Saturday, February 11, 2012

Looking at the Buckeyes' big picture

Ohio State's loss to Michigan State in Columbus on Saturday was costly for the Buckeyes.

With a difficult schedule remaining, OSU probably needed a win on Saturday to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and claim the Big Ten title. Now, it will take a huge effort to knock off the Spartans and Coach Tom Izzo, but does it really matter?

I say no. Last season, the Buckeyes were the conference champs in the regular season and the Big Ten tournament and the No. 1 overall seed heading into March Madness. That didn't mean much when Kentucky upset OSU in the round of 16.

Barring a big collapse, Coach Thad Matta's club should be no worse than a No. 2 seed in the NCAAs, and that's not a bad thing. The pressure of being a top seed certainly would not be there, and it might allow the Buckeyes an opportunity to peak during March Madness, and not in a conference tournament that means absolutely nothing in terms of the big picture.

This isn't college football. Everything OSU wants to accomplish is without question still in front of it, even with Saturday's loss to Sparty.

Now, it's up to Matta to build the Buckeyes back up and have his team ready for when the real season starts.

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo


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