Chris Holtmann Has A Message For Ohio State Fans After Beating Purdue

Michigan State’s Nick Ward ranks among the top ten in the Big Ten in rebounding. Mandatory Credit Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Finals are at 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Latest line: Ohio State (-13.5). Cook leads in rebounds with 6.6 while Bohannon tops in assists with 5.3 per game.

Much has changed since the Buckeyes jumped on the Hawkeyes early and rolled to a 92-81 victory in Iowa City on January 4. The obvious flip side of that is that the Buckeyes will be seeing the Hawkeyes for the second time too. The Spartans also have the depth to wear-down the Boilermakers, whose bench lacks much punch. Jalen Brunson is one of the top players in the nation, and he has superb numbers with a scoring average of 19.8 points per game and an exceptional 54.4 shooting percentage. They had undergone a coaching change in June with long-time coach Thad Matta abruptly departing and Chris Holtmann being brought in from Butler to replace him. I wonder what little tweaks he might make from the start over these last five now that there won't be any secrets between the Buckeyes and their opponents.

The Purdue Boilermakers are looking to get back on track, while the Michigan State Spartans are looking to keep the red hot play going.

Here are a few more helpful Big Ten men's basketball links.

What was the thinnest area for the Spartans (23-3, 11-2 Big Ten) has become one of their greatest strengths, with six players standing 6-foot-6 or taller.

Tate's layup missed. Bates-Diop followed close behind and tipped in a putback to give No. 14 Ohio State a dramatic win on the road against No. 3 Purdue. No more running the clock down to five seconds and then hoisting up a prayer.

Purdue's PJ Thompson commits one of the team's dozen turnovers in a brutal loss to the surging Buckeyes.

Then the Buckeyes stole a win from Purdue anyway. The Buckeyes got unexpected production from beyond the arc by Musa Jallow and Andre Wesson. Isaac Haas and Carsen Edwards will be trouble, but the Spartans will match Purdue tit for tat. With Kam Williams still serving his suspension, the Buckeyes need a scoring lift from somewhere. The Spartans are sloppy with the ball on offense and get lax at times defensively. Need rest and prep for quick turnaround on Saturday against a big, physical team playing very well. "Our guys know and I've reminded them that this closing stretch - Purdue and Iowa playing very well and these games on the road - it's by far the most hard that I've faced and I think one of the most hard closing stretches in the league". Ohio State vs Iowa tv channel is on BTN. But this team just isn't good at it.

Michigan State and Purdue are 12-2 in conference play. After losing two of three Big Ten games in January to Ohio State and MI, the Spartans have reeled off seven straight wins and are playing to the level that was expected.

Ohio State loomed large in Purdue's offensive struggles - 63 points was a season-low - as its length, interchangable nature across its lineup and its aggressiveness were a handful for the Boilermakers.

Bill's pick: Ohio State 81, Iowa 75.

Purdue has a really good men's basketball team this season. They totaled eight points on 2 of 12 shooting Saturday.

Omari Spellman added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who avoided losing consecutive games for the first time since March 2013. While Mathias is a reigning All-Big Ten defensive team selection, he gives up three inches and 30 pounds in that potential matchup.

The key will be limiting second-chance points, something Ohio State did well last week against IL - another Big Ten bottom feeder that's better than its record indicates and is one of the best rebounding teams in the country.


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