The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes have an opportunity to fortify their position as the top team in the Big Ten when they take the court in a hostile Assembly Hall on Saturday evening to take on the No. 15 Indiana Hoosiers.
The Buckeyes will need a big game out of forward Jared Sullinger in the post to force Indiana to work at the defensive end and neutralize the Hoosiers' talented freshman big man, Cody Zeller. The 6'-11" Zeller leads a balanced attack for Indiana as the team's top scorer at 14.2 points per game, the best of five players averaging double figures.
After racing out to a 12-0 non-conference record with a signature win at home over Kentucky, Indiana lost their first game of the season at Michigan State earlier in the week. Big Ten play was a rude awakening for Zeller as he struggled with the strong Spartan front court, only scoring four points with three rebounds.
Zeller and his teammates should feel much more comfortable at home with their raucous fan base behind them so it will be up to the Buckeyes to take advantage of their matchup advantages. Deshaun Thomas and Will Buford will need to add their scoring punch to help Sullinger while Aaron Craft will have to use his physical advantage to keep Indiana's point guard Jordan Hulls from igniting the Hoosiers' offensive attack.
Big Ten champions win big road games in conference Saturday's game at Indiana qualifies as just such a game for Ohio State.