GAME THREAD: No. 24 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers

Graphic: Phil Mitten

Not long ago, this looked like a top-five matchup. Now, the Badgers and Buckeyes are largely just trying to find their way.

Loading Scores

Three keys to victory:

1. Play with a spark:

Wisconsin was asleep from the outset Wednesday and did not wake from its stupor until the game was essentially out of reach. The mental fortitude of this UW squad is never something I thought I'd question, but here I am. The Badgers have been hit with haymakers to the jaw a few times in recent weeks, and I've seen little ability for them to recover and punch back.

2. Make life hard for Lenzelle Smith, Jr.

Smith, Jr., is the Buckeyes' second-leading scorer at just over 12 points per game on the season, but in Ohio State's five Big Ten losses, he's averaging just 10 points on 34 percent (17-of-50) shooting. I haven't seen many of OSU's games this season, but from those I have watched, it is clear that the Buckeyes are a more fluid offensive team when Smith Jr., is having a good night.

3. Take care of the basketball

Wisconsin is still turning the ball over less than any team in the country (8.3 TO/game), but valuing the basketball is of paramount importance against a team like Ohio State. This game is going to be a low-scoring slugfest with minimal possessions, so every turnover will have a greater impact for each team. Whichever team hands it over the least is likely to be the winner.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bucky's 5th Quarter

You must be a member of Bucky's 5th Quarter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucky's 5th Quarter. You should read them.

Join Bucky's 5th Quarter

You must be a member of Bucky's 5th Quarter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bucky's 5th Quarter. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker