We rolled out our NFL Elo ratings last week, giving us a set of computer power ratings for each team, each week, going back to the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. There are a lot of cool things we can do with these numbers; for example, I used them Monday to quantify how upset-heavy Week 1 of the 2014 season was compared to past opening weeks.But one of the best features of Elo ratings is that they represent a rolling estimate of a team’s strength, informed by new outcomes and previous results. After computing them, we can measure when a team appeared to be at its strongest (or weakest). So, in this edition of “Fun With NFL Elo Ratings,” let’s pinpoint when each NFL franchise hit its all-time (well, since 1970) high and low points.For example, the Seattle Seahawks currently have an Elo rating of 1685, which is very nearly the best they’ve ever had as a franchise (their all-time high, 1761, was achieved the night of their dominant Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos in February). Meanwhile, Washington’s current rating of 1374 is very nearly the worst in the team’s post-merger history (a mark the team set in December after a 20-6 loss to the New York Giants). And for some franchises, such as the New York Jets, their current rating (1470) is almost exactly halfway between their all-time high (1680, achieved after a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999) and their all-time low (1250, achieved after a loss to the Miami Dolphins in 1996).We’ve summarized that information for each team in the following chart. The gray dots represent the best and worst Elo ratings achieved by the franchise since 1970, and the red dot represents the team’s current rating. It’s a good way to show where on the spectrum of its historical performance a team is residing, as well as the kind of variance it has had between good and bad teams in its history.A few observations: The New England Patriots have experienced the highs and lows of the NFL like no other team — the difference between their best (1845) and worst (1238) rating was bigger than that of any other franchise. At the other end of the spectrum, the Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans have had the smallest range of Elo values, which makes sense, given all three came into existence in the mid-1990s or later.Among long-standing teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had the smallest range; their worst-ever Elo rating (1390) was easily higher than any other team’s worst mark. That fact plays a major role in why the Steelers also have the highest midpoint between their best-ever and worst-ever ratings (1582). Meanwhile, the poor Detroit Lions have the lowest midpoint between their best and worst ratings (1431), and they also have gone the longest time since achieving their high-water mark.
Now and then a Game 7 can be an anticlimax, like when the Kansas City Royals won the 1985 World Series by blowing out their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-0 in the finale. But Game 7 of the Rangers-Capitals playoff series lived up to every inflated expectation. Like the previous six games of the series, Wednesday’s featured some great goaltending: Netminders Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers and Braden Holtby of the Capitals combined to stop 72 of 75 shots (96 percent). And like the other six games, it was decided by one goal, with the Rangers coming back to win 2-1 on Derek Stepan’s overtime goal.The Rangers have now played 14 straight one-goal games in the playoffs, an NHL record. All five games of their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins were decided by one goal. So were the final two games of their Stanley Cup Final last year against the Los Angeles Kings.What are the odds of a streak like this? More NHL playoff games are decided by one goal than you might expect. The NHL has become a low-scoring league — but also, the sudden-death playoff overtime format facilitates one-goal margins, since every game that goes to OT will be won by exactly one goal by one team or the other.Specifically, since the start of the low-scoring “dead-puck era” in 1998,1Some hockey authorities designate the “dead-puck era” as having started earlier. But 1997-98 featured a particularly sharp decline in goal scoring, from 2.92 to 2.64 goals per game. 722 of 1,453 NHL playoff games have been decided by one goal. That’s 49.7 percent, or almost