The Ohio State Buckeyes football program climbed to No. 2 in the country with a win over rivals Michigan this past weekend, and it looks like they will get their shot at a BCS Championsip game. While Ohio State is known for its football, the basketball program has also come a long way, and there are three notable reasons why they have the potential this year to make a run through the March Madness and win the national title
2014 March Madness Odds
Notable Reason #1: Aaron Craft Is Ready To Take The Next Step
Aaron Craft opted to come back for his senior season and the chance to show what he can do at the college level, so don’t expect him to struggle the way he did at times last year. A gifted playmaker that has excellent vision and a great basketball IQ, Craft will be asked to provide scoring while also putting his teammates in position to excel. He certainly has the raw talented and ability to do that, even if he isn’t as explosive as some of the other players at his position around the Big Ten. The Buckeyes will need contributions from across the board, but Craft is certainly talented enough to lead the way this season.
Notable Reason #2: Quality Depth Will Help Take Some Pressure Away
Deshuan Thomas was absolutely dominant for Ohio State a year ago and while Craft will step up to fill some of that void, the Buckeyes will rely on some quality depth to help spread the load around. Ohio State has opened the year with three-straight wins, and amazingly there are three different players tied for the team lead in average scoring. Amir Williams and Lenzelle Smith Jr. join Craft as the three players that are averaging a team-high 11.3 points per game, followed by Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson, who are averaging 11 and 8.2 points respectively. The Buckeyes need to be able to spread the ball around, and they have the depth to make sure that the pressure isn’t too much of a burden.
Notable Reason #3: Matta Understands How To Best Prepare His Team
The head coach of the Ohio State basketball team will have his hands full this year, but he also has a ton of talent at his disposal and he will do what it takes to get them ready by the time the March Madness Rolls around. Thad Matta has gone 111-45 in his 10 seasons coaching the Buckeyes in the Big Ten and while the roster may seem incomplete now, the next few months will be spent developing some of the young talent he has and making sure they are ready when it matters the most. Ohio State is good enough to contend in the Big Ten and should be a lock for the Madness, but this team could end up saving its best with Matta getting them prepared.
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