Iowa City, IA – A matchup of two top 25 teams took place Thursday, with the #24 Ohio State Buckeyes traveling to Iowa City to play the #20 Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early double digit lead behind Luka Garza’s hot hand. From there, they cruised to a 9-point win, with the final being 85-76. Garza led the home team with 24 points, while contributions from the bench were helpful, Bakari Evelyn headlined the bench scoring as he had 15. For the visitors, EJ Liddell came off the bench to lead the Buckeyes with 17 points.
After the game, the Player of the Year candidate Garza talked about the bench contributions. “When teams are game planning for me and Weezy (Joe Wieskamp), we got to have other guys step up and score the ball, to help us out, and I’m just proud of my guys who were able to do that today.”
Bench contributions will have to be crucial for the Hawkeyes should they want to make a run in March, as currently they only play a 7-man rotation due to injuries. For the Buckeyes, there is good news as it was released that freshman guard DJ Carton will make a return for the team after dealing with some mental health issues. We here at Making The Madness wish him the best in his return and hope he is feeling up to being the impact player that he was earlier in the season.
The winning-Hawkeyes will travel East Lansing this Tuesday after getting the weekend off, while the Buckeyes will play host to the Big Ten leading Maryland Terrapins in Columbus. The Buckeyes sit at 7-8 in the league, which puts them in 10th place, and Iowa rises to 3rd place at 10-6 in Big Ten play.
Bracketology Effect: Iowa remains the 6 seed in the Midwest, while the Buckeyes stay as the 7 in the Midwest.
Betting Effect: Covered: Iowa -2, Over 144