exactly half.So playing 14 consecutive one-goal games is roughly equivalent to having a fair coin come up heads 14 times in a row. The probability of that is 1 chance in 16,384. This has been a pretty unlikely and uncanny streak for the Rangers.You can quibble with that calculation if you like. The Rangers have a great goalie in Lundqvist, who might lead to tighter and lower-scoring games. They also have a pretty good offense, though, at least by contemporary standards, having tied for third in the NHL in goal scoring during the regular season. If you supposed that the probability of a Ranger playoff game being decided by one goal was 60 percent instead of 50 percent, the streak would still be unlikely: a 1 in 1,276 chance.The Rangers have also come back from near-certain death. With 1:41 to go in the third period in Game 5 on Friday, they trailed 2-1 in the game and 3-1 in the series. Their chance of winning the game was down to about 4 percent, according to rinkstats.com, which means their chance of winning the series was around 1 percent.2Assuming Game 6 and Game 7 were about 50-50. But Chris Kreider scored, then Ryan McDonagh did in OT, then the Rangers won Games 6 and 7.Game 7 also contributed to the case for this having been one of the best playoff goaltending battles ever. In the series, Lundqvist and Holtby together had a .946 save percentage and a 1.71 goals against average. And based on the metric that I developed Wednesday, they combined for 2.4 wins above average relative to average playoff goaltenders. That ranks the series as the eighth-best goaltending duel since 1988: COMBINED STATS 51993Maple Leafs (Potvin)Blues (Joseph)70.9382.062.6 82015Rangers (Lundqvist)Capitals (Holtby)70.9461.712.4 91999Maple Leafs (Joseph)Flyers (Vanbiesbrouck)60.9461.462.3 Lundqvist’s next test will be the Tampa Bay Lightning, who led the NHL in goal scoring and shooting percentage this year. Given the Rangers’ comparative lack of superstar talent and their relatively even distribution of goals and assists from their skaters so far in the playoffs, Lundqvist should be the favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Rangers bring home the Stanley Cup. Just don’t expect it to be easy. 41997Rangers (Richter)Devils (Brodeur)50.9611.152.6 102002Hurricanes (Irbe)Maple Leafs (Joseph)60.951.252.3 32011Bruins (Thomas)Canucks (Luongo)70.9362.162.6 62002Senators (Lalime)Flyers (Cechmanek)50.9611.052.6 SEASONSERIES WINNER (MAIN GOALIE)SERIES LOSER (MAIN GOALIE)GAMESSAVE%GAANET GT WINS 22007Canucks (Luongo)Stars (Turco)70.9511.362.9 71994Rangers (Richter)Devils (Brodeur)70.9291.962.6 11994Devils (Brodeur)Sabres (Hasek)70.9431.613.3
Dreaming about a shot at making the NFL helped Brian Banks get through the last 10 years of his life, which were marked by five years in prison and five wearing an ankle bracelet because he was falsely accused and convicted of rape when he was 16. Exonerated when the accuser recanted her story last month, Banks got a measure of his life back — and a chance to fulfill that dream.NFL teams offered training came invitations to the one-time outstanding linebacker who was recruited by USC, among other colleges before the bogus charges. This week, Banks is at the Seattle Seahawks’ three-day mini-camp, and he seems to be making the most of his opportunity.“Obviously there’s a little rust out there,” Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton said. “But the idea is can he line up and can he chase the ball? So far, it’s about making a first impression, and I like the first impression he left.“Does he look like a ballplayer? Yes,” Norton said. “Does he move well? Yes. Is there a chance? Absolutely.”Still, it is unlikely he will get an invitation to training camp. The decade away from the game, especially not playing in college, has hurt him. Here is what Norton had to say on the team’s website about Banks: “This is the NFL — the best of the best — so it’s going to be really tough for (Banks). Just the fact that he came out here and gave it a shot and didn’t shy away from it, you’ve got to give him a plus for that. But again, this is the best of the best, the highest level of athlete, and he’s been out of it for 10 years. So it’s going to be really, really tough. … Right now, he has a chance. But it’s going to be really, really tough.”Surely, Banks went in knowing that. Just to get an opportunity after so much strife — unnecessary strife — has to mean a lot to him.
