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Husker Gamethread: Buckeyes hosting the Big Red / Sugar Bowl

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Tipoff: 5:36pm CST Location: Value City Arena - Columbus, OH

Television: Big Ten Network

Live Stats and Internet Radio:

Radio: IMG Husker Sports Network | KLIN 1400 in Lincoln - KFAB 1110 in Omaha - KRVN 880 in Lexington

Play by play - Kent Pavelka Color - Andy Markowski

It's been a rough week for Huskers everywhere, as the football team lost it's second straight bowl game, and the basketball team, coming off two losses to start Big Ten play, will clash with the #6 ranked Buckeyes tonight.

It's times like these, that really test your mettle as a Husker fan.

Although, it's worth pointing out that this difficult stretch for the basketball team was to be expected. What wasn't expected is getting utterly destroyed at home by Wisconsin, on top of losing two starting players with now uncertain return dates. That makes things very bleak, and although I hate using the injury excuse..we can't really expect to win much without all of our players healthy. Not in the Big Ten. Not this season.

So we start the new year, and hope for the best.Nebraska's showing against MSU on Saturday was pretty solid despite the final score. The fact that the Huskers were even in the game, down 3 midway through the second half - without Diaz and Talley, was one tiny nugget of hope that we can pull out of this horrid start to the conference season.

I expect that Diaz and Talley returning will help quite a bit, but that's probably not going to happen tonight. Brandon Ubel will continue to work inside in Diaz's absence, and will need to have the game of his life in trying to handle last season's Big Ten Freshman of the Year - Jared Sullinger. It's also going to be interesting to see if Bo Spencer comes off the bench again. Freshman Josiah Moore was given the nod Saturday over Spencer, which really did very little in terms of chemistry, or whatever the hell Doc was trying to accomplish with the move. Spencer still got 15 points, and still managed to miss a ton of ill-advised shots from 35 feet away.

Nebraska probably faces it's toughest game of the year this evening. Ohio State is led by sophomore forward Jared Sullinger, a first team All-American in 2010-11 as a freshman. Sullinger is a beast, and we are probably watching his last season as a college athlete. Jared is a favorite to win the AP Player of the Year award, and could very well lead his Buckeyes to the Final Four and beyond. The Buckeyes are not limited to Sullinger however, which is what makes them such a dangerous team.

William Buford (16.1ppg) will challenge the Husker backcourt with his 40% shooting from the arc. The four-year starter for Ohio State also averages 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Deshaun Thomas will also make Nebraska play tough, as he is averaging 15.1 ppg. In addition to Sullinger, Buford, and Thomas, the point guard running the show, Aaron Craft, also chips in 8.3 ppg while at the same time managing to lead the Big Ten in steals, and rank second in the Big Ten in assists.

That's a whole lotta "good" for the guys in red to handle. I'm not trying to be pessimistic here, but I really just hope we can keep this one watchable. Not that I'll be able to watch, since I'll be at work.

Oh, and for anyone who hasn't given up on football season...the Sugar Bowl kicks off at 8pm, so we can leave the thread open for that as well. GBR!

Game Notes |

- Nebraska is playing it's first road game versus a Big Ten opponent since 2003-04, when the Huskers tangled with Miinesota and won 77-60.

- Ohio State's two losses came at the hands of #13 Kansas and #15 Indiana. The Kansas win coming while star Jared Sullinger was out with back spasms.

- Nebraska scores an average of 2 points per game more than it allows from it's opponents. Ohio State's point differential is over 22 points.

- The 22.5 point spread in favor of the Buckeyes is the largest spread over the Huskers so far this season.