Nebraska cruised through the non-conference portion of its schedule with eight wins in 11 outings, but the club has lost both games since Big Ten action began. After getting crushed by 24 points at home by Wisconsin, the Cornhuskers fell on Saturday to Michigan State by a 68-55 final.
Ohio State is undoubtedly eager to get back on the floor after falling to Indiana on Saturday by a 74-70 final in Bloomington. That defeat halted a five-game win streak and marked just the second setback of the campaign for the Buckeyes, who are 13-2 overall and a perfect 12-0 at home.
With regard to the all-time series between these two programs, Ohio State owns a 4-2 edge over Nebraska, including a 3-0 mark in Columbus.
Nebraska is scoring 63.8 ppg this season, a rather modest average, but the team has been able to limit foes to 61.8 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting from the field. Obviously, those averages were more impressive before the back-to-back lopsided losses in league play. The top offensive performer for the Huskers is Bo Spencer, as he is netting 15.1 ppg to go along with other team highs of 54 assists and 20 steals. Jorge Brian Diaz checks in with 10.9 ppg, while Toney McCray provides 10.2 ppg. In the 13-point setback to Michigan State, Spencer scored 15 points to pace his club, but his 4-of-15 shooting effort from the floor left much to be desired. The Huskers shot just 36 percent as a team and suffered disadvantages in both points from the foul line (19-12), and rebounds (38-24). Diaz missed that game with a foot injury, and it is unclear if he will play tonight.
Ohio State has blown out most of its opponents this season, so the Buckeyes aren't used to being locked into close contests like Saturday's battle with Indiana. OSU hit just 12 shots from the floor in each half and turned the ball over 17 times, uncharacteristic of an offense with plenty of experienced talent. Sure, the Buckeyes did earn advantages in both rebounds and points from the foul line, but the overall effort just wasn't good enough to beat a one-loss Indiana squad on its home court. Aaron Craft led the way in defeat with 16 points, while Jared Sullinger added 15 points. Lenzelle Smith Jr. posted 12 points for Ohio State, which is scoring 78.6 ppg while allowing just 56.4 ppg to opponents this season. Sullinger is widely regarded as one of the top players in all of college basketball, and he is netting 16.2 ppg to go along with 9.5 rpg. William Buford checks in with 16.1 ppg, while Deshaun Thomas provides 15.1 ppg.