The 1960 National Champions are a one of a kind team. They are the only team in Ohio State history to win a national title and then played for two more. They possessed three players that would become All-Americans and first round draft picks to the NBA. All five starters played in the NBA and don’t forget that the team also produced one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history in Bob Knight. They face a 1987 squad led by Dennis Hopson who is the all-time leading scorer both in a career and single season. The Hopson led squad enjoyed good success in a season dominated by Coaches Knight and Thompson and just about pulled off the biggest upset ever against Thompson’s Hoyas in the NCAA tourney. This match-up would be interesting in many ways but the best is the two most prolific scorers in the history of the program getting a chance to go against each other.
What are to follow will be several comparisons of each team’s makeup. We will be including our opinions of each comparison with who has the advantage and at the end will be guest appearances. We hope you enjoy our tournament as we look forward to the outcome!
As Ty discussed in his article this past week, some coaches may be pulling out their CVs and making some edits and updates in hopes of landing a job at Ohio State next year. It will be interesting to see how the season and subsequent coaching decision plays out for the football program, and hopefully Luke Fickell lands himself the frontrunner position with a solid 2011-12 campaign at the helm. Nevertheless, with the present uncertainty surrounding the football team, it is nice to have stability in the Buckeye basketball world.
The perception is that Thad Matta has a very well-run program. After taking over following Jim O’Brien’s departure, Matta has grown the program to new heights, achieving year-after-year success that has fans enthused and engaged in basketball once again. O’Brien, who recently was named head coach at DIII school Emerson after being out of coaching for a period of time, left Ohio State amidst rules violations that resulted in significant penalties for the university. Fortunately Matta has avoided anything of that nature thus far, and although nobody expected the sudden fallout that has occurred with Jim Tressel given his image and reputation, comments by Jared Sullinger in a featured ESPN article on Thursday provide reason to believe that there is little cause to worry about a similar surprise with Matta. Read More
Earlier this week on Wednesday night the Duke Blue Devils faced off against the Maryland Terrapins in an ACC game coming just before the halfway point of conference play for both teams. Maryland had already lost once to Duke on the season, a 71-64 final in Durham back on January 9th. For Maryland, Wednesday night’s game represented a chance for a little revenge, not to mention a marquee win to bolster the team’s tournament resume. For the Blue Devils, a victory would count as another quality road win and further solidify Duke’s place as one of the elite teams in the country despite looking vulnerable after picking up their second loss of the season just a few days prior at St. John’s.
Duke came into this season looking like the runaway team of the year, highlighted by the stellar play of freshman point guard Kyrie Irving. However, after a toe injury sidelined Irving (he just got his cast off on Thursday), Duke suddenly became mortal again, and expectations for a run to a second straight national championship diminished somewhat. It still looked like the Blue Devils would run away with the conference title in a relatively weak ACC this year (and it still does), but there would probably be some bumps on the road. Maryland has played Duke as tough as any ACC team over the past decade, and the fans at College Park were chomping at the bit for another shot at their pedigree rival from the South. Read More