Sports Today: Buckeyes blasted while big opportunity comes for Wright State

For the second time this season, Penn State basketball made Ohio State basketball look bad

This is a strange sentence anytime but particularly so this season of resurgence for the Buckeyes. 

That’s not to say Penn State is not a quality team. The Nittany Lions should make the NCAA tournament if they can win just another game or two between now and Selection Sunday. 

Ohio State has just been that good since the start of the Big Ten season. 

The question now is if they will be that good again. 

RELATED: 11 players who could be the next Ohio State recruit from Southwest Ohio

Was this one game, or the sign of things to come? 

To be honest, I’ve been waiting for the bubble to burst for this team. It’s a feel-great story, but how long can it really last? 

Not long at all if they get only 10 points from Keita Bates-Diop, but maybe last night was just a blip. 

C.J. Jackson playing well in the second half might be a more important positive indicator than anything else for Ohio State, although he only had one assist. 


The Nittany Lions locked up the Buckeyes’ offense, making it hard for Bates-Diop to get the ball where he wanted it and eliminating what was working inside early for Jae’Sean Tate and Kaleb Wesson. 

Of course, Chris Holtmann’s team has already shaken off one loss to the Nittany Lions this season. 

This one will be tougher if for no other reason than next on the docket is a trip to Michigan on Sunday. 

The Wolverines are a spot ahead of the Nittany Lions in ratings but have a better coach and a better home-court environment. 

They will have revenge on their minds, too. 

Ohio State is still in a first-place tie with Michigan State but probably can’t afford another loss because of the Spartans’ weak remaining schedule. 

Of course, Purdue was supposed to win at Wisconsin last night but did not. (MSU finishes the regular season in Madison.)… 

The fifth-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats also lost Thursday night. 

The 67-62 setback at Houston is the first conference defeat of the year for Mick Cronin’s crew. 

Maybe that whole thing about our state being college basketball’s dominant force was premature? 

Well, Xavier won Wednesday night, and the Musketeers get another shot at Villanova on Saturday. 

Given how those have tended to go, we might be looking at the top three teams in the state all having lost their most recent game… 

Tonight the biggest basketball game in the state and arguably the country will be played at the Nutter Center as Wright State plays host to Northern Kentucky. 

The Raiders can not only move back into a first-place tie in the Horizon League with a win but complete a season sweep of the Norse. 

Coach Scott Nagy’s club wasn’t supposed to win at NKU but did pull off that upset. They’re a slight underdog this time around, but perhaps that will provide some extra motivation. 

These teams have a nearly identical RPI, but NKU is 50 spots higher in the KenPom rankings at No. 87. 

Wright State’s challenge will be conjuring up enough offense as the Raiders have proven to be a strong defensive team in Nagy’s second season at the helm… 

Dayton welcomes Fordham to town Saturday night. 

UD Arena is sold-out for its Hall of Fame Game, but the Flyers are reeling. 

Fordham provides a good chance to stop the bleeding of a three-game losing streak. 

Any guesses on how playing time will be distributed for the Flyers? 

Me neither… 

With the way this season is going, it’s OK to go ahead and start daydreaming about the next one. 

One of the players who could do quite a bit to prevent 2019 from ending up like 2018 is Obadiah Toppin

He was a late-bloomer who joined Dayton’s class after Anthony Grant was hired. 

While he is sitting out this season as an academic redshirt, he’s got an intriguing mix of size and athleticism. 

Meanwhile, are the big boys who have probably been cheating for years about to get theirs? 

Yahoo! Sports reports the day (or more likely days) of reckoning is coming for those schools who have players and coaches involved in the FBI’s investigation of how agents and shoe company reps control college basketball recruiting. 

Take all this with a grain of salt because it’s mostly coming via anonymous sources who won’t face any repercussions if they are lying, but Pete Thamel does a good job of making this all sound very ominous. 

“This goes a lot deeper in college basketball than four corrupt assistant coaches,” said a source who has been briefed on the details of the case. “When this all comes out, Hall of Fame coaches should be scared, lottery picks won’t be eligible to play and almost half of the 16 teams the NCAA showed on its initial NCAA tournament show this weekend should worry about their appearance being vacated.”

This season’s big three in Ohio were all in that initial top 16, though so far there has been no public indication Ohio State, UC or Xavier are involved. 

The group also includes blue bloods Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and Michigan State while two more — Arizona and Auburn — already have assistants who have been indicted as a result of the investigation. 

One of my initial reactions when news of this case broke last fall was that we could be in line for a wild NCAA tournament if some of the top programs have to sit it out. 

The opportunity for mid-majors could be unprecedented. 

Maybe that will have to wait until next year, but I am curious to know if the NCAA has investigators proactively trying to weed out any of these offenders ahead of Selection Sunday 2018. 

Reader Comments

Next Up in Sports

5 takeaways from Bengals’ 30-16 win over Raiders
5 takeaways from Bengals’ 30-16 win over Raiders

The celebratory postgame “Who Dey” chant in the locker room never sounded so good to the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati ended a five-game losing streak Sunday with a 30-16 win over the Oakland Raiders in the home finale at Paul Brown Stadium. »RELATED: Bengals break through in home finale The Bengals (6-8) had come close to ending...
Dayton fades late against Tulsa and falls back to .500
Dayton fades late against Tulsa and falls back to .500

The Dayton Flyers suffered their fifth loss in the last six games Sunday, falling 72-67 to Tulsa in the Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena. This one had to feel similar to a number of the previous losses. Dayton (5-5) came out slow, trailing 27-13 in the first half. It rallied to tie the game 30-30 at halftime. Then it surged...
Mixon runs wild, Bengals snap five-game losing streak
Mixon runs wild, Bengals snap five-game losing streak

Joe Mixon had another big game, and this time he was rewarded with a win. Sparked by Mixon’s second straight 100-yard rushing performance, the Cincinnati Bengals ended a five-game losing streak with a 30-16 win over the Oakland Raiders in their home finale Sunday in front of 44,568 fans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mixon carried the ball 27 times for...
Former Dayton forward makes debut at College of Charleston
Former Dayton forward makes debut at College of Charleston

Former Dayton Flyers forward Sam Miller played his first college basketball game in 21 months Saturday, seeing five minutes of action for the College of Charleston in an 83-79 victory against Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond, Va. Miller had one steal and a turnover in his brief time on the court. This was his first appearance in a game since March...
Pressure powers Tecumseh past Kenton Ridge
Pressure powers Tecumseh past Kenton Ridge

Since Presley Griffitts and Corinne Thomas joined the Tecumseh girls basketball team as freshmen in the 2015-16 season the Arrows have dominated the Central Buckeye Conference. Coach Danielle Thomas’ teams have won three straight league titles and are 36-2 in league games. The Arrows’ early-season resume indicates they are again up to the...
More Stories