In the calm before the storm… it’s midweek mayhem.
The rest of the week will be dedicated to hoops, particularly the matchup with folks from Cincy, but I thought I’d drop a little mascot knowledge on you. While that thing above may technically be a “bearcat”, I’m still convinced that the official team name should be “UChickFilAs.” According to some, it’s a version of a wolverine found in Asia, so strike two. And finally, the pajamas… with stripes… like the Bengals, but not like a bearcat. Ah well- if you want good UC coverage, you’ll need to go to the source.
The Scoops In Hoops
All of this pain, it multiples by 50 when you see a player like Robbie Hummel break down.
His career, his unbelievable and shining career at Purdue has come to an end. All of those clutch shots, all of those hustle plays, they’re all memories from now on.
But those memories have left a legacy on a program that needed something. Purdue Basketball NEEDED something to re-energize it.We were blessed to have #4 for FIVE years. We didn’t make it to any Final Fours, we didn’t win any National Championships…but we didn’t have to.
We won SO MUCH more than a trophy in the last five years at Purdue. We won excitement, memories, moments. Those stand the test of time, you can’t put that on a trophy.
As you do the research necessary to win this year’s BBN Bracket Challenge, we here at tBBC are previewing each region to give you just a bit of info on teams not named “Ohio State”. Here’s a gander at Bob Seger’s favorite part of the bracket.
Favorites: You can’t spell “Midwest” without “Meh”- While North Carolina is the top seed, you’ll have to drill all the way down to the #7 slot before you find a team that won it’s conference tournament, and that was an OT victory for St. Mary’s in the WCC final. Sure, Carolina won the ACC, but they couldn’t solve FSU more than once this season, and KU ended up behind Mizzou in what’s left of the Big Integer. There’s really no one who stands out, but there’s no one that looks to be mis-placed, either… You’ve got to think that Roy Williams will have his team ready for the long haul and intensity that is March Madness. Based on their mix of experience and youth, I’m going to go with the Tarheels as the obvious favorite in the region.
Following an overtime victory from the Michigan Wolverines, the Buckeyes and Purdue locked horns for the right to face the Maize and Blue. Jared Sullinger lead all scorers with an impressive 30 points, and picked up a double double with 12 rebounds, as the Buckeyes defeated the Purdue Boilermakers 88-71. All of Ohio State’s starters scored in double digits tonight, while DJ Byrd led Purdue with 20 points on 4-10 from three point range. Robbie Hummel scored only 6 points and 10 rebounds in what may be his last Big Ten game.
Ohio State started the game playing their style of basketball. After a rough opening tip, the Bucks took advantage of numbers and attacked the rim giving Jared Sullinger an easy layup. William Buford also found an easy high bucket, setting up Deshaun Thomas later for a wide open trey. They coupled the strong offense with tough defense and excellent rebounding that prevented Purdue from finding a basket until more than three minutes had ellapsed.
As a team, the Buckeyes looked renewed following their two away wins. Where the team had struggled to find their groove early in away games, they found traction in this game early and raced ahead of the surprised Boilermakers. Robbie Hummel’s three pointer ended the drought, but failed to open up the OSU defense in any meaningful way. With Purdue’s offense sputtering, Matt Painter was forced to dig deep into his bench looking for some kind of production from his team.
Thad Matta continued to look to his bench early despite this being the late season when most coaches shorten the bench. Sam Thompson came in for Lenzelle Smith early and quickly established himself on the scoreboard with a nice 15 foot jumper from the left side. He was soon joined on the court by fellow bench-mate Evan Ravenel, who subbed in at the five after Jared Sullinger picked up his first foul.
The Buckeyes and Purdue meet tonight at around 9:00 PM EST on BTN for the second round of the Big Ten Tournament! Purdue, the six seed, defeated 11-seeded Nebraska last night to advance to play the Buckeyes, who enter on a round 1 bye.
While you wait for the game, go check out our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual. The liveblog will kickoff at 8:30 PM EST.
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.
The Purdue Boilermakers, the last team to beat Ohio State in Value City Arena, made an attempt to do it again tonight and very nearly succeed. The Buckeyes escaped the upset bid, winning 87-84 against a surprisingly accurate shooting night from Purdue who hit an excellent 57.9% from beyond the arc. William Buford had a huge night for OSU scoring 29 points and scooping up 7 rebounds to keep the Buckeyes in the game. Jared Sullinger added 18 and 6 while Purdue’s D.J. Byrd put in 24 and 6 for the Boilermakers.
Surprisingly, Matt Painter chose not to start Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith, replacing them with bench players Kelsey Barlow and D.J. Byrd. The mix-up in the starters was due to Purdue’s poor play against Indiana at home. Playing like crap against your biggest rival is not conducive to making your head coach very happy.
Despite a couple early gaffes the Buckeyes jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on the strength of Sullinger inside and a Lenzelle Smith three. The rapid start forced Painter to call a quick timeout, hoping to get some more energy out of his guys. The pause worked as Purdue came out of the timeout with better effort on both ends and quickly tied up the score at 7. It was an impressive turnaround, and showed a flash of the Purdue we’ve grown accustomed to the last few seasons.
Continuing his trend of frequent early rotations, Matta brought Sam Thompson into the game with 14 minutes left in the first half. With the game still close, it was yet another sign that the young freshman has really started to earn his coach’s trust – especially on the defensive end of the court. JD Weatherspoon also got time later in the first half demonstrating his improving presence for this basketball team. Weatherspoon may not be getting regular appearances yet, but he’s getting closer to it.
Ohio State has returned to the friendly confines of Columbus to play the Purdue Boilermakers this evening! ESPN is airing the game today, which is set to tip at 9:00 PM EST in Value City Arena.
While you wait, go checkout our Buckeye Blogger Network friends! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 8:30 PM for the start of our liveblog.
If you’re looking for web-video for the game, try First Row Sports (warning: pop-up ads). Click the basketball tab, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right game.
Basketball season is rapidly approaching, and I’m sure you’re wondering what we’re planning to do about it here at the BBC. The answer is, getting totally pumped!
With the Buckeyes taking on the Walsh Cavaliers for an exhibition matchup this weekend (Sunday, November 6th, 2 PM) it is the perfect time to run the first Buckeye Basketball LiveBlog of the season!
But, you point out, the game is not on television? You’re correct, it’s on the BigTenNetwork.com – behind a paywall no less. But you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without a solution, did you?
If you go to The Big Ten Network “Net Only” section (just click the link) and scroll to the middle of the page, you’ll see a “Subscribe Now” button. But you don’t have to pay $15 to see the game! Just enter “BTDN3FR33” in the coupon code box and you’ll be signed up for a free month of the BigTenNetwork online! Just remember to cancel before the end of the month if you don’t want to continue using the service.
Viola! Basketball LiveBlog here we come! They start 30 minutes before the game, so feel free to be late!
We were also approached a couple of days ago by the Minnesota basketball blog From The Barn to answer some questions regarding the upcoming basketball season for them. Joe Dexter and I were more than happy to oblige. We offer the questions and answers here for our viewers to read and enjoy!