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Big Ten Tournament Bracket Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State Buckeye: Final Record – 29-2(16-2), #1 Seed

The Ohio State Buckeyes enter the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Bracket on the top-line, winner of the regular season Big Ten Championship while ending the season as the #1 team in the country in both polls. Ohio State finished the season at 29-2, 16-2 in the Big Ten, and were perfect at home.

The Buckeyes best player, of course, is freshman Jared Sullinger who averaged 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. The Buckeyes proved, however, that can win without Sullinger’s best as the big man struggled a bit down the stretch.

Senior sharp-shooter Jon Diebler scored in double-figures the final six games of the season – Ohio State was 5-1 during the stretch – and averaged 28.5 points per game over the final two wins at Penn State and a home win over Wisconsin. Diebler has buried 17 of his last 20 three points shots as well.

The one knock about Ohio State heading into tournament action is depth. In fact, in their season finale, five players played 33 minutes or more, and only one bench player played more than 5 minutes – and that was in a blowout win. Aaron Craft is the only bench player that gets significant playing time, and that could come back to haunt them, especially in the big dance.

Ohio State has a chance to be the overall #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That means they could play their first-round games in Cleveland. I expect the Buckeyes to be a motivated group, looking to put the finishing touches on a tremendous Big Ten season while priming for what they hope is a long run in the NCAA Tournament.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.