Big Ten Tournament Final: Illinois Fighting Illini vs Ohio State Buckeyes prediction and college basketball game preview.
Illinois vs Ohio State Broadcast
Date: Sunday, March 14
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Illinois (22-6) vs Ohio State (21-8) Game Preview
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Why Illinois Will Win
Illinois isn’t just Ayo Dosunmu, getting 26 points out of 7-foot center Kofi Cockburn as the Illini pushed past Iowa 82-71 to get here.
The D didn’t have too many answers for Luke Garza, but the offense hit 49% from the field – making up for a rough day from three – and team won on the boards.
The won at Ohio State a few days ago by making just about everything from the field, winning the rebounding battle, and stopping the Buckeyes for loss stretches in the 73-68 win. For all of the good things Ohio State does, it doesn’t force enough turnovers or mistakes and it gets hit with a whole ton of fouls.
Illinois will turn it over, but don’t force mistakes and let the offense get settled – Ohio State failed to come up with a steal against Michigan – and there’s a problem.
Why Ohio State Will Win
The Buckeyes held on for dear life in a brilliant defensive performance over Michigan for a 68-67 win. They held down the Wolverines on the inside, didn’t buckle when they kept hitting free throw after free throw, and unlike an epic previous meeting, held down high-powered offense just enough.
Hot at just the right time, they’ve won three straight after a four-game losing streak by coming through with big plays late getting hot from the outside. It’s a good shooting three point team, but it had problems for a few games – not anymore.
The Buckeyes made 54% from three against the Wolverines and made 11 threes against Purdue.
The O was unstoppable in the win over the Illini in January, and it has to be just as relentless because …
What’s Going To Happen
Illinois is about to crank up the defensive pressure.
The offense keeps on rolling – it’s shooting as well as any team in America thanks to making a whole lot of plays on the move and with a whole bunch of assists helping the cause – but it’s the defensive stops from three that are taking over the season.
The Buckeyes have the firepower to pull this off, but Illinois – helped by a somewhat rested Dosunmu – will get too much consistent offense inside and out.
Illinois vs Ohio State Prediction, Line
Illinois 78, Ohio State 72
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Line: Illinois -5, o/u: 152
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 5
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