Can a team with a smidgen more talent learn how to win is the focus of HRWager’s NCAAM Free Pick for 2/9. Ohio State (14-10) took care of business at Northwestern (16-8) and every time the two have played since 2009. Most of the time, the Buckeyes were above average to near elite in the conference as well as the country. This time around, both teams would need minor miracles to make it to the Big Dance. To start on this quest, which team will win this evening or even cover the +5 the road Wildcats face this evening!
NCAAM Free Pick : Minnesota Key Juncture
82-58 crushing of Minnesota is the foundation in which Northwester hopes to build a late season surge upon. Struggling offensive focal points Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps sprang back into life after a five game lack luster stretch in Big Ten play. Also the odd zone defense that NW employs has finally started to pay off some dividends. A 16-8 team can not have a ton of momentum but Northwestern is riding about as high as they can for this one.
Can OSU Defend the Pass?
An odd football phrased question that is quite apt for this game. Northwestern is really talented in their oncourt passing. Their assist to turnover ratios is close to 1.5 to 1. So a complete defensive effort is needed but mentally, this Buckeyes team is fraying. They are 6-5 in conference but 0-5 against teams above them in conference standings. This wears on a team that they do not have that push to get them into a higher echelon. Mental discipline might be lacking tonight as the team will be too busy figuring out how to beat better and let a non factor like NW come on in an steal at least the cover.
Classic trap game for Ohio State. Most local press to Ohio are overlooking this game. The Buckeyes are waffling as they are used to loftier heights. Heck even NW has a slight interior height advantage to them. All of this equates to a cover for Northwestern and possible road upset. Good fortune with your Northwestern selection and we will see you later today here at the HRW.