Those of you who play along with us during Fall liveblogs know my propensity for helping make stadium sound effects on third down as a way to
manage my ADD help the team. As such, today’s news hit me with a bit of both nostalgia and sadness… The band that gave us the bell may be no more. We’ve only got one choice for today’s soundtrack, then… Happy Wednesday!
Ohio State fans were on “commitment watch” during the Spring Game weekend, but probably didn’t expect today’s news.
Thad Matta picked up his second transfer commitment for the upcoming season, as former Virginia Tech Hokie Trevor Thompson has given his verbal to the Buckeyes following his visit to Columbus.
The 6’11″ forward is an Indianapolis native, and was considering Indiana and Purdue as he looked to transfer closer to home. He will have to sit out the 2014-15 season, but will have three years of eligibility starting in the fall of 2015.
Thompson averaged 5 point and almost 5 rebounds a game in his single season with the Hokies, but managed 15 and 6 against Duke back in February.
Welcome to the Ohio State Family, Trevor… we’re looking forward to watching your career here!
As Mali mentioned earlier in the week, the two of us had a discussion during the UConn-Stanford women’s semifinal game about the potential role that ESPN may have played in the rise of Connecticut basketball to the lofty heights of being the only school to win the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the same year; the Huskies have now accomplished that feet twice, in 2004 and again this year. We all know how Nike money and favoritism has helped to build Oregon football into a major power and as Mali mentioned, the power of ESPN to shape college football is well known. This article isn’t meant to be sour grapes or to take anything away from UConn’s impressive accomplishments and the talented players and coaches they have assembled. Rather, it is meant to look at the power that tv networks can wield on the outcomes of the sports that they cover, something that is increasingly important to be aware of as conference realignment and expansion is now being driven by tv networks (see Big Ten expansion into the New York and DC markets).
Headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut, ESPN launched in 1979. Originally intended as a network to cover all sports in the state of Connecticut, the focus was changed to national sports coverage due to the affordability of distributing the network broadcast nationally via satellite. Despite struggling financially in its early years, ESPN began to become a major force in the sports world with the signing of contracts with the professional sports leagues: the NBA in 1982, the USFL in 1983, and ultimately the NFL in 1987. These contracts, along with the contract that ESPN had signed with the NCAA upon the network’s inception, set the sports network on the path to becoming the dominant media influence in modern sports.
Bruce came to visit Ohio last night… and at least one person had a great time at the event. UPDATE: Video Evidence. So, today’s soundtrack is one of my favorite songs from The Boss… even if it’s somewhat new, it’s still a classic.
Congratulations to the UConn Huskies, winner of their fourth national championship Monday night with a 60-54 victory over Big Blue Nation and the Kentucky Wildcats in Arlington Texas.
Following a season where the Huskies were ineligible for post-season play due to APR/Academic issues, the upperclassman who stayed with the program earned their second title in four years, and brought a sense of redemption to UConn. Led by UConn alumni Kevin Ollie, who inherited the program following Jim Calhoun’s retirement, the Huskies went from a team that struggled in their opener against St. Joseph’s to knocking off the “team of destiny” from Lexington.
Calipari’s starters are expected to announce for the NBA in the coming days, similar to the squad that won the title for UK in 2012. Rumors are also swirling that Calipari himself may be headed to The League, as the future coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. If you’ve followed Calipari’s career and are a WildKat fan, you’ve got to hope beyond hope that he stays, as programs he leaves tend to have visits from the NCAA soon thereafter.
So, congrats to the Huskies, who look to see their undefeated women’s team double dip on Tuesday night when they face the also undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Should Coach Auriemma’s team win, it will be the second time that both titles have ended in Connecticut in the same year… no other team has even done it once.
Fear not, UK faithful- The Yankees’ season just began and the Miami Heat look solid this year as well. And then you get to live vicariously through the successes of your SEC brethern… the same ones who hate you all during hoops season.
In our Yahoo! Challenge, Ryan had it all sewn up on Saturday, correctly picking Kentucky and Florida in the Final Four. Huge kudos also go to Kris, who had the most correct picks, but not the most points per our scoring system. Ryan wins the great prize package from The Buckeye Room, Fresh Brewed Tees, and Mekka Don, and you’ll be hopefully reading his thoughts in this space in the near future.
This year’s tBBC Bragging Rights go to Ken, who blew the rest of us out of the water at… wait for it… 21st place. Proud. Your humble correspondent finished in dead last, right behind a staffer who was too busy with his dissertation to spend more than a few minutes filling out his bracket.
Huge thanks go to our friend Bacon Ninja for keeping me from having the lowest score of the people I talk to regularly. Oh, and that 8 year old that finished in the running for our bowl challenge? Ninth place.
Thanks again for participating, and look for our next contest sometime in mid-August as we get ready for the 2014-15 season to kick off. Remember, we’ll be livechatting the Ohio State spring game this Saturday afternoon… see you then!
Starting at 9 PM Eastern Time tonight, we decide a National Champion for this season. Tonight we will find out if 7-seed UConn, or 8-seed Kentucky has what it takes to win it all.
Come join us for the chat this evening, the last basketball chat of the year. It’s gonna be a blast!
Note: Next Saturday (April 12th) is the Ohio State Spring Football Game. We will be running a livechat for that game. Be here for it!
After being away for a while experiencing my oldest daughter giving birth to my first grandchild, I have had plenty of time getting ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. So I am going to take this opportunity to kinda wrap up everything that is RSB overall from football and basketball. Let’s get rolling with the good of Buckeye sports.
It’s time to start the argument. My favorite all-time basketball buckeye on the men’s side has been Jay Burson for a very long time obviously. So here is the dilemma for you to ponder. Has there been a better point guard in Ohio State history than Aaron Craft? Let’s do a quick comparison of their career numbers, and then I will give you my two-cents as to why there never has been a player like AC, and probably never will be.
GP 122 148
FG% 50% 46%
3P% 41% 33%
FT% 81% 74%
APG 2.77 4.7
SPG 1.67 2.3
RPG 3.3 3.3
The big difference between the two basically comes down to their area of expertise and what was asked of them by their head coaches and the era’s in which they played. Jay Burson was always a scorer and told me in an interview a couple years ago about the adjustments he had to make to college and how he realized he had a lot to learn after his freshman year. Jay was a pure scorer first and foremost and worked hard to become a better defender. He will go down as the second best at the position in my book now. Read More
For the Ohio State Buckeyes and their fans, the meaningful basketball season ended two weeks ago in the NCAA first round loss to Dayton, However, not for us intrepid writers at tBBC. Despite our favorite team being knocked out of the tournament and our brackets in shambles, we’re still thinking basketball.
We put together a quick survey amongst ourselves of our favorite coaches in the Big Ten. By “favorite”, I mean regardless of school affiliation, who would you like to play for? The coaches were ranked on a scale of 12 to 1, with a ’12′ signifying “I’d actually pay to play for this person” and a ’1′ as “You’re kidding, right?” As the responses poured in, I decided to throw a standard deviation calculation at them as an attempt to get some feel for the consistency in how a coach was viewed by our staff. The smaller the “StD”, the more the response were clustered around the average, hence the more consistently the tBBC staffers thought of a coach. More or less..
And here is tBBC B1G Coaches Poll:
There you have it. So, where would you rank the B1G coaches?