The Buckeyes get their March Madness on tonight, as a top seed in the Big dance might just “boil down” to tonight’s key match-up with Purdue at 9 PM ET on Big Ten Network. Paul Keels and Ron Stokes will have the call on the Ohio State Radio Network, as well as online.
What’s in store for tonight on the hardwood?
For the Buckeyes, it’s a tournament championship or bust. Just ask William Buford who has been to three straight championship games. His 14 points per game in Big Ten tournament games is a true testament of what he’s meant to the Buckeyes in post season play. Thad Matta’s club has six straight wins in the precursor to the pantheon of college basketball. Without a doubt, this team has been through it’s challenges past few years. Of course there is the overtime thriller last year against Northwestern in the tournament quarterfinals. How about the sword in the heart that Evan Turner turned in against the rival house, as the last breath of hope for a tournament championship waited in the wings.
For every success story though is a setback.
One miscue, and it’s over. You don’t have time to lose focus. All that matters is what’s ahead of you. March Madness and tournament play is like a pit fight to the death. It doesn’t matter if you’re more athletic, stronger, or have more speed. In a split second, anyone can take your legs from under you.
And follow it up with a dagger that takes your life.
There is nothing more prestigious than being invited to play and watching the Pizza Pizza Bowl on the day after the day after Christmas. Every single year, we struggle with letting go of Pepperoni Perfection. Especially when it involves some MACtion and a barely eligible bowl team that left a sour taste in Ohio State fans just over a month ago (They are Pumped in Indiana!). Gone is my prediction and hopes that Brady Hoke would meet “Ohio” at Ford Field in his initial season of cleaning up scUM. Wait, the Bobcats don’t need quotations. THEY ARE OHIO. Silly me…. I hate
blonde Hoke moments. Anyways, there is still a lot to look forward to from a team that loves their coach and another that is proud to holster the MAC’s greatest PAT kicker of all-time.
Seriously. We have a decent football game ahead of us on Tuesday.
The Basics: Tuesday, 4:30 PM ET on ESPN, from Detroit (Ford Field). Western Michigan (7-5, 5-3 MAC) and Purdue (6-6, 4-4 B1G).
The History: As much as I mocked this bowl in the opener, the last two games at Ford Field have been really exciting. Just a year ago, FIU hit the big time with their last second field goal win over Toledo. Mario Cristobal, who is the favorite to take over at Pitt, got his Panthers to consecutive bowl games despite losing to 2009 Little Caesars Pizza bowl selection Marshall last week. The battle for the Bell was yet another Pizza Pizza bowl that was entertaining early. Despite holding Marshall scoreless in the second half, Ohio couldn’t put enough together to beat their former MAC rival. It was also in 2009 that history was set by Sarah Thomas, who became the first female to officiate a bowl game.
Of course you’re not. That was simply one of the worst experiences imaginable. Lets get this over with.
Continue to pound the ball. Desperately trying to pound the ball is half of what got us in trouble in the first place. Purdue stacked the box on every down that they strongly suspected we would run, and given our tendencies they were right nearly every time. The few times they weren’t, they were able to get to Miller pretty quickly with their pass rush.
Three and outs. The Buckeyes only managed three 3 and outs. The Boilermakers converted fully half of their third down attempts, 9/18 for the game. Simply not good enough.
A win. Yea, no.
A Penn State loss to Nebraska. We got this at least. To bad it means a lot less now. Right now, we need to beat Penn State, and Penn State to beat Wisconsin in Madison. That’s pretty unlikely this season.