Buckeyes Hope They're Ready for Big Ten Start

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Forward Deshaun Thomas says "every night is going to be a fight night." Coach Thad Matta calls it's a long, grueling 18 games.

Ready or not, it's time for Ohio State to open Big Ten play.

The Buckeyes (10-2) host Nebraska (9-4) on Wednesday night. There will be little time to take a breath until they close the regular season with a home game on March 10 against Illinois.

Three times the Buckeyes will play back-to-back road games; only once will they have two home games in a row. They'll only play Purdue and Penn State on the road, and get Minnesota and Wisconsin just at home.

Grueling? It is when you're playing in the No. 1 RPI-rated conference, with six teams ranked in the AP Top 25.