IL vs. Ohio State College Basketball Predictions 2/4/18

Jonathan Hernandez
February 8, 2018

Jae'Sean Tate added 11 for the Buckeyes (20-5, 11-1 conference), who moved within a game of first-place Purdue in the Big Ten. The Illini played a very solid overall team game, with all five starters finishing in double figures.

OSU got a big win at 141 when No. 11-ranked Joey McKenna upset No. 6 Nick Lee by a 7-6 decision to give the visitors a 10-0 lead after three matches.

MSU kept the pressure on OSU to start the third, outshooting the Buckeyes 8-1 through the first seven-plus minutes of the period. As a unit they shot over 56 percent from the field while forcing an impressive 25 turnovers. Tomasello however wore down Kuhn and retook control with a 7-0 shutout in the second period. These guys knew they were going to have to step it up and we were going to have to have a big match or two, like Cassar.

To the Illini's credit - and here is where this team has improved since its 25-point loss at Wisconsin on January 19 - they joined the dogfight with teeth bared. The Illini went more than 11 minutes without scoring a point, allowing Ohio State to comeback.

The box score from Sunday's game doesn't make much sense. The New Jersey native lifted the roof of yet another Rec Hall sellout by controlling the top-ranked Buckeye over the final two periods and rolling to a 6-3 victory. With more than a dozen friends and family on hand, the OH native knew this was his last chance to play in his home state and the senior came to play scoring a season high 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting but an 11-minute, 31 second first half scoring drought ultimately proved to be too much to overcome. I do think that Penn State can steal one here at home, and if the Nittany Lions do, it'll be Friday night.

Bates-Diop had 17 of his points in the first half - 11 straight in one stretch - when Ohio State had to dig its way out of a 15-point hole. He thumped high school workout partner Te-Shan Campbell 12-3 and No. 2 Mark Hall followed with an inspired 6-4 win over No. 3 Bo Jordan.

It is a far cry from where they were at this time a year ago, wherein they held a 4-7 record through their first 11 Big Ten games. IL is also 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games overall and 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight versus the Big Ten. Nickal made a statement majoring the second-ranked Martin and taking him down three different times. Cassar got the nod at 197 and took on No. 1 Kollin Moore.

Kipper Nichols and Leron Black both struggled against the Buckeyes.

Ohio State had built a 15-5 lead through five matches, including a pivotal tossup win at 141, which many thought dashed the Nittany Lions' hopes.

Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 6 at 285, took on defending NCAA Champion and No. 1-ranked Kyle Snyder in the final match-up. Snyder's six takedowns fueled a 15-10 win, but it wasn't enough to prevent a Penn State win.

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