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Ohio St. Buckeyes Predictions: 2012 Future Lines & Gambling Analysis

2012 NCAA Basketball Previews — Ohio State Buckeyes

The Ohio State Buckeyes will be without standout star Jarred Sullinger for the 2012-13 season, but that hasn’t prevented them from coming into the year with a lot of promise and potential. The team has been ranked the fourth-best team in the country by both the AP and USA Today Polls.

Odds to Win (By bovada.lv)
2013 NCAA Tournament: 20 to 1
2013 Big 10 Tournament: 6 to 4

This team is ready to build upon their success from last year, but a new-look roster with young players will need to mature and jell together early in the year for a chance to go the distance.

Last Year’s Results

The 2011-12 season didn’t end in an NCAA championship appearance the way the team hoped, but a Final Four appearance proved that they were one of the best teams in college basketball last year. The team went 31-8 on the season, and with a 13-5 record in conference play, they shared the Big Ten regular season title with both Michigan and Michigan State.

The Buckeyes were made up of mostly underclassmen last year, but a whole slew of talent made up for any youthful inadequacies throughout the season.

Roster Changes

Ohio State isn’t going to be as deep as they were last year. Standout star Jarred Sullinger has left for the NBA, William Buford—the team’s third-highest scorer—has graduated and the team lost a couple of role players to transfers this offseason.

The team only has one incoming freshman—6’5”guard Amedeo Della Valle—but that’s okay considering the players who already occupy this roster. This team needs development out of their prospects; not more youth to groom from the ground up.

Key Players

The Indiana Hoosiers’ Cody Zeller may be the heavy favorite to win Big Ten Player of the Year, but Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas is going to throw his name into the conversation at some point this season. The 6’7” junior averaged 15.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31.4 minutes last season.

Thomas and junior guard Aaron Craft have both been named to the preseason All-Big Ten team. Craft has never been much of an offensive-oriented player, so Lenzelle Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross are two potential options as the secondary scorer behind Thomas.

The past two seasons have been all about Sullinger, so it’s time for the role players of the past to become the stars of today.[ad-6571516]

Key Games

The Ohio State Buckeyes play a tough schedule in the 2011-12 season. Five games into the year, they take on No. 8 Duke on the road, and less than a month later they host Kansas, who is No. 7 to start the season.

Conference play is going to be where the true test lies, as the Big Ten is going to be one of the toughest places to play this season. The Indiana Hoosiers start the year as the No. 1 ranked team in all of college basketball, and the Buckeyes play them immediately after hosting No. 5 Michigan, and once again in their final road game of the year.

None of their games, however, will be more exciting than their first game of the season against Marquette in the second annual Carrier Classic. Last season, Michigan State played North Carolina aboard the U.S.S. Yorkton in Charleston, South Carolina, but this year the contest belongs to Marquette and Ohio State. This will be a fun game for fans to watch, but just as importantly, it will be a good contest for the Buckeyes early in the year.

2013 Prediction

2013 is going to be another solid year for the Buckeyes, but the question is, will they be at the same level this time around as they were late last season?

A tough schedule this year is going to do one of two things; it will either prepare them for an NCAA tournament run against the best that the country has to offer, or it will expose the youth on the roster and make them a tough team to count on.

A trip to the Elite Eight isn’t out of the question if all things click this season, but it’s tough to imagine another Final Four appearance in their immediate future.


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