Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll be giving you our insight into each reason, looking for the stories that you may not have read elsewhere.
The Midwest Region is a tough Region, not that any Region will be easy, but this one is particularly top-loaded. In this Region are Wichita State (ranked #2 AP and the only undefeated team in the nation), Louisville (#5), Duke (#7), TTUN (#8), St. Louis (#18) along with UMass and Kentucky. Four teams in the AP Top Ten and another in the Top Twenty. All of the other Regions have two Top Ten teams each.
This Region is a bit odd; it has the most Top Ten teams and it also has three of the four play-in game winners playing as well. So, it seems to me, this Region is comparatively very good at the top, then comparatively not-that-good in the middle seeds and below. For example, the play-in game for the #11 seed involves Iowa (20-12) vs Tennessee (21-12). Frankly, if you’re good enough to “play” into the #11 seed, something is amiss with the selection process. If you have to play yourself in to the field of 64, then you go to the back of the line at a #16 seed. /steps off soapbox. Read More
You’ve got two choices for this week’s narrative as you talk college sports around the old coffeemaker at the office this morning.
Option one: “Wow, 5 top 25 SEC teams were beaten on Saturday… four in upsets! Is that conference over-rated or what?”
Option two: “Wow, four SEC team upset top 25 teams this weekend!!! What an incredibly deep league… let’s just crown their champion now!”
I’ll let you guess which one will be the talking points of most people… This is, as you may know, the phenomenon of “circular logic“, and when you play games on the field but championships in the polls, it’s something will make a difference for some team.
But, as we said, the games were played on the field, and this week saw 6 of the top 11 upset and two other undefeated teams threatened. We started with a come from behind loss by Team Papa John against UCF on Friday Night. If you’re Louisville, playing anytime anywhere means both that you can build your program AND that you’ve got a national audience when you fall apart late in the game.
Previously, undefeated Miami needed a late score to hold off North Carolina. ACC, y’all.
Saturday’s surprises didn’t include UCLA getting its first loss at Stanford… only because many folks still feel that Stanford is one of the top two teams in the PAC12, and would serve as UCLA’s first test. Their next text? Oregon. Have fun, Bruin-bros. The Stanford Game also brought us what may be the reception of the year… it’s certainly the best catch we saw all week: Read More
The bye week is over and the Buckeyes now await a home matchup on Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The second half of the season is about to begin and we’ll look ahead to what needs to happen for the Buckeyes to make a trip to Pasadena to play for the National Championship. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The Hawkeyes come into the Shoe on Saturday well rested having sat through their own bye this past weekend. The last time they saw action was a 26-14 loss to Michigan State in Iowa City. Overall they come in at 4-2 and, to be honest, nothing really impresses you or stands out about Kirk Ferentz 2013 Hawkeye team.
The Hawkeyes not being anything special means the Buckeyes lose a shot at a quality win. Quality wins and strength of schedule are what goes into those BCS numbers that will determine if an undefeated Ohio State team gets to play for the crystal ball. I realize this is a foreign concept to a lot of people, but it is a real possibility that the Bucks could wind up 13-0 and on the outside looking in. At this point it actually seems like the likely scenario after the conference championship games are played and the bowls are selected.
For the Buckeyes to be invited to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl National Championship presented by Orange Juice, LED Televisions and God knows what else, they must obviously finish unbeaten. Another thing that Buckeye fans seem to dislike is winning with style points i.e. running up big point totals. And the Buckeyes would definitely be well advised to take advantage of any opportunity whereby that is an option.
Breaking it down, how I see it
Ok, so if the Buckeyes going undefeated and being left out of the championship game is looking more and more like a likely scenario then who are the teams that will be holding them out? I decided I’d break it into some groups… Read More
Spring has finally arrived in Columbus, it seems- time to enjoy Oval Beach and discover all of the kids’ toys that were buried under the snow. Being Ohio, though, it only means that there’s another storm on the horizon… so, there’s but one choice for today’s soundtrack.
