Nebraska begins its busiest week of the season Monday night, as the Huskers travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes. Tipoff at Value City Arena is set for shortly after 7 p.m. (CT).Nebraska (14-7, 5-3 Big Ten) comes into Columbus having won seven of its last nine games following a 72-52 win over No. 23 Michigan last Thursday. The Huskers held Michigan to 37.5 percent shooting, including just 4-of-18 from 3-point range. James Palmer Jr. had 19 points to pace four Huskers in double figures, as the Huskers shot 55 percent from the field in snapping a 10-game losing streak to Michigan that predated NU’s Big Ten days. Nebraska’s biggest improvement over the last month has come on the defensive end of the court. Since giving up a season-high 94 points to UTSA on Dec. 20, the Huskers have held their last eight opponents to 38.8 percent shooting, including just 28.8 percent from 3-point range.
NU has held its last seven foes to under 45 percent shooting, including three straight under 40 percent. The Huskers will face one of the biggest surprises in college basketball, as Ohio State is ranked 22nd in both polls and sporting a 17-4 record following a 67-49 win over Minnesota on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. First-year coach Chris Holtmann has guided OSU to 12 wins in their last 13 games dating back to the start of December. The Buckeyes feature one of the frontrunners for Big Ten player of the year in junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, who is among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (19.7 ppg), rebounding (8.9 rpg) and blocked shots (1.8 bpg). While OSU has won 10 of the 12 meetings, the last two meetings were both decided by one point, as the teams won on each other’s homecourt in 2016-17.