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Reality check: Video game puts Buckeyes among nation’s best

Video games are intriguing to some and confusing to others, but when it comes to “NCAA Basketball 10” by EA Sports, one thing is for certain: The Buckeyes are in the game, and look good.

In “NCAA Basketball 10,” the Ohio State men’s basketball team is given an overall grade of an A-, putting them near the top of all the teams in the game. 

Only an A grade is better, and it’s reserved for teams highly ranked in the preseason polls, including Kansas, Michigan State and Texas.

Besides the Spartans, the only other Big Ten school that is given a higher grade is Purdue, also highly ranked in the preseason polls. 

Connor Dougan, head producer for the game, revealed that game grades are based on a scouting report given to EA by a company called Blue Ribbon, who they have a partnership with. 

Each year, Blue Ribbon writes an extensive review of each college basketball team in the nation by gathering information through sportswriters and scouts that cover college basketball. EA’s portrayal of the Buckeyes comes largely from this review. 

Evan Turner, arguably the Bucks best player in real life, is the top-rated Buckeye in the game. He is given an overall rating of 87 and also tops other rating categories such as field goal shooting (80), rebounding (91) and passing (97). Ratings range from 1 at the lowest to 100. 

The in-game starting five is the same starting five coach Thad Matta normally sends onto to the court, with the only difference being the position that they play. Dallas Lauderdale (79 overall) is at center, Turner and David Lighty (75) at forward, William Buford (78) and Jon Diebler (81) are at guard.

After the cut-off point for in-game rosters, Matta asked Turner to handle the point guard duties, so Diebler is generally handling the ball most of the time in the game. 

Buford is OSU’s highest-rated 3-point shooter at 78 and free throw shooter at 85.  Lauderdale is OSU’s highest rated shot blocker at 92 and defender at 89. Diebler, the Buckeyes’ most prolific 3-point marksman, is given a rating of 76 from behind the arc.

There are 3 separate categories that each team receives a grade on and grades range from D (the lowest) to A (the highest). Categories are overall, offense and defense. 

Offensively, the digital hardwood Bucks are given an A- and primarily run a half-court set. On the other side of the ball, they received an A- as well.

In comparison nationally, the Buckeyes are ranked No. 16 in the game, while Kansas, Michigan State and Texas take the top three spots in that order. Each squad is given all A’s across the board.

Other meaningful non-conference games Ohio State has this season include West Virginia and Butler. Based solely on how teams are represented in “NCAA Basketball 10,” the Buckeyes should be victorious against Butler, which has a B+ in each category. On the other hand, the matchup with West Virginia could be a difficult task, considering the Mountaineers are given an A overall and the Buckeyes lost to North Carolina (also an A) in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

What about that team up north? They are given an A- overall, similar to Ohio State, but ranked No. 22, thus, giving Matta’s squad the upper hand.

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