Ready for Michigan-Ohio State? Here's our take

It’s a shame Michigan and Ohio State are guaranteed to meet just once on the hardwood this season. That one time is tonight, as No. 22 Ohio State hosts No. 15 Michigan at 9 p.m. ET. It’s a huge game, both in terms of the rivalry and the Big Ten title race. Our guys offer their game analysis in this post.

[ MORE: AP: Michigan at Ohio State preview ]

Will Nik Stauskas bust out of his slump?
Tom Dienhart: No. Ohio State’s defense will clamp down on him. And I have to think Stauskas’ confidence is wavering a bit, too.
Brent Yarina: No. Considering small, quick guards are the ones giving Stauskas fits, his inevitable return isn’t likely against Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott.

Michigan wins if…
Dienhart: … Glenn Robinson III scores 15-20 points. He needs to find his rhythm as a shooter to take pressure off of Stauskas.
Yarina: … The defense can clamp down and make LaQuinton Ross Ohio State’s lone double-digit scorer.

Ohio State wins if…
Dienhart: … Amir Williams controls the paint by rebounding with passion while also scoring 8-10 points.
Yarina: … Shannon Scott continues to provide a spark in his new role as a reserve. After all, the Buckeyes are 3-0 since moving him to the bench.

[ MORE: Michigan-OSU tops Dienhart’s list of this week’s B1G games ]

Higher total tonight: Stauskas points or Craft steals AND assists?
Dienhart: Craft’s steals and assists. The guy is peaking at the right time, impacting games on multiple levels. Look for him to combine for 11-13 steals/assists.
Yarina: Stauskas’ points. Craft averages an aggregate 7.4 assists/steals on the season, and as bad as Stauskas has been the last three games, he’s averaged 8.3 points.

Higher total tonight: Zak Irvin 3-pointers or Amir Williams blocks?
Dienhart: Williams’ blocks. He has become Ohio State’s X-factor. Williams can guard the rim well, dissuading players from driving. If they drive, they get rejected. Look for at least a couple blocks tonight.
Yarina: Irvin’ 3-pointers. The freshman sharpshooter is on a tear, hitting eight of his last 15 treys in the last two games, and he should get plenty of looks as a result.

Who wins?
Dienhart: Ohio State 62, Michigan 58
Yarina: Ohio State 67, Michigan 63


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (4 Comments)
akble on 2/11/2014 @ 6:46pm EDT Said:

Mich bounces back – Ohio State shoots poorly and Crafts aggregate when TOs factored in is 5 Mich 65 OS 58

bob on 2/12/2014 @ 7:50am EDT Said:

wow, I don’t think you could have been farther off. About 180 degrees. Of course that happens in the big 10. Craft laid an egg again after you guys idolize him again! Wow

scott on 2/12/2014 @ 9:16am EDT Said:

WOW.. you guys were totally off on your picks?? we all could tell who you were voting for in this game? you didnt give mich., a chance….. it shows that you guys dont have a clue what your talking about??? GO BLUE…. AND EAT CROW. TOM:)

akble on 2/12/2014 @ 9:41am EDT Said:

and I was pretty close in score- but missed the combined Craft Asst/Steals- only 2- coupled with his 2 TOs a net of 0 – and was matched up aginst Stauskas who hit for 15 with 50% shooting . Craft is gutty player and hustles a lot but when game called close with no good supporting cast he shoots air balls and commits TOs trying to play beyond his limited game. Good compliment to last couple year’s teams but almost a liability at times this year Honorable Mention guard on this years B10 teams