1990San Francisco142Lost conference champ. 2015Cincinnati124Lost wild card 2009Indianapolis142Lost Super Bowl 2008Tennessee133Lost divisional Halfway to undefeated hasn’t always been a blessingThe final record and playoff results of teams that have gone 8-0 to start a season in the 16-game era, 1978-2018 1991Washington142Won Super Bowl The Los Angeles Rams’ quest for an unbeaten season barely survived Aaron Rodgers on Sunday in what was oddly tantamount to a road game for the hosts. Now Jared Goff and Co. head into an actual road game against another future Hall of Fame quarterback, Drew Brees.With a perfect season still a possibility halfway through this NFL campaign, it’s reasonable to wonder where the Rams rank among the best teams in football. The Rams’ record has escaped attention largely because no one is surprised when they win. They dominated the offseason by spending $237 million in guaranteed contracts, while only one other team, the Minnesota Vikings, even topped $200 million.1And they, unlike the Rams, bought a franchise quarterback. As a result, the Rams were the preseason favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. But heightened preseason expectations don’t always translate into wins, particularly for a non-Patriots team: Just ask the 2011 Eagles, whose self-proclaimed “Dream Team” went up in smoke, losing eight of their first 12 games.The Rams clearly are meeting even their most optimistic expectations. The offense is better than last year under the tutelage of head coach Sean McVay, who is taking the “genius” moniker to a whole new level. The Rams are leading the NFL in yards per pass play, and they’re also top five in yards per rush. They’re the only team in football that has had more than half of its offensive plays qualify as a success by either resulting in a first down or effectively setting up the next down, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.The Los Angeles defense has not quite lived up to its price tag, ranking 27th in yards allowed per rush and 15th in yards allowed per pass play. But the Rams’ D ranks 10th in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average.2DVOA is a statistic that “measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent.” And in the key stats of net yards per pass attempt3Offensive yards per pass attempt minus defensive yards per pass attempt. and net play success,4The percentage of snaps that result in a first down or effectively set up the next down versus that of your opponent. the Rams comfortably lead the NFL.But while the Rams are convincingly the best team in football, they’re not standing out among similar teams since the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1978. They have scored 109 more points than they’ve allowed, which ranks tied for 26th through eight games since 1978. And it’s oddly just one point better than last year’s Rams, who failed to win a playoff game.If we limit our search to just unbeaten teams since 1978, the Rams rank tied for 10th out of 20 teams in point differential. And just one of the nine teams behind them on that list ended up winning the Super Bowl: the 1990 Giants. 2015New England124Lost conference champ. 2012Atlanta133Lost conference champ. 2006Indianapolis124Won Super Bowl 2015Carolina151Lost Super Bowl 2013Kansas City115Lost wild card 2005Indianapolis142Lost divisional 2007New England160Lost Super Bowl 1990New York Giants133Won Super Bowl YearTeamWLPlayoff Result It’s also reasonable to ask if the Rams are peaking too soon — at least based on recent returns. The last season with an 8-0 team was 2015, when there were three (the Patriots, Bengals and Panthers) — none of which won the Super Bowl. The same disappointment eventually befell the 2013 Chiefs, 2012 Falcons and 2011 Packers. The last team to actually win a Super Bowl after being undefeated at the halfway point was the 2009 Saints, who beat another former 8-0 team (that eventually went to 14-0), the Colts.Before 2009, early dominance in a season seemed to be more predictive. Five of the 11 8-0 teams since 1978 went on to win the Super Bowl, and two more advanced to the final game. 2009New Orleans133Won Super Bowl 2011Green Bay151Lost divisional 2003Kansas City133Lost divisional 1998Denver142Won Super Bowl 1985Chicago151Won Super Bowl Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 1984Miami142Lost Super Bowl The Rams would probably prefer the postseason to start today. But absent that, a win on Sunday would virtually lock up the coveted No. 1 seed in the conference less than a week into November. It’s sometimes said in the NFL that Super Bowls are won in December (even though that’s often untrue), but the Rams are a win away from setting themselves up for something almost unheard of in today’s hotly contested, parity-driven league: being able to take the entire month of December off.The downside to that is the tons of potential down time waiting for the postseason to start. In fact, the biggest decision that McVay may have to make down the stretch won’t involve play-calling or game management but when to rest his starters — which he did last year before the playoffs and also this year in the preseason.Then again, home-field advantage may not mean much to the Rams. There’s a very good chance that the vast majority of fans in attendance at Rams home games — even during the playoffs — will be rooting for the other team.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
