Ohio State and Kansas met for the second time this year, this time on the neutral court of the Superdome in New Orleans. Both teams played tough basketball, but the Buckeyes were unable to maintain their nine point halftime lead, falling to the Jayhawks for the second time 64-62. William Buford’s game high 19 points were not enough to lift the Bucks over Kansas’s Thomas Robinson, who matched Buford with 19. Travis Releford scored a critical 15 for the Jayhawks, including four free throws at the end to seal the game.
Neither team started the game with their heads quite in the right place offensively for the first few possessions. While Kansas did score a quick duece on their first possession, they spent their next seven possessions taking atrocious shots. That was matched by the Buckeyes on the other end of the court early. Only when Lenzelle Smith dropped a three pointer did the Buckeyes settle down and start making better decisions with the basketball, leading to a 7-0 run through about four minutes of play.
Kansas attempted to make early adjustments to try to counter the little OSU run. By moving the ball better, the Jayhawks were able to find better looks at the basket and began to make their looks again. Not surprisingly, Thad Matta reinspired the defense on the subsequent timeout. The pep-talk seemed to work, giving the Buckeyes the necessary intensity to make offense difficult for the Jayhawks.
Much to Buckeye fan’s relief “good” Buford made an appearance in this one. As has been apparent all season, Buford’s shooting is strongly dependent on his early game shots. If he makes good decisions early, like he did today, his shooting is generally strong all game long. If instead his decisions are poor early, his shooting struggles throughout. However, one thing Buford never seems to struggle with is assisting his teammates, playing good defense, and tough rebounding. It was critical, though, that his shots started falling early, allowing him to build his shooting confidence early.
We’re just hours away from the start of the Final Four! The Ohio State Buckeyes and Kansas Jayhawks will meet in the second game of the day today, tip-off set for 8:49 PM. I still don’t know what’s stranger. The fact that both teams will be playing basketball inside a Superdome, or that the floor that both teams will be playing on is made in the small “unicorporated community” of Amasa – A small part of Hematite Township in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Though all 250 citizens of the city are upset that either Wisconsin or Michigan State isn’t in the Final Four, they will be among the millions of fans with their eyes fixed on what could be one hell of a Saturday.
According to the folks at the Worldwide
Failure Leader, this is the first time since 2005 that all playing on the final weekend of college basketball have finished the year ranked in the top ten in terms of attendance. Yesterday, over 6,000 fans made their way to a football stadium to watch practice (practice man!),
Kicking things off is the inner-state battle between Kentucky and Louisville. AP Player of the Year Anthony Davis and his Wildcat squad might be the most talented squad to take the court in bluegrass blue since the Days of Rick Pitino and Ron Mercer. You know the former Kentucky coach is firing up his guys simply based on how the nation is disrespecting his team as they head into today’s play as nine point underdogs. There is no doubt that the Louisville Cardinals have been put on an island all by themselves by the national media. Nobody has given this team a chance.
Yes, they are heavily over-matched and Kentucky is by far the odds-on favorite to win the whole shebang. But I can’t remember a time when three teams flew this far under the radar heading into the last three games of the year. That in itself should set off some fireworks tonight.
Which means Ohio State fans should expect one heck of a battle in what’s being dubbed the “Most Competitive Game in the Tournament.”
Ohio State traveled to Lawrence, Kansas for their first away game of the season at historic Allan Fieldhouse and suffered a 78-67 loss against the Jayhawks. The Buckeyes were led by William Buford’s 21 points, 17 of which he scored in the second half, while Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes in the first half and ended with 19. Thomas Robinson was the big name for the Jayhawks in this one, picking up 21 points and 7 rebounds for the game.
For the second game in a row, Jared Sullinger was held out due to the back injury suffered against Duke 2 weeks ago. The Buckeyes started Evan Ravenel in his place much like they did a week ago against Texas Pan-American.
Unsurprisingly, the Buckeyes came out very poorly against the Jayhawks. Considering this was their first away game, the fact that the Buckeyes only managed to score two points on free throws should not come as a big surprise. OSU looked completely discombobulated on offense, and was probably unable to properly communicate through the incredible crowd noise. Kansas also deserves plenty of credit early on for having a tough, effective defense that prevented the Buckeyes from having too many open looks.
Craft was the first Buckeye to put a shot through, hitting a three pointer with 15 minutes left in the first half. That finally seemed to get the Buckeye offense clicking a little, and allowed them to close the gap in the score. Unfortunately, after managing to close the gap to only 3, the Jayhawks charged out on a 7-0 run to put the Buckeyes down by double digits for the first time in the game. Read More
Lets find out what the BBC writers want to see out of the basketball team this week.
Healthy Sully. Whatever’s going on with his back, make it all better in time for conference play.
The New Kid. I want to hear how Ross is getting involved in the team’s preparations… will he be up to speed?
Defend The Line. Ohio State has the ability to play with anyone in the country unless they struggle to defend the deep bombs- they stifled the Blue Devils, will they do the same to the Jayhawks?
Courage Under Fire. I’ve been to a game in the Phog Alllen Fieldhouse, and it’s not an easy place for visiting teams. Can the Buckeyes win their first true road test?
A healthy Jared Sullinger. the nature of college basketball and the nature of back spasms create a situation where there is absolutely no need to rush Sullinger back on the court before he is ready, potentially re-aggrevating and prolonging the injury. Losses in college basketball don’t matter, especially against quality opponents so, as much as we’d like to see him play against Kansas, only if he is truly 100% healthy por favor.
DeShaun Thomas continuing to roll. He showed what he can do on the biggest stage against the Dukies, let’s see him continue to build on that performance and become a more consistent scoring force down the stretch.
Aaron Craft. It’s just fun watching him play.
The Buckeyes are traveling for their first away game for the preseason this weekend. The target is Lawrence Kansas and the 5-2 Kansas Jayhawks. Let’s take a look.
|School:||University of Kansas|
|Division:||NCAA DIV I|
|Stadium:||Allen Fieldhouse (“The Phog”)|
|Head Coach:||Bill Self|