Is the OSU swagger back?

RUSTY MILLER AP Sports Writer Published:

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Iowa coach Fran McCaffery is coming back from a one-game banishment.

It remains to be seen if No. 3 Ohio State's swagger also returns after its first loss of the season.

"There's two ways we can go," Buckeyes defensive dervish Aaron Craft said. "Obviously, we want to try to win every game and we're a competitive group. But the worst thing we can do is turn that loss into two."

McCaffery's Big Ten-mandated suspension for his blow-up with the officials in a loss at No. 4 Wisconsin on Sunday is behind him. He'll be on the sideline when the 20th-ranked Hawkeyes travel to play the Buckeyes today.

Iowa (13-3, 2-1) has already rebounded from that loss to the Badgers, taking it out on Northwestern 93-67 on Thursday.

Soon after that game ended, assistant Kirk Speraw, who filled in for McCaffery, said the Hawkeyes had their work cut out for them when they take on the Buckeyes (15-1, 2-1).

"We need a lot of things in Columbus," he said. "We need great defense, taking good care of the basketball, shooting the ball well, rebounding the ball well. I mean, that's one of the better teams in the country, obviously, and so it's just another step in our journey down the Big Ten schedule."

The Hawkeyes were clinging to the lead against the Badgers in Madison on Sunday when McCaffery was hit with two technicals. He stormed after the officials, briefly making contact with one. In the wake of that 75-71 loss, the Big Ten decreed he sit out a game.

"I lost my cool, and you can't do that," he said in apologizing later. "My passion and energy come from a good place. I want my players to play that way."

At the same time, a lot of eyes will be trained on the Buckeyes to see if they can bounce back after a 72-68 overtime defeat at No. 5 Michigan State on Tuesday night.

Ohio State's players and coach Thad Matta realize that they cannot afford a second straight slip.

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