Ohio State Basketball: Why Can’t the Buckeyes Score Against Zone Defenses?

The Ohio State basketball program has lost 31 regular-season games in the last five years under Thad Matta. It has won 138 regular-season games in that same time frame.

It just so happens that four of those 31 losses have come the last four times the Buckeyes have taken the floor.

It wasn’t that long ago that Matta and company were ranked No. 3 in the country after a perfect 15-0 start. The Buckeyes were seen as the best defense in the country and a squad that nobody would want to come across in March.

In fact, Ohio State even earned national respect during its first loss of the season at East Lansing against the Big Ten’s most talented team in Michigan State. The Spartans held a 17-point lead in the final minutes of the contest and appeared to be on cruise control to an impressive victory until Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott and the Buckeyes’ swarming defense went to work.

Ohio State came storming back and even had a chance to win the game in regulation until Keith Appling blocked Scott’s game-winning layup attempt. The fact that the Scarlet and Gray eventually lost in overtime didn’t seem to matter as much as the narrative surrounding the Buckeyes’ “heart” and “grit.”

So much for those narratives.

Any optimism in Columbus after the 15-1 start has long since faded with defeats at the hands of Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. That’s right, Nebraska.

It was the Cornhuskers’ first win over Ohio State since…

Continue Reading: Ohio State Basketball: Why Can’t the Buckeyes Score Against Zone Defenses?