Buckeyes will take a step back
Ohio State isn't devoid of talent, but a return to the Final Four is unlikely
Leading up to Midnight Madness in October, ESPN Insider's "Countdown to Madness" series is previewing the top five seeds in each of the four regions in Joe Lunardi's preseason 2013 NCAA bracket. To read about the key stats and freshman impact for each team as the previews are published, plus get expert predictions from Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Lunardi, click here. This is the entry for the Ohio State Buckeyes, No. 4 in the Midwest (Indianapolis).
The key: Lockdown defense
Stat to know: 59.8
Having one of the nation's best individual defenders back for another season is a fine place to start. But Aaron Craft obviously can't defend a whole team by himself, and it's Ohio State's continued emphasis on solid possession-by-possession defense, with contributions from everybody, that has helped make Thad Matta's Buckeyes so stingy on that end of the floor.
To read the full 2012-13 Ohio State preview, including the Buckeyes' season outlook from Fran Fraschilla, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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