School: University of Arizona
Location: Tucson, AZ
School Type: Public
Student Population: 39,236 total, 30,867 undergrad
Stadium: McKale Center
Head Coach: Sean Miller
Experience: 4th year
School: Iowa State University
Location: Ames, IA
School Type: Public, Land Grant
Student Population: 31,040 total, 25,553 undergrad
Stadium: Hilton Coliseum
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Experience: 3rd year
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
The Buckeye basketball teams backs are against the wall. A big time football player is rumored to be contemplating sitting out a season to his protect draft status and financial future. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!
Hoops getting interesting
As you’re reading this, or maybe after you read this or a little before you read this, the Buckeye basketball team will be on the court facing the Minnesota Golden Gophers at The Schottenstein Center. This is a huge week for the Buckeyes after being slapped in the face with a backhand in Wisconsin on Sunday to the tune of a 71-49 beat-down.
At 18-7 the Buckeyes see their backs against the wall but home turf on their side as they face a must win situation against the Gophers. This would set up a huge showdown/rematch, again at home, against Michigan State. Win both games and watch the swagger return to set up the final push before the tournaments begin. A split has to be what the Buckeyes consider a worst case scenario as losing both would be catastrophic.
Michigan State took on the Indiana Hoosiers last night in a #1 vs #4 matchup. In a tight game that was actually pretty exciting to watch, it was the Hoosiers holding on to win 72-68 and keep their #1 ranking at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. Sparty will now come to Columbus facing the possibility of a two game losing streak and certainly a little grumpy. Tom Izzo will have his team ready for what should be a war at 4pm on Sunday. (CBS tv) 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
The Buckeye hoops team dropped a tough one in East Lansing. Recruiting rankings were released and the Buckeyes are on a roll. My girlfriend is hotter than Kate Upton. Yeah, so what if we’ve only met on the internet?! What’s the worst that can happen? Let’s rumble!
The Rivals top 100
On Monday, the newest and last Rivals top 100 for 2013 was released. Among those 100, Urban Meyer’s coaching staff has received seven verbal commitments and is still waiting patiently for answers from two others. The most “top 100” players the Buckeyes have ever claimed were 8 commits in 2008. If either Vonn Bell (safety from Rossville, Georgia, ranked number 32) or Dontre Wilson (running back from Desoto, Texas, ranked number 100) commit to Meyer’s 2013 class it will match or exceed that ’08 record. I am a math genius.
After Sunday’s hoops win over TTUN, some shocking numbers and facts were brought to my attention. There is a hiring at Purdue I don’t really understand, we’ve got some quick hitters on recruiting and even some professional sports. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
No. 1? Not in Columbus
Smack dab in the middle of the NFL divisional playoff weekend was a college hoops showdown at the Schottenstein Center between our beloved Ohio State Buckeyes and their arch nemesis, that team up north. The Fighting Stink Rats came into the game at 16-0 and ranked number 2 in the country. After the top ranked Duke Blue Devils fell to North Carolina State on Saturday, TTUN was poised to step into the number one spot when Monday’s polls were released. All they had to do was win in Columbus.
Admittedly, I wasn’t too sure our guys could beat them. After coming from ahead to lose at Dook and getting thumped by Kansas at home and Illinois on the road, my hoops confidence level was somewhere around a 5 out of 10. Of course, this was TTUN they would be playing on Sunday and it was being played at home in front of the Buckeye Nuthouse. It wouldn’t be of “shock the world” caliber, but a win would have been surprising to most considering the Stink Rats had been dominating opponents and looking like it may actually be there season to shine after all these years in the dark.
The three loss Buckeyes take on the undefeated #2 Michigan Wolverines today in Columbus.
The Buckeyes and Boilermakers are both coming off rough losses on the road. Unfortunately, Purdue gets the home-court advantage in tonight’s meeting.
Today’s game is scheduled for 1:30 PM Eastern Time. LiveBlog will tip off at about 1:15 PM.