A great game on Monday night led to a great result- Michigan didn’t win. I’m sure that was as exciting for you as it was for Rick Pitino, right?
Congratulations to the Louisville Cardinals on their season, and to Columbus’ Trey Burke on his college career. Thanks, too, for deciding to go pro so I can actually enjoy your talent without being sick to my stomach.
Closer to home, the BBC Bracket Challenge has a winner… artist extraordinaire, Kevin Dearth, whos “RIP Homer” entry won by one point over two other challengers. The neat thing about this entry- it’s named in honor of his step father, a Louisville fan who passed away earlier this year.
Kevin wins the prize package- a shirt from The Buckeye Room, an autographed copy of Maurice Clarett’s new book, some swag from our friend Mekka Don, and the chance to grace the pages of tBBC with a guest post.
For staff bragging rights, The Wonder From Down Under edged out yours truly by one point as well- I knew Charles had some of that Australian mojo going for him.
Thanks for participating in this year’s event… Go Bucks!
Over the next two days, your favorite miscreants here at tBBC will be taking a deeper look at the path that leads to Atlanta, because people from Ohio know all about getting to Atlanta.
Hopefully, this will help you as you fill out your brackets in this year’s Tournament Challenge- the game locks on Thursday, so sign up now!
Regional Favorite- I’m not really going out on a limb here by saying that Louisville is the team to beat in this region. They’re the overall #1 seed, they’ll be playing in front of home fans that choose to make the trip up I-65, and are firing on all cylinders at this point in the season, as is typical of Pitino teams. Their athleticism, full court press, and having a coach that’s been there before makes them huge favorites not only to come out of Indy, but to win the whole thing. In addition, I’m not sold on Duke or Michigan State being able to make deep runs this year, particularly after what we saw in the ACC/B1G tournaments. St. Louis looks threatening, but I believe that this one is the Cardinals’ to lose.
Which they can do if they find themselves not mentally in the game. As unlikely as that is, Louisville has seen it’s share of moments where it seems to be taking it’s time figuring out what its game plan is. While the story of the Big East final was certainly the enormous run that they went on to blow the doors off of Syracuse, the fact that they found themselves in a hole to begin with can’t be overlooked. The problem, as I see it, is that they won’t face teams able to take advantage of that until they’re already in Indianapolis for the Sweet 16.
Cinderella- For the purposes of this exercise, we’re picking an eight seed or lower that will make a deep run in the tournament. In the Midwest, that’s got to be the Oregon Ducks. Read More
The revolving door that is known as the Top 25 continued to revolve this week. 4 of the 5 Top 5 teams all loss, including Kansas who has now lost three in a row. In addition to the top 5 teams laying an egg, 14 of the 25 teams lost at least one game this week, with 5 of them not even picking up a single win. All was not bad though in the Top 25 world. There were several great games and several overtime games, including a stunning 5 overtime in the Big East. The Miami Hurricanes continued to come on like gang-busters and very well could be in the Top 5 when all is said is done with the polls this week. This week doesn’t look like it will let us down as there are quite a few Top 25 matchups and tough games against un-ranked opponents. Only time will tell how this week will end up but in the meantime, I am just going to sit back and enjoy one of the most exciting college basketball seasons that I can remember.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review
1. Indiana (20-3, 8-2) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 2/7 @ Illinois, L 72-74
Upcoming: 2/10 @ (10) Ohio State & 2/13 Nebraska & 2/16 Purdue
The Hoosiers were the latest Number One team to fall. A beautifully ran inbounds play by Illinois sunk Indiana. It doesn’t get any easier this week as they travel to Columbus to face the Buckeyes.
2. Florida (19-3, 9-1) Previous Rank: 4
Past Week: 2/5 @ Arkansas, L 69-80 & 2/9 Mississippi State, W 83-58
Upcoming: 2/12 Kentucky & 2/16 @ Auburn
Florida lost its chance to be the top ranked team with a loss to Arkansas earlier this week. A trip to Lexington to face Kentucky could spell out another loss this week. Read More