Have you filled out your brackets for the Tournament Challenge yet? Here’s our last take on the regional matchups.
The South Region is chock full of talent and it could make an argument for being the toughest out of all four regions. It could also be anyone’s to win headed to the Final Four with a four seed taking the prize in that team we don’t like to call by name. This could be the year that everyone has dreaded and we actually see an All-B1G Final Four. Let’s get started.
Favorite-As much as I want to see an All-B1G Final Four and will pick that team as one of my two to leave the South, Kansas is the favorite here. Since the dismantling of the Buckeyes early in the season they have made a strong debate among who the other #1 seed was really going to be. Duke’s faltering down the stretch, yet again, really opened the door. I said early in the year that my two dark horses to win it all were Kansas and Arizona. We shall see what they have in the Sweet Sixteen when they square off against you know who.
Cinderella- Shaka’s team can no-longer be a cinderella, they are like Gonzaga and Butler when it comes to big-time respect and they are getting it. My cinderella here is an easy pick for me because a kid I have known all through his middle and high school years, who graduated with my two kids, and is a special player, is Chase Fieler from FGCU. This team has the makings of a very special team and the coach to get them there. They upset Miami early in the season and their reward for it and making the dance is Georgetown? They didn’t get a good enough look from the committee because they were a 12 seed easily. I look for these high flyers to make some noise. Read More
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.
Number Seven Ohio State. Number Nine Kansas. Is there really more that needs to be said?
Joining us as usual are the other members of the Buckeye Blogger Network. Make sure to stop by their place and say, “hey”: Buckeye Ninja, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, Buckeye Empire, The Buckeye Blog, Unscripted Ohio, and Fox Sports Ohio.
The Liveblog will tip around 3:30 PM EST, with the Basketball game starting at 4:00 on CBS… Hello, Clark Kellogg!
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)|
|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?
Everything is sort of quiet around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the holidays are almost here. Since hindsight is 20/20, let’s look back on 2012. Who’s ready to rumble?
The 2012 story didn’t begin on January 1, 2012. Of course, so much had already happened up to that point that I would be remiss without first going back to November 29, 2011 when the hiring of Urban Meyer as the next head coach at Ohio State became official. With that, we also have to think back to December 22nd of 2011, the day the sanctions prohibiting the Buckeyes from playing in a bowl game after the 2012 season, reducing scholarships and prohibiting Ohio State from competing in the Big Ten Championship game was announced.
“Gator don’t play…”
2012 started out with a trip to something called the Tax Slayer dot com Gator Bowl where the Buckeyes squared off with? Of course it had to be Urban Meyer’s old team, the Florida Gators. In a game that was quite honestly hard to watch, the Buckeyes fell 24-17. Unfortunately it was a game that didn’t feel like it was winnable in the end despite the mere seven point deficit. The good news from that day was that on the next day, January 2nd the Gators former boss officially took the wheel driving the Buckeye football program.
Anticipation and predictions
We waited all spring and through a long dry summer to finally see what Urban Meyer’s offense with Braxton Miller at quarterback would look like once it actually came to fruition on the field. Preseason speculation saw the Buckeyes picked to win anywhere from 7-10 games. With the Big Ten being in another of its string of down years, it wasn’t too farfetched to think the Buckeyes could be 10-2 or even 9-3. I think the consensus among people closest to the program were that road games at Michigan State and Wisconsin seemed like stumbling blocks for a young team. I think most thought Nebraska at Ohio Stadium would be a toss-up considering all that Nebraska had returning from 2011. Naturally, we all know anything can happen in The Game.
The first quarter against Miami… Read More
Even though the week featured many blowouts and easy wins, this week’s Top 25 has many changes to it from the previous week. Two teams dropped out of the polls, including a Top 10 team disappearing from the nation’s top teams. This week’s action also only featured one loss to any of the current Top 25 teams (it would have been two if Colorado decided to get off the plane in Kansas). The upcoming week only features one Top 25 matchup when (6) Florida travels to (8) Arizona but does feature some possible upset alerts (We’re looking at you Purdue and West Virginia).
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.
1. Indiana (9-0) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 12/8 Central Connecticut State, W 100-69
Upcoming: 12/15 Butler
Indiana cruised to a victory over Central Connecticut State but this week’s Butler team will be a tougher challenge for the Hoosiers
2. Duke (9-0) Previous Rank: 2
Past Week: 12/8 Temple, W 90-67
Upcoming: No Games This Week
The Blue Devils didn’t have any let downs after an emotional win against Ohio State in walloping Temple. This week they look to rest a little bit with an off week
3. Michigan (9-0) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 12/4 Western Michigan, W 73-41 & 12/8 Arkansas, W 80-67
Upcoming: 12/11 Binghamton & 12/15 @West Virginia
The Wolverines were challenged from time by Arkansas but pulled away in the end to defeat the Razorbacks. They travel to Morgantown to meet upset-minded West Virginia.
4. Syracuse (8-0) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 12/3 Eastern Michigan, W 84-48 & 12/6 Long Beach State, W 84-53 & 12/8 Monmouth, W 108-56
Upcoming: 12/15 Canisius
Syracuse continues the cream puff part of their schedule as Jim Boeheim works toward becoming the third coach in history with 900 wins.
5. Louisville (8-1) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 12/4 @Charleston, W 80-38 & 12/8 Missouri-Kansas City, W 99-47
Upcoming: 12/15 @Memphis
Not much to speak of with Louisville either, as they breezed past their two opponents this past week and Memphis probably won’t be much different.
6. Florida (7-0) Previous Rank: 7 Read More
In spite of the huge win in Happy Valley on Saturday, I’m feeling a bit of the blues are in order for this week’s recap. So, enjoy some Collins, Cray, and Copeland.
