Kansas Picks Up Another, Defeats Buckeyes 74-66

Written December 22nd, 2012 by Eric

The Bucks and Jayhawks met for the third time in a little over a year, but it resulted in the exact same result as before. A tough, hard-fought battle ended with the Buckeyes coming up short by a final of 74-66. Kansas’s Ben McLemore led all scorers with 22 for the game, and was joined in double digits by Elijah Johnson (13), Jeff Withey (12), and Travis Releford (11). The Buckeyes were led by DeShaun Thomas’s 16 and Shannon Scotts 15.

It was very clear through the first half that the Buckeyes were struggling with the height of the Jayhawks. The Buckeyes spent the majority of the half looking for long and mid-range jumpers rather than attacking the basket. Defensively, while Ravs and Williams did a decent job limiting Withey’s touches, they seriously struggled when Withey managed to get the ball. At the half, the game was a lot closer than it actually felt like it should be.

The Buckeyes struggled in the second half hitting baskets from the floor. In fact, with 9 minutes to go in the game, the Buckeyes had shot 2/17 in the second half all told. The only reason they remained in the game was a combination of free throw shooting along with some poor shooting and decision making from Kansas. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last. When the Buckeyes finally began to collect a couple field goals, Kansas also finally began to take control. Before the Buckeyes could blink, Kansas had a double digit lead. OSU used the typical trick of fouling to stretch the clock, and began to bring the lead under control, but it was far too little too late.

This is yet another good learning lesson game for a team that is still working to find the answers in the shooting game. What defines this team is the fact that they have lots and lots of guys that could be a hot scorer on any given night. Unfortunately, they don’t have a guy that is a hot scorer on every given night. Nor do they have a dominant presence in the paint to easily help open up looks outside. This is a problem that will plague this team all year, so don’t expect a quick fix.

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Tale of the Tape: Buckeyes vs. Jayhawks

Written December 20th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Eight months ago, Ohio State’s men’s basketball team left the floor in New Orleans after a 64-62 loss to Kansas in the Final Four knowing that it gave one away.

There is no doubt about it, since that game on March 31, Ohio State has been looking forward to its rematch with the Jayhawks on Saturday.

Jared Sullinger and William Buford are gone for the Buckeyes, Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor for the Jayhawks. But what remains are a core of Ohio State players who want nothing more than to stick it to the team that ended its chance for a national championship.

Kansas is one of the all-time great college basketball programs. It is right up there with Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Indiana. Historically, Ohio State may not be on that level, but the Buckeyes can hold their own. Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape between these two top ten teams:

All Time Wins 1,529 (36th) 2,070 (2nd)
National Championships 1 (1960) 3 (1952, 1988, 2008)
Final Fours 10 14
All-Americans 23 28
Program’s Leading Scorer Dennis Hopson (2,096) Danny Manning (2,951)


Kansas will come into its game against the Buckeyes with a 9-1 record on the season with its only loss being a three point defeat on a neutral floor to Michigan State.

Freshman guard Ben McLemore leads the Jayhawks in scoring this year with 15.9 points per game. He wasn’t a part of that Kansas team a year ago that fell to Kentucky in the national championship game.

Someone who was, though, was center Jeff Withey. The seven footer is averaging 14 points and eight rebounds on the year to go along with 5.4 blocks per game.

He’s a dominant interior defender, so Evan Ravenel and Amir Williams’ ability to neutralize the play of Withey will be a huge key for Ohio State. Ravenel has played great of late, so he could wind up having a huge impact on this game.

Two great college basketball programs playing in a hostile environment. A little bit of revenge will be on the minds of all Buckeye fans.

Is this March already?

BBN Tournament LiveBlog: National Championship

Written April 2nd, 2012 by Eric

Things that go "Swoosh!"

Tonight is the last LiveBlog of the season as the Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks do battle for the College Basketball National Championship.

As with each round, we’ve got to give a huge “Thank You!” to our BBN Bracket Challenge sponsors- the semis and finals are brought to you by The Buckeye Room. They’re having a sweet deal right now where you can get 20% off your gear by using “MADNESS2012” as the checkout code- even for the cool Nike shirt you see on the right there.

While you’re waiting for the game to start, go check out our partners in the BBN! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual.

All of these blogs deserve a lot of thanks for making these chats a success. Thanks Guys!

Kansas found success in the second half by getting to the rim off the fast break.

Ohio State and Kansas met for the second time this year, this time on the neutral court of the Superdome in New Orleans. Both teams played tough basketball, but the Buckeyes were unable to maintain their nine point halftime lead, falling to the Jayhawks for the second time 64-62. William Buford’s game high 19 points were not enough to lift the Bucks over Kansas’s Thomas Robinson, who matched Buford with 19. Travis Releford scored a critical 15 for the Jayhawks, including four free throws at the end to seal the game.

Neither team started the game with their heads quite in the right place offensively for the first few possessions. While Kansas did score a quick duece on their first possession, they spent their next seven possessions taking atrocious shots. That was matched by the Buckeyes on the other end of the court early. Only when Lenzelle Smith dropped a three pointer did the Buckeyes settle down and start making better decisions with the basketball, leading to a 7-0 run through about four minutes of play.

