The Ohio State Buckeyes have finally — finally! — won a game at Wisconsin’s Kohl Center. They beat the Badgers today today, 58-52, in as tough and hard-fought a game as you would ever expect to see.
Jared Sullinger was a beast on the inside; he scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Wisconsin really had no answer for him. Deshaun Thomas showed why he is one of the best forwards in the Big Ten, grabbing many rebounds and making some clutch buckets. Aaron Craft played a standout defensive game against Badgers stud point guard Jordan Taylor, and made some key free throws to help ice the game, Lenzelle Smith, Jr., played a fine floor game, and William Buford — poor, much maligned William Buford, who just could not get a shot to go down — made a three-point dagger in crunch time.
This is the kind of game you expect to see in a balanced conference like the Big Ten, where road wins are like pearls of the highest price. Wisconsin played its normal deliberate game and its in-your-face defense, but today, the Buckeyes were just a little bit better. Winning at the Kohl Center is a huge step forward for Ohio State, because winning in an intimidating atmosphere says a lot about your team’s mental toughness — and there are a lot of challenging games yet to be played.