The OSU men’s gymnastics team poses for a photo after the NCAA championships on April 16 at St. John Arena. Credit: Luke Swartz | Lantern reporterThe No. 3 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team played host to the NCAA Men’s Gymnastics National Championships over the weekend at St. John Arena. The event, which spanned two nights, was broken into two qualifying sessions Friday and the finals the following evening.The Buckeyes came into the weekend boasting the reigning Big Ten Gymnast of the Year in redshirt sophomore Sean Melton, the Big Ten Coach of the Year in Rustam Sharipov and the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in Alec Yoder.Friday night’s qualifier pitted the Buckeyes against five of the nation’s top schools and individual gymnasts from non-qualifying schools. OSU (433.400) finished in second place as a team on the night, advancing along with Friday night’s winner, Stanford (434.350), and third-place Illinois (432.050). Those three joined Oklahoma, Penn State and Minnesota, which qualified in the first session of the day.On Saturday night, the qualifying teams and athletes participated in the championship portion. After an up-and-down night, which saw Buckeyes bouncing around the team standings, the hosts eventually fought their way back and cemented themselves in the standings, taking third place on the night with a score of 433.150.The third-place finish was the best finish for OSU in the NCAA finals since 2005. The Buckeyes finished only behind No. 2 Stanford and No. 1 Oklahoma, which clinched its second consecutive title.“The guys never give up, so this is what it is all about,” Sharipov said. “This year we (were) Big Ten champions (and) third in the NCAAs, it’s great.”Senior and team captain Alex Johnson took home the national title on the high bar (15.200), his first career national title in his final collegiate event. “It means the world to me, but honestly coming in, I was more worried about the team.” Johnson said. “My coach always preaches that if you go in with team goals in mind, individual accolades will come, and that’s what happened tonight, so I’m ecstatic.”Having had a strong season, the Buckeyes felt they could have put forth a stronger performance in the NCAA Championships, but Yoder said he realizes that finishing in third place is nothing to be disappointed with.“This is so much fun, of course it’s a bummer that we didn’t come out on top like we wanted,” Yoder said. “How close this team is to each other (and) the amount of passion, pride and excellence in the gym is great. I know we have what it takes to be the best.”Individually, six different Buckeyes were recognized with All-American honors, the most OSU has ever had at an NCAA championship.Johnson received his first while Yoder brought in three awards in his first NCAA championship. Melton added two All-American awards with sophomore Seth Delbridge, sophomore Alex Wilson and senior Emeric Quade receiving their first All-American honors.
IowaRecord: 9-1, 5-1Bowl game chances: DefiniteBest-case scenario: Rose BowlIf the Hawkeyes can knock off the heavily-favored Buckeyes in Columbus without starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi, Iowa will clinch at least a share of the Big Ten and hold a tiebreaker with Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.Worst-case scenario: Insight BowlIowa began the season 9-0, but a complete collapse could take them out of contention for a premier Big Ten bowl game. Losing its last three games would place Iowa back toward the middle of the conference pack.Prediction: Capital One BowlThe task at hand Saturday might be too much for an Iowa team that has narrowly escaped far too many disasters throughout the season. The Hawkeyes fall at Ohio State, but beat Minnesota in their final game to earn an invite to Orlando.Ohio StateRecord: 8-2, 5-1Bowl game chances: DefiniteBest-case scenario: Rose BowlWith a win Saturday over Iowa, the Buckeyes would clinch a share of the conference title and a trip to Pasadena.Worst-case scenario: Insight BowlIf OSU loses to Iowa, then drops its final game at Michigan, the Buckeyes could slip down the conference totem pole if Iowa, Penn State and Wisconsin all finish out their seasons strong.Prediction: Rose BowlStill riding the momentum from a one-sided victory at Penn State, the Buckeyes notch victories over the Hawkeyes and Wolverines, earning a spot in “The Granddaddy of Them All.”Penn StateRecord: 8-2, 4-2Bowl game chances: DefiniteBest-case scenario: Fiesta BowlSince either Ohio State or Iowa is guaranteed to win Saturday, the victor will automatically finish ahead of Penn State by virtue of a tiebreaker, so the Nittany Lions’ goal won’t be set on the Rose Bowl. But if Penn State wins out and the loser of OSU-Iowa also drops its final game, Joe Paterno’s crew could be in contention for a BCS at-large berth.Worst-case scenario: Valero Alamo BowlWith a loss in its last two games, it’s possible for Penn State to slip behind Wisconsin, which could send the Nittany Lions to San Antonio.Prediction: Outback BowlPenn State shouldn’t have trouble with Indiana, and although a contest at Michigan State is no guaranteed win, the Nittany Lions have too much ground to make up