At 1:30 PM this afternoon on BTN, the Ohio State Spring Game will be broadcast! Today is the only day we get to sate our thirst for “live” Football until August, so take advantage of it while you can. Read More
Welcome to our annual NCAA Tournament Liveblog! If you’re hanging out watching games, you should stop by and watch them with us!
First up is #10 Stanford vs. #2 Kansas. It’s been a fun one so far!
Our Bracket Breakdown gets a little close to home…
The South Region is of some interest to us since that is Ohio State’s “Region”. It also has a few other top-rated teams such as Florida, Kansas, UCLA and Syracuse. Whoever emerges from this Region has a legitimate chance to be in the Finals and possibly win it all.
Rather than go through game-by-game in the Region, I’ll focus on five (5) topics; 1) the team likely to win region, 2) the region’s Cinderella team, 3) team most likely to be upset, 4) who is region’s unheralded player and 5) my Elite 8 picks. Envelopes, please…
Regional Favorite: Florida is my choice to win this Region. The Gators haven’t lost a game since December 2nd, and it’s unlikely they lose this week, until possibly the Finals. They are a well-balanced team, play decently on offense, but are a top notch defensive team. In their last 14 games, dating back to February 1st, they have allowed less than 60 points in 7 of them. A capable offense and a tough defense will carry this team to the Final Four.
Cinderella: The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks could be wearing the Glass Slipper, at least until midnight. They aren’t rated well (RPI 55, SOS 315) but they come in as the #12 seed against VCU and the Rams are only a 6 point favorite. They have a decent defense and are efficient of on offense (1.16 PPP). And, a #11/#12 seed moving on is not unheard of; just ask VCU. Read More
The decisions have been made.
The picks are in.
It’s anybody’s NCAA Tournament.
Ohio State has a tough, but winnable draw.
OSU is the No. 6 seed in the South and will play the Dayton Flyers, who many thought would be in the First Four, in Buffalo.
The Flyers made it without having to play in the extra game.
The winner gets a very beatable Syracuse in its own backyard.
The Big Ten got interesting draws. In addition to OSU having to play a hungry Dayton team, Wisconsin could get Oregon, with five scorers, in the third round.
Nebraska gets Baylor in the second round and then Creighton in the third round. Brutal. A CBS guy was already talking about Baylor-Creighton in third round.
Michigan got a No. 2 seed in the Midwest when many had TTUN as a No. 1. The Wolverines get two easy games, Wofford and then the winner of Texas-Arizona State.
Iowa got stuck in a First Four game against Tennessee and will play No. 6 UMass with a win. Most projections had Iowa in cleanly, meaning no First Four.
Michigan State gets a No. 4 seed and plays Delaware in Spokane and then either Cincinnati or Harvard in the third round.
The Midwest is loaded. Louisville, Wichita State, Kentucky, Michigan, Duke. Three of last year’s Final Four Teams. Holy stacked bracket, Batman.
OK folks, we’re going to try something a bit different this afternoon. Eric is out of town on some Very Important Business so I’ll be holding down the fort:
Assuming Ohio State beats Purdue (I don’t want to think of an alternative outcome), we’ll be back here tomorrow afternoon at approximately the same time. Tomorrow’s format, assuming winter storm Vulcan does screw up Eric’s travel plans will be that I’ll be your host once again. So, I guess we’ll have to show up to find out.
Anyway, today’s game is broadcast on BTN and should tip off around 2:25-2:30, or so. See you there!
They’ve been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country and have felt the pains of being unranked and unimpressive.
But now the Ohio State Buckeyes have a signature win and some momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan State’s Gary Harris missed a jumper as time expired and OSU came from behind to beat the Spartans 69-67 at Value City Arena on Sunday.
Ohio State said goodbye to seniors Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., and had a chance to say hello to the No. 4 seed and a much-coveted bye in the upcoming B1g money-maker, uh, tournament, but Wisconsin ruined that idea by choking against Nebraska Sunday night.
So Ohio State gets the No. 5 seed and a matchup against Purdue on Thursday. The winner gets Nebraska, which likely earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. That winner gets top-seeded Michigan.
LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points and had five rebounds while Craft had 12 points, 7 assists and became the conference’s all-time steals leader to help OSU overcome a pathetic 19-of-31 effort at the free throw line, which almost cost OSU in the final seconds.
Adreian Payne led all scorers with 23 points while Harris had 12 and Denzel Valentine 11.
The Buckeyes improve to 23-8 and 10-8 in the B1G. MSU, the No. 1 seed in the tourney, is also 22-8 and is 15-4 in the B1G.
It was one of those games where it felt like Sparty should have been blowing away the Buckeyes at times, but could only manage a 7-point lead as the game’s biggest spread.
More than once OSU was down at least five points but didn’t let that deter them from winning on Senior Day.
OSU trailed 38-36 at the half but began the second half with a 6-0 run, which ultimately sparked the Buckeyes to a 44-39 lead with about 17:30 left. Michigan State quickly answered and took a 49-44 lead with 16:56 left on a pair of Harris 3-pointers, a Payne dunk off a Harris assist and a Travis Trice dunk.
That led to an OSU timeout with 15:16 left.
Harris hit a pair of free throws to increase the lead to 51-44 and a cap a 12-0 run.
Craft hit a pair of free throws to end the run and make it 51-46 with about 14 minutes left.
Harris then hit a long catch-and-shoot bucket to increase the lead back to seven with about 13 minutes left.
But OSU wasn’t done despite having no real go-to scorer.
Amir Williams made one of two from the line and a Ross 3-pointer cut it to 53-50 after the under-12 timeout. Trice missed a shot, the Buckeyes rebounded and after a foul at the other end and Shannon Scott hit a pair of free throws to cut it to one.
That caused Coach Tom Izzo to bring his starters back in the game as he was resting Branden Dawson, Valentine and Keith Appling.
The Buckeyes play their last regular season game of the year today, taking on the Michigan State Spartans in Columbus. This is the second meeting between the two teams, the first having ended in a Spartan victory in overtime in East Lansing.
The game is scheduled for 4:30 PM Eastern Time on CBS. Don’t forget spring forward was last night, so change your clocks accordingly. We look forward to chatting with you through the game! Go Bucks!