It’d be easy to say that this week was “spook-tacular”, and “scary” for a lot of top teams, but that would be way to easy. So, let’s just admit that Saturday once again proved that we’re fans of the greatest sport in the world; because anything can happen once the ball is kicked.
As a promise to a “friend” that’s a Notre Dame fan who I’ve been justifiably ripping for the last ten years, we’re leading off this week with the Irish’s huge win in Norman over the Sooners. Like most of America who pays attention to the sport, I imagined that Oklahoma would stomp a mud hole into Brian Kelley’s team- Stoop’s defense, high powered offense… not exactly playing Air Force here. So, because the Irish emerged victorious, undefeated, and “relevant” enough to bump up to the third ranking spot in the BCS, I tip my journalistic cap to them- particularly their defense, which is playing lights out this season. Although they gave up their first* (non-official assisted) rushing touchdown to Oklahoma, they were able to keep Sooner QB Landry Jones guessing all night long. That’s not to say that we’re not without some controversy, as the “luck of the Irish” continued when Heisman Candidate Manti Te’o intercepted the Sooners late in the game to seal away the victory. Your perspective of the play will depend on your hopes prior to the game- Irish fans were elated, others thought that the initial play was a case of pass interference resulting in a ball that clearly touched the ground. At any rate, complaining about the officiating is better left to other fan bases; the Irish are undefeated, and have overcome all but one of the games that had people pointing to theirs as the toughest schedule in college football. Congrats indeed.
Although… How much of this gets pinned on Bob Stoops? “Big Game Bob”, as we’ve discussed before, has built a reputation on an early BCS championship and his ability to beat his rival. However, given the state of his rival over the past few years, is it really fair to continue to give him a pass for his team’s coming up short in these types of games? The loss to Notre Dame is the second at home this year… although, to be fair, both teams are undefeated currently. So, Sooner fans- enjoy that BCS win over Connecticut a few years back, and hope that things can get turned around in the B12 for your squadron in the near future.
Since we alluded to them, let’s talk Texas, shall we? It took some late game heroics by a McCoy (no, not that one) to keep from being beaten by Kansas. You read that correctly… the Jayhawks and their “Coach by weight” strategy were within seconds of beating the Longhorns and turning the heat even higher up on coach Mack Brown. I’m not one to jump on a dead bandwagon- check out the great “post a picture of our defense” thread on Shaggy Bevo- but I still can’t figure out how the flagship school in one of the most talent rich states in the nation continues to struggle on the field. Granted, it may be the competition in the conference and adjacent conferences, but you’ve got to think they’d be able to be successful whether or not there’s a prodigy at quarterback.
Also in the B12, Kansas State, the new #3 in the BCS continues to roll, playing even with Texas Tech for a half and then making the adjustment necessary to blow out the Raiders in Lubbock. Read More
Ah, fall… the wind turns brisk and in Los Angeles the birds turn colors and fall from the trees (ht: David Letterman). We talked last week about “pumpkinitis” that’s sweeping the country… some people are taking it seriously. Instead of subjecting yourself to such a task, take time to kick back with some new tunes and enjoy a great weekend in college sports.
In case you haven’t noticed (and if you haven’t, please PLEASE let me know how you’re managing to pull that off), it’s election season. And you thought the BCS was complicated and overwrought… three more weeks, people. You can do it.
“But Mali- there’s never been politics on tBBC… what gives?”
That’s a fine point, but it’s the only way I could think of to lead into this week’s “marquee” matchup. Given how much they like football, I’m sure that there was some tension on the Romney/Ryan campaign bus when Notre Dame and BYU squared off in South Bend. (See, ’cause one candidate is a Mormon and the other is a Catholic… oh, nevermind.) Yup, The Golden Domers met the People of the Golden Plates, with the former looking to continue their undefeated season. The Cougars managed to do something that was pretty rare this season, and scored an offensive touchdown against a resurgent Irish defense, led by Heisman (?) candidate linebacker Manti Te’o. It wasn’t enough, though, as they fell to .500 in a 17-14 loss to Brian Kelly’s team, who was led by backup quarterback Tommy Rees’ and his one completed pass after halftime. So, yeah- that Notre Dame fan in your office has yet another week to be a bit boisterous regarding his fifth ranked favorite squadron.
In order to make sure I cover both sides of the 2012 election, here. Ok, I’m done talking religion and politics… you can come back now.
On the topic of mistakes that I’ve made recently, I’m more than willing to acknowledge that my purchasing the hype regarding West Virginia was misguided. They still seem to be a Big lEast team of sorts, where defense is even more optional than it has been in the B12 lately. This isn’t to take anything away from the October Heisman frontrunner; Colin Klein has rightfully taken the crown from Mr. September, particularly in their “head to head” contest on Saturday. The Wildcats now sit at 7-0 , and even managed to jump Oregon in the BCS rankings this week, all the way up to #3. While I won’t argue with the BCS… At least Oregon beat a team this week that had a defensive pulse. We’ve not seen that from West Virginia, so it’s hard to assess Kansas State’s victory fully. Hooray subjectivity!
Although this is traditionally a “Saturday” wrap up, the truth of the matter is that Thursday’s game between the Ducks and Arizona State was pretty freaking impressive. After an initial ASU score, Oregon cranked up it’s offensive game and scored 43 points before there was even ten minutes left in the second quarter. Mercifully, they pulled back the horses at that point- although, they certainly could have kept rolling if they chose to… when a team scores on a two point conversion this easily, you’ve got to know that they are only stopping themselves for the rest of the game. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Chip Kelly was pissed that his team was only ranked third in last week’s BCS- since they actually fell one slot this week, I’m afraid to see what happens to this week’s
victim opponent. Read More