to surpass Iowa or Ohio State.WisconsinRecord: 7-2, 4-2Bowl game chances: DefiniteBest-case scenario: Capital One BowlIf Wisconsin wins its final three games, Ohio State plays in the Rose Bowl, Iowa receives a BCS berth and Penn State drops another game, the Badgers can play in Orlando.Worst-case scenario: Little Caesars Pizza BowlA poor finish could drop Wisconsin below Northwestern and Michigan State, ruining a season for a team that started 5-0.Prediction: Insight BowlThe Badgers’ remaining schedule isn’t too imposing, with a home match against Michigan and road games at Northwestern and Hawaii. Anything less than nine or 10 wins would be considered a disappointing finish, but winning all three still might not be enough to surpass Penn State.NorthwesternRecord: 6-4, 3-3Bowl game chances: DefiniteBest-case scenario: Outback BowlIf Penn State or Iowa earns a BCS at-large bid and Ohio State reaches the Rose Bowl, then Northwestern could slide up the ladder with wins in its last two games.Worst-case scenario: Little Caesars Pizza BowlEven with losses in its last two contests, Northwestern should remain in the bowl picture, albeit in what will likely be the most made-fun-of-title for a bowl game.Prediction: Valero Alamo BowlThe Wildcats have flown under the radar to their six wins, but last week’s upset of Iowa places them in the Big Ten bowl picture. Northwestern finishes with a pair of toss-up games, at Illinois and against Wisconsin, so a seven-win season seems likely.Michigan StateRecord: 5-5, 3-3Bowl game chances: MediocrePrediction: Champs Sports BowlThe Spartans need one win to gain bowl eligibility, but that win could be tough to pick up with games at Purdue and against Penn State. Inconsistency has plagued Michigan State, so a 1-1 finish and a 6-6 record should get Sparty to a less-than-thrilling bowl game.PurdueRecord: 4-6, 3-3Bowl game chances: MediocrePrediction: Long winterIf Purdue loses to Michigan State, its bowl game chances go out the window. The Boilermakers must win their final two games to have a shot, and a contest at Indiana in its final contest shouldn’t be too challenging. Still, Purdue’s 1-5 start will probably prove too difficult to overcome.MinnesotaRecord: 5-5, 3-4Bowl game chances: GoodPrediction: Little Caesars Pizza BowlThe Gophers only need one victory to become bowl eligible, and with South Dakota State coming to town, Minnesota shouldn’t have a problem reaching a bowl game. The team can improve its standing with an upset at Iowa in its season finale.IllinoisRecord: 3-6, 2-5Bowl game chances: UnlikelyPrediction: Long winterThe Illini are finally playing up to their standards, with two consecutive wins. After failing to score more than 17 points in any of five straight losses, Illinois has scored 38 and 35 in its past two contests. Still, Ron Zook’s squad needs to close out the season with three more wins to obtain bowl eligibility, and a contest at No. 5 Cincinnati should give the Illini a rude awakening.MichiganRecord: 5-5, 1-5Bowl game chances: UnlikelyPrediction: Long winterThe Wolverines need one win in their final two games to become bowl eligible. If they notch that victory, their national reputation and following would help their cause for a bid. That being said, with games at Wisconsin and against Ohio State, the task at hand is quite daunting.IndianaRecord: 4-6, 1-5Bowl game chances: UnlikelyPrediction: Long winterThe Hoosiers would need to win out to become bowl eligible, an improbable chain of events with games remaining at Penn State and against Purdue. Indiana has lost its last three games.
If the Ohio State men’s track team falls to Michigan on Sunday, coach Robert Gary and his team will be losing more than a track meet. High on the wall next to Gary’s desk sits “The Dual” pennant. Across the top of the half-yellow, half-gray pennant, the words “THE DUAL” are emblazoned in bold letters just above the logos of OSU and Michigan. OSU will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sunday to take on Michigan and try to pick up its fourth straight win against the Wolverines. “April 5 is my birthday and you get that if you win,” Gary said. “I always say it’s all I want for my birthday.” “The Dual” rivalry was renewed in 2008 after a 15-year hiatus, and Gary’s athletes say they understand how important this event is. “I’m new here. The importance of the event has been instilled in me real quick,” said junior Michael Hartfield, who participates in the long, triple and high jumps. Senior hurdler Aaron Roberts said, “It’s a big deal.” The Buckeyes lately have seen success against the Wolverines. On Jan. 15, OSU claimed “The Dual” pennant for a third time by defeating Michigan, 88-74. Gary said he expects similar results when his team travels north. “Their program has been a little bit down,” he said, “and we’ve been up.” But Gary and his team aren’t looking ahead. As with every event against their archrival, the Buckeyes know the Wolverines will challenge them. “They’re banged up,” Roberts said, “but they’re solid from top to bottom.” Gary agreed. “We were two seconds and two inches away from losing the indoor one,” he said. “It’s always been tight every year we’ve done it. On a piece of paper, it’s incredibly even going into it.” “The Dual” will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday at Ferry Field in Ann Arbor.
