The tBBC All-Time Tourney is back with another barn-burner as the number 4 seeded improbable 1968 Buckeyes take on the unforgettable 2011 squad. JoeD and WVaBuckeye break down today’s match-up.
Ohio State’s true Cinderella — the 1967-68 Buckeyes got second life at the very end of the season thanks to some help from our friends up north. In early March, players had turned their uniforms in. They thought they had played their last game against Illinois. They still practiced, but without any expectations of playing again.
All Iowa needed to do in securing the only spot for the Big Ten in the 23 team post-season tournament was beat a Michigan team that was 5-8 in the conference. After jumping out to a 22-8 lead, Michigan was able to hold on by one to force a one game playoff between the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes at the brand new Mackey Arena in boilermaker country.
Fred Taylor was so thankful for the Wolverines’ effort, that he sent soon to be fired Michigan coach Dave Strack a varsity O blanket to keep warm over the spring.
The Buckeyes would go on to beat the Hawkeyes and entered the tournament as a member of the Mideast regional in Lexington Kentucky. After a win over East Tennessee State, the Buckeyes would meet the heavily favored home Kentucky Wildcats and survive by one point. Wildcat Head Coach Adolph Rupp was so upset after the game, he refused to make an appearance at the post-game press conference. That’s when Guard Bruce Schnabel came up with a poem that rings wonderment in Ohio State fan’s ears.
“Some say we were good, some say we were lucky, all I know is we’re in L.A. and Rupp is still in Kentucky.”