Kansas attempted to make early adjustments to try to counter the little OSU run. By moving the ball better, the Jayhawks were able to find better looks at the basket and began to make their looks again. Not surprisingly, Thad Matta reinspired the defense on the subsequent timeout. The pep-talk seemed to work, giving the Buckeyes the necessary intensity to make offense difficult for the Jayhawks.

Much to Buckeye fan’s relief “good” Buford made an appearance in this one. As has been apparent all season, Buford’s shooting is strongly dependent on his early game shots. If he makes good decisions early, like he did today, his shooting is generally strong all game long. If instead his decisions are poor early, his shooting struggles throughout. However, one thing Buford never seems to struggle with is assisting his teammates, playing good defense, and tough rebounding. It was critical, though, that his shots started falling early, allowing him to build his shooting confidence early.
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BBN Tournament Liveblog: Final Four

Written March 31st, 2012 by Eric

Things that go "Swoosh!"

We’re continuing the Madness here with the BBN!  Kentucky and Louisville get going at 6:09 PM EST, with the Buckeyes and Jayhawks tipping shortly after, currently approximately 8:49 PM EST. The liveblog will start at 6:00 PM EST to get you ready for the first of the excellent double-header.

As with each round, we’ve got to give a huge “Thank You!” to our BBN Bracket Challenge sponsors- the semis and finals are brought to you by The Buckeye Room.  They’re having a sweet deal right now where you can get 20% off your gear by using “MADNESS2012” as the checkout code- even for the cool Nike shirt you see on the right there.

If you find time during the games, you should check out our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual.
Go Bucks!

Just three more games before someone gets to hoist the prize.

We’re one day away from finding out the answer to that question.  The last weekend of College Basketball stands before us, and the Buckeyes are one of the last four teams remaining.  They’ve got a tough road ahead, but they’ve certainly got the talent and coaching to make a go of it.

You may recall another Buckeye Basketball Breakdown I wrote about a month ago. In it, I looked at the various traits of College Basketball champions and looked at OSU’s stats to see how the Buckeyes measured up.  The answer was mostly satisfactory, but not completely.  Also, considering we hadn’t finished the regular season, the data was incomplete.

I want to go back and reanalyze the Buckeyes now that we’re two (very difficult) games away from the Championship.  Have the Buckeyes improved statistically, or met any other conditions we couldn’t check yet, to make them look more like a championship contender?  That’s what we want to find out.

Allow me to reiterate a thought I had in that previous article.  No one champion has ever possessed all of the following traits, but every single champion has owned a majority of them.  These are simply traits common to the champions in the last 30 years or so.

As one last gift, I thought that we could include the data for Kentucky, Louisville, and Kansas as well.  It should serve as an overall great preview of the weekend!

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BBN Tournament LiveBlog: Elite Eight Part 2

Written March 25th, 2012 by Eric

Hard Work Breeds Champions

We’re continuing the Madness here with the BBN!  The Buckeyes are in the Final Four, and it’s time to find out who their opponent will be on Saturday.  First up, Baylor and Kentucky square off at 2:20 PM EST, closely followed by our scouting game of North Carolina and Kansas.  Both games will air on CBS.

Elite Eight action is brought to you courtesy of Time and Change Clothiers- perfect gear to watch March Madness unfold and teams Shock The World. Let’s hope that the Buckeyes’ focus on practice against the zone will help them grind one out and earn them a spot n New Orleans.

If you find time during the games, you should check out our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual.

Go Bucks!

Kansas Defeats Ohio State in Lawrence 78-67

Written December 10th, 2011 by Eric

Buford fought hard in the second half, but couldn't lift the Bucks enough for the win.

Ohio State traveled to Lawrence, Kansas for their first away game of the season at historic Allan Fieldhouse and suffered a 78-67 loss against the Jayhawks.  The Buckeyes were led by William Buford’s 21 points, 17 of which he scored in the second half, while Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes in the first half and ended with 19.  Thomas Robinson was the big name for the Jayhawks in this one, picking up 21 points and 7 rebounds for the game.

For the second game in a row, Jared Sullinger was held out due to the back injury suffered against Duke 2 weeks ago.  The Buckeyes started Evan Ravenel in his place much like they did a week ago against Texas Pan-American.

Unsurprisingly, the Buckeyes came out very poorly against the Jayhawks.  Considering this was their first away game, the fact that the Buckeyes only managed to score two points on free throws should not come as a big surprise.  OSU looked completely discombobulated on offense, and was probably unable to properly communicate through the incredible crowd noise.  Kansas also deserves plenty of credit early on for having a tough, effective defense that prevented the Buckeyes from having too many open looks.

Craft was the first Buckeye to put a shot through, hitting a three pointer with 15 minutes left in the first half.  That finally seemed to get the Buckeye offense clicking a little, and allowed them to close the gap in the score.  Unfortunately, after managing to close the gap to only 3, the Jayhawks charged out on a 7-0 run to put the Buckeyes down by double digits for the first time in the game. Read More

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