Ohio State backup left guard Matt Burrell wears a walking boot on his left foot prior to the Buckeyes’ game versus Army on Sept. 16. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorOhio State backup left guard Matt Burrell will not play in Saturday’s game versus Army, as he was seen wearing a walking boot on his left foot during warmups 40 minutes prior to kickoff.The redshirt sophomore competed for the open right guard spot in the offseason, but redshirt sophomore Branden Bowen earned the starting job. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound interior lineman played in all 13 games as a redshirt freshman and is the primary backup at guard this season.
Members of the women’s basketball team celebrate in the first half of the game against South Florida. Ohio State lost 71-47. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternAfter four consecutive losses of at least eight points or more, Ohio State seemed destined for a double-digit drubbing on Saturday against No. 4 Maryland. But in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against the Terrapins, something clicked for the Buckeyes. Coming out of halftime with a seven-point deficit to overcome, head coach Kevin McGuff said Ohio State executed an efficient offense, did not turn the ball over in that span and tightened up defensively. This led to a 22-14 run in the third quarter, giving the Buckeyes a 58-57 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, it was a game Ohio State could not hold on to win, shooting 38.5 percent from the field and connecting on 1-of-6 attempts from 3 in the fourth quarter to secure its fifth straight loss. After falling 75-69 to the Terrapins, the Buckeyes are now winless in three games against ranked opponents, losing by an average of 20.67 points. Freshman forward Dorka Juhasz does not seem fazed by the five-game losing streak her team is on heading into its game against No. 25 Indiana on Thursday. If anything, she seemed encouraged after the Buckeyes’ previous performance. “It just showed that we are getting better and better,” Juhasz said. “After this game, I think it just gave us confidence that if you are playing like this, we can change the wins and losses a little bit, push it up. I think it was a great example of what team we are and what we are capable of doing.” Projected StartersOhio State (4-8, 0-3 Big Ten)G — Carly Santoro — Redshirt senior, 9.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.8 apgG — Carmen Grande — Redshirt senior, 6.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.6 apgG — Adreana Miller— Redshirt senior, 5.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.3 apgF — Makayla Waterman — Redshirt senior, 8.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.7 apgF — Dorka Juhasz — Freshman, 12.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 0.8 apgNo. 25 Indiana (14-1, 3-0 Big Ten)G — Ali Patberg — Redshirt junior, 18.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.9 apgG — Jaelynn Penn — Sophomore, 12.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.4 apgG — Bendu Yeaney — Sophomore, 10.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Kym Royster — Senior, 6.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.3 apgF — Brenna Wise — Redshirt junior, 14.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.4 apgWhile Ohio State enters the next game on a losing streak, Indiana comes to Columbus on a winning streak. With their most recent loss coming against Grambling State on Dec. 20 in the Puerto Rico classic, the Hoosiers have won four straight games, including a four-point win against then-No. 15 Michigan State on Sunday. McGuff said Indiana is a very balanced team, showing an ability to score around the basket and shoot from the perimeter. The Hoosiers average 75.1 points per game, No. 5 in the Big Ten. He also mentioned the amount of upperclassmen on the team, and said Indiana uses a normal starting lineup with two redshirt juniors and a senior.Even though the Hoosiers might be ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten standings, Ohio State is preparing for them the same way it prepared for the Terrapins. “We realized leading into Maryland that we practiced really well,” redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande said. “We are just trying to practice very well to play against IU.” Indiana is led by redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg, who McGuff considers one of the best players in the Big Ten and the reason why the Hoosiers execute their offense effectively. Averaging 18 points per game, the guard shoots 43.8 percent from the field and records an average of 6.4 rebounds per game. The Hoosiers also have redshirt junior forward Brenna Wise to lead the team in the post, averaging a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game. However, she is also the best 3-point shooter on the team, shooting 47.9 percent from deep, something that Grande said Ohio State will have to limit. Ohio State has shown success against ranked opponents in limited stretches. McGuff knows what it takes to defeat the Hoosiers, but he said the Buckeyes will have to be at the top of their game for the entirety of the game. “I think it just shows when we are doing the things that makes us good, we are being stingy defensively, we are being aggressive on the boards, we are taking care of the basketball, we can compete with anybody,” McGuff said. “We just have to be able to do that for longer stretches of period in a game for us to finish those games out and win.”Juhasz is confident in this. She said that Ohio State proved its potential against the Terrapins on Saturday. Now she thinks the Buckeyes can prove that at home on Thursday. “We still have a lot of games left,” Juhasz said. “We are just ready for the next one.” Ohio State will take on No. 25 Indiana at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Schottenstein Center.