Well, here we are. Fresh off winning the Big Ten Tournament, we (as Buckeye fans) need to get ready for the NCAA’s, the Big Dance in collegiate basketball. To do that, Westward Ho!
Rather than go through game-by-game in the Region, I’ll focus on five (5) questions; 1) team likely to win region, 2) region’s Cinderalla team, 3) likely upset, 4) unheralded player (who’s he?) and 5) my Elite 8 picks. Envelopes, please….
Regional Favorite: Ohio State is my choice to win this Region. They are simply one of the hottest teams in the country right now. In their last 10 games, they are 9-1, and battled through a couple highly regarded teams to win the BTT. The complementary players (those not named ‘DeShaun Thomas’) are beginning to gain confidence and play well. And the Buckeyes play pretty solid defense, which is particularly useful come tournament time.
However, even Achilles had his heel. Two things can get this team out of the NCAA’s in a hurry. They have a tendency for slow starts. At some point in the first half their offense will absolutely flat-line for annoying stretches of time. Except for a few occasions this season, OSU’s defense has managed to keep the game within reach. But, as I mention, there have been exceptions, and in a “one and done” format, that usually means “done”. The other flaw is the recent (MSU,Wisconsin) love affair with shooting 3-point shots while showing very little ability to actually make 3′s. In this two game span, 3-point attempts were 40% of their FG’s, yet they only made 20% of them. That is a lot of empty possessions. Read More