Place: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
TV: ESPN with Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin, and the voluptuous Erin Andrews.
Radio: WBNS-AM 1460 and WBNS-FM 97.1 in Columbus, plus 57 stations statewide with Paul Keels and Ron Stokes. Buckeye Warm-Up begins on the network at 6 p.m.
Series History: Indiana all-time record against Ohio State is 100-72, and owns a 28-5 advantage at Assembly Hall.
Last Time: Indiana won 59-52 on Feb. 10 in Columbus.
Exit Kelvin Sampson and enter Dan Dakich, who took over last Friday after Sampson was forced to resign. This is good news for me, since I will no longer get dozens of calls from Sampson on a daily basis. If I have told him once, I told him a thousand times that my eligibility ran out a long time ago.
Ohioans will be familiar with Dakich, who played and was an assistant for legendary coach Bob Knight at Indiana before he became head coach at Bowling Green for 10 seasons. He was the third-winningest coach in Falcon history with a 156-140 mark.
Indiana is ranked 12th in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. The Hoosiers are coming off an 85-82 win at Northwestern, last Saturday.
The Hoosiers boast the top two scorers in the Big Ten Conference with freshman Eric Gordon (21.5 ppg) and senior D.J. White (17.1 ppg). White also leads the league in rebounds, averaging 10.4 per game.
One of the leading candidates for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, White has been named the league’s Player of the Week four times, the second most in Big Ten history.
Gordon, the favorite to win the Big Ten freshman of the Year, has set the Indiana record for freshman scoring with 560 points surpassing the old mark of 500 which was set by Mike Woodson in 1976-77.
Sophomore Armon Bassett has stepped up his play with his 24-point effort at Northwestern, while freshman Jordan Crawford had a career-high 21 points against the Wildcats. Bassett is the top three-point shooter in the league (48.6%).
Ohio State is coming off a a disappointing 58-53 loss to Wisconsin on Sunday. The Buckeyes didn’t score in the final 3:15 of the game, and was held to just one field goal in the last eight-plus minutes after Jon Diebler drained a three-pointer with 8:38 left to give OSU a 49-47 lead.
Senior point guard Jamar Butler, who didn’t start against the Badgers due to a “coach’s decision,” still played 36 minutes and scored a team-high 14 points. Freshman center Kosta Koufos scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
I’m not sure if Ohio State has anything left in the tank, physically and emotionally, after losing four out of their last six contests, and that was clearly evident when Butler launched an air ball on a three-pointer with 22 seconds left against Wisconsin that would of tied the game.
The Buckeyes are going to have to dig deep if they expect to win in Bloomington tonight, or the result could be ugly.