The field is set for the men’s 2013 NCAA college basketball tournament. This afternoon we’ll take a look into the East regional that culminates March 30-31 in Washington, DC. If you’ve already filled it out, this will be your chance to review the work you did for our Tournament Challenge this year.
The East regional is topped by the Indiana Hoosiers followed by Miami (Fl), Marquette and Syracuse rounding out the top four seeds. Along with the Hoosiers, the Illinois Fighting Illini will also represent the Big Ten in the region.
The Favorite: Ranked as the top team in the region, the Hoosiers are the obvious favorite to win the region. Despite falling to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament semi-finals, they were considered by the selection committee as a lock for a number one seed. The Miami Hurricanes are the “sexy” pick by the national pundits to take the region. The ‘Canes are on a roll winning both their regular season conference championship and the ACC tournament. If anyone can take down the Hoosiers, “The U” may be the ones to do it.
Cinderella: While I don’t see a traditional “Cinderella” team, I do see a few that are in the middle of the pack that may very well make some noise.
While seeded 10th, the Colorado Buffaloes come into the tournament on the heels of their third consecutive 20 win season, the first time that has happened in school history. Though they fell in the second round of the PAC-12 tournament to Arizona, confidence is high amongst head coach Tad Boyle’s team that they can be a player in the East region. Read More
Buckeye hoops had a bad week. The Paterno’s just won’t stop. I don’t feel that same about college basketball as I used to. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
For the first time in 121 games, dating back to 2010, the Buckeye basketball team lost back-to-back games. The first was last Tuesday’s overtime road loss to TTUN in Ann Arbor (covered last week) followed by Sunday’s 81-68 loss at Value City Arena to number one ranked Indiana. It’s easy to say that the TTUN loss was more heartbreaking. Meanwhile, the loss to the Hoosiers at home was far more devastating.
We’ve been discussing how the Buckeyes have been in a constant search for a number two scoring threat to compliment Deshaun Thomas. While that search has been ongoing, the Buckeye defense has been a stalwart to keep them in close games and a source for momentum when a big play is needed. Most teams look for a big three pointer to change momentum or a high flying dunk, the Buckeyes look to lock down on defense and get a quick score off a turnover. While not the completely unconventional path to a momentum burst, it is certainly the road less traveled. Read More
Nate Williams is out, and Zach Boren has been moved to linebacker. And that’s just what we knew about heading into the game; a matchup that Ohio State dominated until mental lapses and a “never say die” Hoosier team made the contest too close for comfort late.
Since Eric is at a wedding and Tim’s got work, you’re stuck with me for the recap. Buckle up.
Braxton was able to get enough of the passing game going over the middle of the field to keep the Hoosiers honest, and found Jake Stoneburner for an early first down catch on a close call. A pass interference call kept the Ohio State drive alive, and Braxton made a good read on an option pitch to Corey Brown for the first Buckeye score. After a three and out by IU, the Buckeyes took over again and began to feed Carlos Hyde. After one first down, though, the Buckeyes were forced to punt, and IU began on their own seven yard line. The Hoosiers continued to have the dropsies, and IU punted back to Ohio State. Rod Smith reported for duty for Ohio State on their third drive. After a couple of nice runs, Devin Smith dropped a sure touchdown forcing Braxton to scramble on third down to pick up the long first. A couple of times during the first quarter, Ohio State showed a new wrinkle of a “touch pass”- they were unsuccessful in converting, though, and Drew Basil added his third field goal of the season.
Indiana got their first first down of the game, and began to move up tempo. Indiana ran an off-tackle play to Stephen Houston who ran 53 yards for the score, and the Hoosiers drew within three. Heuerman dropped the first down pass attempt, and Indiana was able to feather the option attempt and stop Braxton from any gain. A false start put OSU at third and 15; Braxton was only able to pick up five yards and the Buckeyes punted… and it was blocked by Indiana. The Hoosiers started at their own 17, and gained two yards prior to the end of the quarter. Read More
10:15 PM – Make sure to stop back tomorrow for more live coverage from Indianapolis from WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell! A preview of tomorrow’s games will be up shortly to get you ready for all four excellent matchups.
10:00 PM – Gary Russell here from Indy finishing out today’s action. The second half started off with a flurry but Purdue really flexed its muscles in pulling away and beating Nebraska in the Husker’s first trip to the tourney by a score of 79-61. Today’s action reminded me of what the Big Ten is all about. While Minnesota’s overtime thriller was the best game of the day, the other games still showed us that the Big Ten has tremendous heart, determination, and class. Here’s to a great first day and an awesome second day.
