The 12th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes and the 5th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes take the floor Sunday afternoon in Big Ten action from Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, beginning at 4 pm EST. The Buckeyes are currently favored by 2-points for this contest.
The Hawkeyes seek to seek to atone for a blowout loss on the road to the Michigan Wolverines Thursday night as their offense was not able to get anything going throughout the contest shooting a dismal 36% from the floor. Luka Garza had a rough shooting night (6-19 ), yet, led the team with 16 points while the team's 2 remaining double-digit scorers, Joe Wieskamp and Jordan Bohannon, also struggled while chipping in 11 and 13 points, respectively. The Hawkeyes failed to cover the spread for the 2nd-straight game and have done so in 7 of their last 10 outings.
Ohio State also enters this matchup seeking to atone for their 2nd-straight loss versus the Michigan State Spartans last Thursday as they relinquished a 5-point halftime lead before being outscored 38-29 in the 2nd-half before falling by 4-points. EJ Liddell and Duane Washington, Jr. led with 18 and 17 points while going a combined 11-29 FG along with 1-8 3FG. The defense for the Buckeyes allowed 48% shooting from the floor and despite allowing 71 points, Ohio State has allowed 80 or more points in 2 of their last 3 outings. They failed to cover as 4-point favorites and have failed to do so in 4 of their last 10 outings.
Both teams have split the last 10 games outright with the Buckeyes winning 3 of their last 4 at home. Each have also covered in 5 of their last 10 matchups, including going 3-1 ATS at home in their last 4 versus their conference foe.
Garza has one of his worst outputs of the yearDespite Iowa being down by 3-points at the half versus Michigan, they simply were not able to connect throughout the 2nd-half as they fell behind early in the half en route to their worst loss of the year. Wieskamp (15 ppg, 7 rebs) went 4-9 from the floor for 11 points while Bohannon (10 ppg) ended a streak of 3 single-digit performances to post 13 points. However, most remarkable was the way in which the Wolverines were able to lock down big man Garza, who missed 13 of 19 shots. In all, the center simply was not able to convert on what he perceived as good looks at the rim.
"I think I was missing shots that I normally make all the time. Rare layups. I think some guys were also missing some jump shots we normally make. I think we just let that affect our defense. We just couldn’t keep up with them. I know I have to be better for my team and I felt like I got the shots I wanted, Garza told 247Sports. Now, with a record of 17-7 on the year, the Hawkeyes have an opportunity to bounce back in a big way versus an Ohio State team that despite dropping their last 2, have won 7 of 9, overall.
This will be a payback game for Iowa as they fell by 4-points at home versus the Buckeyes early this month. Garza finished 6-13 FG for 16 points while Bohannon and Wieskamp combined for 8 of the team's 14 3-pointers while posting 18 and 17 points, respectively, as the Hawkeyes shot 44% both from the field as well as from long-range. However, the defense gave up 48% shooting to Ohio State along with 14 long-balls as the Buckeyes boasted 4 starters in double-figures. Iowa has only averaged 68 points per game in their last 4 at Value City Arena.
Buckeyes outlasted for 2nd-straight gameAfter falling to the top-dog in the Michigan Wolverines February 21st, the Buckeyes fell by 4 on the road to the surging Michigan State Spartans 4-days later. And despite the solid defense for Ohio State giving up just 4 of 15 treys along with forcing 15 turnovers, Michigan State shot 48% for the contest compared to just 44% for the Buckeyes. Washington, Jr. (16 ppg) along with Liddell (16 ppg, 7 rebs) continued to pace the offensive attack; However, combined to go 11-29 from the floor while missing 7 of their 8 attempts from deep. CJ Walker (9 ppg) came off the bench to post his 5th-straight double-digit performance with 12 and 5 dimes on 4-8 FG (2-3 3FG).
Despite this, the Buckeyes find themselves in a must-win situation where their effort must be solid on the defensive end. And while the defense for Ohio State is giving up just 69 points per game on 42% shooting, Iowa has posted an average of 82 points in their last 7 meetings. And while the Buckeyes have come up short in 3 of 4 versus their conference foe, the Buckeyes have won 3-straight outright versus the Hawkeyes at home with the offense putting up 81 points during these wins.
In all, Ohio State has picked up wins in 10 of 12 games at Value City Arena while the Hawkeyes are a game above .500 in 9 road games this season, including dropping 3 of 5 roadies.
Stats & Trends
- Hawkeyes are 3-7 ATS in last 10 games.
- Hawkeyes are 2-3 ATS in last 5 road games.
- Hawkeyes are 2-4 ATS in last 6 meetings.
- Favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
- Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
- Buckeyes are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up loss.
The Buckeyes have had a rough couple of outings leading up to this matchup while the Hawkeyes were thumped pretty well in their last outing versus the Wolverines. However, I like the home team in this instance as the Buckeyes have covered in 4 of the last 6 versus their conference foe while the home team has also been very successful recently (4-1 in last 5). Furthermore, while Iowa continues to be a solid team, they have struggled against the number away from home failing to cover in 3 of their last 5.