It’s a significant 1.
Ohio Condition travels to Illinois and its chances at a Large 10 Conference standard-year championship hangs in the harmony. Win, and the Buckeyes hold rate with the other teams at the leading of the league with just a handful of game titles remaining to wind down the period. Eliminate, and the outside shot at a meeting crown is most very likely down the drain.
And it will not be quick. The Illini have an imposing presence in the paint with correct heart and beefeater, Kofi Cockburn. He’ll be a handful on both of those finishes of the court docket, but he’s also got plenty surrounding him to make daily life complicated on any team striving to wrestle a highway victory absent in Champaign.
There is also the query of no matter if E.J. Liddell will be equipped to go? The latest reviews have him questionable for the game for the reason that of flu-like indications, so include that to the intrigue of this match. It’s a donnybrook amongst ranked opponents in a deep, gifted, and rough and tumble Major Ten — a result that will offer a lot more clarity on the conference race.
Can Ohio Condition pull off the upset and shake up the best of the convention?
Records and Broadcast Facts
Ohio Condition 17-7 (10-5), Illinois 19-7 (12-4)
Broadcast, Tv set, Game Time
Date | Thursday, Feb. 24
Video game Time | 9:00 p.m. EST
Venue | State Farm Center, Champaign, IL
Network | FS1
Ohio State Opportunity Match Prepare for Victory
COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 6: Kyle Younger #25 of the Ohio Point out Buckeyes fouls Kofi Cockburn #21 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first 50 % as Zed Vital #23 of the Ohio Condition Buckeyes assists protect at Worth City Arena on March 6, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (Image by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
This game is heading to be gained by what happens in the paint. In purchase to beat Illinois, you have to make middle Kofi Cockburn perform on each ends of the flooring. He does not run the court really effectively, so pushing the ball when you have the chance could final result in less complicated pictures with less targeted visitors and rim protection. Seem for OSU to attempt and pull Cockburn out from the lane anyhow and make him guard in space, attempting to tire him out and get him on the bench needing to obtain his oxygen far more than ordinary.
Offensively, the Illini are far more than Cockburn, but it all runs by means of him. You have to maintain him off the offensive boards, try out and push him out of the lane with his back to the basket, then rally all-around and collapse when the ball is been given deep. From there, it is hoping the guards and perimeter gamers have an off taking pictures night, specially in the friendly residence ecosystem.
It’ll be a war of attrition, one that makes an alley scrum search civil. That’s what this game has to flip into for OSU. Hold it near, and test to steal a single at the end.
Crucial Participant for Ohio Point out
Ohio Point out Buckeyes forward Zed Critical (23) seems off as the workforce struggles in the course of the next 50 percent of the NCAA men’s basketball recreation from the Akron Zips at Value Town Arena in Columbus on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. The Buckeyes gained 67-66. Credit score: United states of america Right now Sports Network
Electrical power Forward, Zed Critical
Whether E.J. Liddell can go or not, Essential is most probable going to draw the assignment of banging all around on the blocks with Cockburn. He has to be actual physical, do the job hard to coral rebounds, and get the significant male performing tricky to guard and chase. If Liddell is out, then he also requires to provide at minimum some scoring punch and fill the rebounding void remaining. A donnybrook in the paint that receives Cockburn in foul difficulty would not be a bad issue both.
Crucial Participant for Illinois
COLUMBUS, OH – MARCH 6: Kofi Cockburn #21 of the Illinois Preventing Illini shoots over the defense of Kyle Younger #25 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the initially half at Worth City Arena on March 6, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (Photograph by Jamie Sabau/Getty Visuals)
Middle, Kofi Cockburn
When you have a participant of the calendar year applicant on the opposing aspect, he’s the noticeable choice to gameplan versus. Cockburn can be a handful with his toughness, size, and capacity to bully his way all-around the rim. You do not have to worry as well considerably about the outside the house recreation, but you improved carry a lunch pail and helmet to the celebration in the paing. If Ohio State can restrict his touches down small and maintain him off the boards, there’s a possibility to pull off the upset.
Mar 21, 2021 Indianapolis, Indiana, Usa Illinois Combating Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts to a participate in versus the Loyola Ramblers for the duration of the second 50 % in the next round of the 2021 NCAA Event at Bankers Everyday living Fieldhouse. The Loyola Ramblers gained 71-58. Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-United states of america Now Sporting activities
Ohio State superior not begin gradual in this one. With or without Liddell, slipping powering like we’ve observed the Buckeyes do on the street right before will put this a person in significant doubt early. The Illini engage in with substantially much more vitality and precision at household at the rear of the residence group, and with the Buckeyes actively playing so several games in shorter order earning up for canceled types, this one’s a tall order. Add that to an E.J. Liddell that is not healthy, and I’m frightened this one’s heading to be tricky to pull out. I detest to say it, but this a single is in all probability a extra decisive victory for Illinois than what the specialists say just because of the situation OSU is working with.
Illinois 77, Ohio State 64
Illinois -7.5 (All Betting Strains are Courtesy of Tipico Sportsbook)
Allow us know your thoughts, remark on this tale beneath. Be a part of the discussion now.