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Ohio State (10-2)
The eighth-ranked Buckeyes hope the loss to Kansas was a blip rather than an indication of struggles to come.
They have shot 46.2 percent on the season but that loss had them whiffing away at a 30.8 percent clip. Conversely, their loss to Duke proved they have the ability to contend with just about anyone.
Ohio State is not quite the same force of seasons past and needs more contributions from players other than forward Deshaun Thomas and point guard Aaron Craft.
Key player: Thomas is this season's go-to man for the Buckeyes, averaging 19.8 points and 6.9 rebounds a game.
Key stat: Shannon Scott (5-to-1) and Aaron Craft (3.2-to-1) own two of the best assist to turnover ratios in the Big Ten.
Big Ten opener: Wednesday against Nebraska.
December 29, 2012