Can Buckeyes get Thomas help?
OSU's success will be tied to assisting Deshaun on O, and locking down on D
Entering this season, the Big Ten was widely thought to be the nation's premier conference, and thus far nothing I've seen has led me to revise that assumption. Whether the evidence of choice is Indiana's total annihilation of North Carolina Tuesday night in Bloomington, or Michigan's somewhat more civilized but nevertheless still convincing win over North Carolina State in Ann Arbor, the Big Ten has more than lived up to its advance hype.
Among the conference's elite teams this season, however, there is one group that stands out as something of an enigma: the Ohio State Buckeyes. There they sit, ranked No. 4 in the nation, in close and elevated proximity to the Hoosiers and the Wolverines. But what do we really know about Thad Matta's latest team?
Ohio State's "best" win to date was their 77-66 victory over Washington at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Conn. Posting a double-digit win over a major-conference foe on a neutral floor is all well and good, of course, but is this team really prepared to compete for a title in the nation's best conference?
We're about to find out. Nothing like a game against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium to diffuse a little analytical uncertainty. Here's what I'll be watching for with Matta's team, not only Wednesday evening but also in the weeks to come.
To read John Gasaway's full take on Ohio State, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- UNC inviting athletes back to finish degrees
- Ex-Baylor star Austin: NBA offered job too
- C-USA chief: 'Second 5' will still be relevant
- Source: Mudiay signs deal to play in China
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game