Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/30/11

In the transition from 2010 to 2011, the Ohio State Buckeyes lost Evan Turner, the man who swept all the national college basketball player of the year awards, but got better. Last year they were the tournament’s overall #1 seed, lost a couple key guys this offseason, but may be better this year than they were last year. They certainly looked the part Tuesday night.

This was supposed to be the Big Ten/ACC Challenge heavyweight title fight. Instead it was a laugher, as OSU scored the first 13, and ran away with it long before halftime. Duke never led, and instead suffered one of the worst November beatings in the history of the school. This was no doubt one of the worst losses of the Coach K. era.

Jared Sullinger had a game-high 21 points (and eight rebounds) for the Buckeyes. It is the 41st time he has scored in double figures in his career. Aaron Craft had 17 points and eight assists. But the name which started to become household in this one is Deshaun Thomas, who had 18 points. It is the 17th time in his young career and sixth consecutive that he has scored in double figures. A highly rated recruit who got lost in the shuffle last year, he’s playing a very prominent role for the Bucks this year.

“Everything kind of fell into place for him (Thomas). He had a couple of nice drives and open threes, which got him into a rhythm. The last play of the first half, the out of bounds play, was huge – we literally put that in at practice today and it gave us all the momentum going into the break. He just has a knack for finding shots,” OSU Coach Thad Matta said of Deshaun Thomas’ performance after game.

Ohio State has now defeated two AP Top 10 non-conference opponents at home this season for the first time in history. They are 3-3 all-time vs. Duke and 38-26 all-time vs. the ACC. Ohio St. moved to 5-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with four-consecutive wins. As a ranked team, the Buckeyes are 402-108 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 280-59.

NBA players Evan Turner, Mike Conley, Greg Oden, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade were all in attendance at this game.

“I thought Ohio State played a great game against us. They were a fresher team; I thought our team played tired. They are very athletic, together and they played with a great verve. Obviously they are deserving of the win, but they were a lot fresher than we were. We could never get into the ballgame,” Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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