A rude couple of games have turned Ohio from an unbeaten 6-0 and a top 25 threat into a reeling albeit talented team after losses at Robert Morris and Memphis.
The RMU loss is an easy one to explain: they ran into a hot shooter who went 8-for-8 from three and took the game over. Odd, perhaps a defensive breakdown, but it happens and you can't win them all. Losing to Memphis 84-58 on television, however, says a bit more.
Very few were looking forward to the Ohio-RMU game, although there was a revenge factor from last year when they spoiled the end of their impressive OOC run. But a win over Memphis, even a good game, would cement their status as a mid-major contender. This doesn't dash their Sweet 16 hopes, but it sure hurts the already marginal chance to be an at-large pick.
Let's look at some numbers in this game: Ohio was outshot 51% to 38%, had 16 turnovers to Memphis's 9, were outrebounded 37-26 and (10-7 offensively), and totaled just 10 assists. DJ Cooper shot rather well for 19 points but Walter Offutt didn't (3-for-12, 7 points), and neither did Nick Kellogg, who didn't get much of a chance. Jon Smith cleaned up inside with 12 points on six shots and pulled down seven rebounds. Just across the board, Memphis was a bit better.
You can turn this into one of two things: (a) Ohio isn't as good as advertised, or (b) they're going through a rough patch and are better than this. I'm inclined to believe the latter, but the chances of them cakewalking through the MAC are starting to become remote possibilities.