|1:30 PM PT2:30 PM MT3:30 PM CT4:30 PM ET8:30 PM GMT4:30 PM 北京时间1:30 PM MST3:30 PM EST, Mar 10, 2019
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio Attendance: 18,231
Ohio State in must-win mode versus No. 21 Wisconsin
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Ohio State is running out of opportunities to make its case for inclusion in the NCAA Tournament and will face another challenge on Sunday against No. 21 Wisconsin at Columbus, Ohio.
The Badgers rolled to their fourth win in five games by defeating Iowa 65-45 on Thursday.
Iowa's point total was the fewest allowed by the Badgers (21-9, 13-6 Big Ten) this season and the third time an opponent has been held under 50. Hawkeyes leading scorer Tyler Cook did not score.
"I think we've come a long way in a lot of areas defensively," Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ said. "This is definitely one of the best defensive performances of the year."
That's bad news for the Buckeyes (18-12, 8-11), who've lost their past two games since center Kaleb Wesson, the team leader in scoring (14.6) and rebounds (6.7), was suspended March 1 for violating athletics department policy.
Wesson will not play Sunday, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said.
The first loss in Wesson's absence could be expected, although the margin of defeat was jarring in the 86-51 loss at No. 11 Purdue on March 2.
However, losing 68-50 on the road Wednesday to a Northwestern team that had a 10-game losing streak puts a serious crimp in the Buckeyes' hopes to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season under second-year coach Chris Holtmann.
The pressure mounts versus the Badgers going into the final game before the conference tournament.
"I think that guys know we've got to win a game," Holtmann said. "Guys know where we're at. I think what we've got to do is find a way to play better. They're well aware of it. You can't not be well aware of it. Who knows what a loss on the road does?
"There's so much left to be played in these remaining few days and weeks. To be honest with you, that can't be our focus a whole lot right now. We just got to find a way to play better."
The Buckeyes missed their first 13 shots against Northwestern and finished 26.6 percent from the floor, including 4 for 26 on 3-pointers.
"I think when you have a significant issue with your team in terms of a suspension, that affects everybody," Holtmann said. "Guys have to do more and be more than what they're ready to be and that affects their confidence."
The Badgers are prepared for a desperate Ohio State team and if the game is close, so be it. The win against Iowa was Wisconsin's first by more than 10 points in the past nine games.
"It is mentally draining, but it's also good that we are in those close games a lot because that's what it's going to come down to here at the end of the season," Happ said.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 9, 2019