9:00 PM – Gary Russell from Indy and Purdue is leading Nebraska 39-31 at halftime. Upset minded Nebraska kept it close early but they didn’t seem to have an answer for Purdue on the boards. The Boilermakers cashed in on their second chance points going up by 15 at one point. Bo Spencer hits a three and a lay up at the 2:03 mark shrinking the lead to 8. The teams trade baskets to close out the half putting us where we are at halftime.
7:40 PM – Northwestern’s dreams came to an end here in OT. A hot shooting Gopher squad made their free throws and some timely threes to post a 75-68 win. Shurna and Cobb combined for 45 of Northwestern’s points, while Andre Hollins lead Minnesota and all scorers with 25. Minnesota moves on to face TTUN tomorrow in game three of day 2.
The Indiana Hoosiers roll into town today, fresh off their first loss of the season at home against the Minnesota. Tip-Off this afternoon is set for 4:30 PM ET on CBS. We’ll have your liveblog as always during the game! To take a deeper look at Indiana, view our first game preview here.
It seems like just yesterday that Aaron Craft coughed up the basketball late, Sam Thompson mishandled a bounce pass on the baseline, and William Buford decided to attempt a running three down two late with plenty of time on the clock in the 4 point loss to the Hoosiers in the first meeting of these squads.
This time though, we see a team at the Schott that struggled on the road against Penn State. Then followed it up with a loss at Assembly Hall to a Minnesota team without it’s best player. Still, the Gophers are a gritty team that are coached well and do the little things right (I think I hit every cliche possible).
The Hoosiers continued pushing the basketball with their top notch transition offense, but it was their defense that broke down throughout the first and late in the second. Ryan Corazza breaks down the defensive faults of the Hoosiers in the latest Film Study over at Inside the Hall. If you watched, the first thing you’d pick up from this one was the lack of communication on that end of the floor. Guys were out of position, forgetting their assignment in the zone, and letting the Gophers get to the baseline.
So far in Big Ten play, Indiana is allowing more than 1 point per possession, which is not going to get the job done if they want to remain at the top of the conference. Their biggest issue though could be the lack of ability to get the glass, box out and grab a tough rebound. Currently, the Hoosiers are grabbing 35 boards per game.
Minnesota was able to turn the tide defensively, both inside and on the perimeter. Jordan Hulls was kept to just one three pointer and the team shot 22% from beyond the arc last time out.
Speed, Strength and Second chance opportunities looked like they would be the difference early on New Year’s Eve, but it was timely shots, late offensive momentum, questionable officiating and unprecedented mistakes that led to Indiana’s 74-70 win in Bloomington to end 2011.
After Jared Sullinger started the game with an old fashioned three point play with a nice move to the low post, it was the play of guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. early that led to a 7-0 run to begin play. Sullinger stole an inbound pass in front of the Hoosier hoop that led to a breakaway layup from Craft. Lenzelle Smith Jr. would follow up with two offensive rebounds that turned into two points on a tip in.
Sullinger would go 3-3 in the first 8 minutes of the ballgame. After hitting the bench, due to foul trouble, the storyline of the game started to change.
Halfway through the first, Indiana started to find their rhythm. Jordan Hulls hit a wide open three from the nearside wing to draw the game within 7. Ohio State would be held six plus minutes without a field goal. With 7:45 on the clock Victor Oladipo made it a 4 point game with another wide open look from the far wing.
After a series of questionable calls, Verdell Jones III would tie the ballgame at 25 from the free throw line. The physical aspect of the game was taken out of play, as every single hand check and movement caused a whistle.
The end of the first half became a scrum of defensive fortitude as both teams found themselves clawing on the court for possession.
Happy New Year’s Eve! Here’s to drinking plenty of beers, watching plenty of football, dipping tons of crackers into cheeseballs, and being safe out there this holiday. Coming up this afternoon, we wrap up 2011 with a the Ohio State Buckeyes taking on a much improved Indiana team on the hardwood in Bloomington.
Here are some notes from around the web on tonight’s game at 6 PM ET on ESPN 2/3.com. If you’re already hungover, sit back and grab someone to read for you. We can’t have you puking over any of our work here at tBBC. Happy New Year’s Eve and see you in the liveblog!
The Lancaster Eagle Gazette breaks down the numbers of the Indiana Hoosiers this morning. To combat for their weakness on the interior defensively, Indiana has become the highest scoring team in the B1G night in and night out. Now that’s not ripping this squad, it’s just the reality of their personnel this season. Thad Matta though breaks them down almost perfectly.
The one thing you can say is that this squad has all kinds of different talent, and can beat you many different ways on the court.