Go watch Jared Sullinger play ball. Seriously, go do it. Then, the next time he plays, watch him again because the kid’s a freak. His game makes for must-watch television every time he steps on the hardwood. Forget about the idea that he’s the best freshman in the country because, really, he’s the best player in the NCAA. He plays like Zach Randolph except ten feet above the rim.And if the freshman alone doesn’t instill trepidation in the hearts of any other program in the country by himself, the rest of his team ought to because they are loaded like a baked potato.In early November, a worry surfaced that no team in the NCAA possessed any legitimate star power; that there were no NBA talent-riddled rosters like a North Carolina of 2009 or a Florida of 2007.Unfortunately for the rest of the country, Ohio State recently disabused that perception; just ask JaJuan Johnson and the Purdue Boilermakers, whom the Buckeyes torched by 23 points on Tuesday. And the Buckeyes’ recent dominance is a bad omen for the rest of the Big Ten.If Purdue, which was really Ohio State’s only preseason competition, can’t compete for the Big Ten title, then what other program has a shot?Well, it’s not Illinois. Demetri McCamey has improved every season during his time in Champaign, but the collection of B-talent around him isn’t enough to worry Thad Matta’s Buckeyes.Allegedly, Brandon Paul was going to complement McCamey well and put the Illini back on the college basketball map after swiftly disappearing from it after 2005’s run to the title game. But McCamey has only played okay, Paul has yet to live up to the expectations and the once-hyped Illini only linger towards the bottom of the polls.In Illinois’ tilt with the top ranked Buckeyes down in Champaign last week, they had no answer for Sullinger when the big man took over.It’s not going to be Michigan State, either. Izzo’s squad sits sixth in the conference with debilitating losses to Illinois, Purdue and an improved, though still inferior, Penn State.The Spartans have Kalin Lucas back and have seen nice contributions from senior guard Durrell Summers and junior forward Draymond Green, but they simply don’t have the firepower to hang around with the top teams in the country, a list headlined by Ohio State.It’s not gong to be Minnesota. Tubby Smith may have the Gophers playing the best basketball to come out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes in a long time, which shows what coaching, and subsequently, what a coach’s recruiting can do for any program (unless your Isaiah Thomas), but they are still a ways off from hanging banners any time soon. Minnesota had a shot at Ohio State earlier this month in Columbus and actually made them sweat for a while. They too, however, came up short when a three-pointer that would have sent the game to overtime rattled off the front iron as time expired.Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe, the Gophers’ leading rebounder, actually matches up with Sullinger. Mbakwe held the freshman-phenom to 15 points and 12 boards back on January 9th, but when Sullinger’s production went down, David Lighty went up for the Buckeyes as he scored 19 big points. There’s one ranked Big Ten team left that might have a shot to take down the Buckeyes; one team, which shoots almost 40 percent from behind the arc, has the size to match up with the strength of the Buckeyes and the reputation to pull off big wins on big stages.That’s right, it’s Northwestern.Only kidding, it’s not Northwestern. The team that can catch Ohio State is Wisconsin.The x-factor in college basketball remains three-point shooting. On any given night the Badgers can shoot the lights out and, as Ohio State is a longer team, staying outside the arc might be the way Bo Ryan will want to attack the Buckeyes.The Badgers have players in Josh Gasser, Mike Bruesewitz and Tim Jarmusz with the type of size that can give Ohio State’s William Buford and David Lighty a tough time. But the three will have to step up and execute on the defensive end to keep Buford and Lighty off of the score sheet.Jon Leuer is going to pose a problem for Sullinger as well, as Sullinger hasn’t often matched up with an athletic big man that can shoot the outside jumper. And if Leuer gets in foul trouble, Nankivil can put another body on the big man as well.On paper, the Badgers almost match up well against the nation’s top team. But that’s only on paper. It always comes down to execution.Luckily for Wisconsin, the first of the two games remaining with the Buckeyes takes place at the Kohl Center where the Badgers are notorious for holding serve.The rest of the conference schedule, less two games against Purdue, is really favorable for the Badgers. Ohio State, however, has trips to Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin yet before them.It’s quite possible the Buckeyes are a runaway train to Big Ten glory, but if any team can be the cow on the tracks, it has to be Wisconsin.
Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” The following is a list of events for Friday and Saturday around Wellington. There is plenty for people to do…Friday, March 1First Friday Art Walk– Â In downtown Wellington (see ad of the Art Walk for the Gold Corner below) at the various downtown offices from 5 to 7 p.m.Daddyâ€“Daughter Disney Princess Date Night– Wellington Recreation Commission, for dads, grandfathers, uncles and daughters. Call the Wellington Recreation Commission at 620-326-3323.Sub-state basketball â€” Wellington girls vs. Augusta 6 p.m. at Mulvane. Other sub-state basketball information of Sumner County teams will be in another article.Wellington High School play â€” “Because their Hearts were pure.” – 7 p.m.Saturday, March 2Â Wellington Middle School wrestling at Circle – 9 a.m.More sub-state basketball – Times TBA.Wellington High School play Â – “Because their hearts were Pure.”Sunday, March 3Â Don’t forget to attend the church of your choice!All weekend at the Regent Theater:Â Warm Bodies (see information here).