Preview: Kentucky next, but OSU gets NIU now

Marc Loving and the Buckeyes host NIU on Wednesday.

Ohio State facing Mid-American Conference program with but one loss.

Ohio State (4-5) vs. Northern Illinois (7-1)

SITE: Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio

TIPOFF: 7 p.m. EST

TV/BROADCAST: Big Ten Network

RADIO: OSU-IMG Sports Network (WKNR 850-AM in Cleveland)

NOTES/THOUGHTS

Ohio State has done a better job against mid-major programs lately, handling VMI and Air Force in the previous two home games. … But based on the record, the Huskies may be no ordinary mid-major program. … Their lone loss came at Missouri. … Of course, NIU’s wins include Idaho, Wright State, South Dakota and Eureka. Not exactly a who’s who of college basketball powers. … Junior forward Marc Loving leads the Buckeyes in scoring at 16.8 points per game. … Sophomore swingman Je’Sean Tate is next at 12.0. … The Huskies are paced by junior guard Aaric Armstead (12.6 ppg) and freshman guard Marshawn Wilson (12.0). … In fact, freshmen make up more than 40 percent of NIU’s scoring. … After this one, coach Thad Matta and the Buckeyes face fifth-ranked Kentucky. … The danger here, of course, is looking past NIU with one eye on the Wildcats.

— Sam Amico