's got to get big down low and dominate to give Northwestern some sort of chance.
Ohio State Player To Watch: Jared Sullinger
When the best player in the country takes the floor, he's automatically the player to watch. Sullinger is an absolute animal and you can expect a monster day from the big man.
He's in a completely different class than Shurna, and we'll see why when they square off against one another.
Key Matchup: Bill Carmody vs. Thad Matta
Will Northwestern pull off the upset?
Bill Carmody has to figure out a way to keep his troops focused and upbeat throughout the entirety of the game. Thad Matta has to make sure that Ohio State doesn't roll into this game overconfident. Carmody and Matta need to stress that an upset is entirely possible in this matchup.
Ohio State is going to put Northwestern in their place. The Wildcats are competing for a tournament berth. The Buckeyes are vying for a national championship. Ohio State wins and wins big in this one.
Ohio State 86, Northwestern 63