Basketball season is officially over. Depending on your perspective on how you look at the season’s overall content, this year was either a huge overachieving success or a flaming disaster. It’s Wednesday night, let’s rumble!
There really is no better word for the majority of Buckeye Nation’s overriding feeling on Saturday night after the final horn sounded. They were shocked, me included.
How could Wichita State seemingly blow the doors off of our beloved Buckeyes for the better part of 30 minutes and hang on to eliminate the West region’s number 2 seed? How could a Buckeye team that only two weeks ago in Chicago appeared to be finally hitting its stride look so terrible in a regional final with a trip to the Final Four on the line?
Andy Coppens and I are at it again folks. Throwing rocks at the Minnesota athletic department, and raving about Tom Crean’s horrible hairdo…. or execution… one of the two.
If I was on my A game, we would of touched on both.
Thanks to Andy for having me on again, make sure you check out all of his hard work at The B1G Time. He is putting in the hours, and his work is as solid as the conference he covers.
On this week’s show, we preview the final four. Will Michigan have what it takes to get to the title game? We also look back at the Elite 8 losses Ohio State and Indiana suffered from the weekend. We also break down the latest transfer news from Illinois, break down Chris Collins’ hiring at Northwestern, and take a look at who are possible remaining candidates for the open Minnesota job.
As always, thanks for listening! And now you can find The B1g Time Podcast on Itunes!
The Buckeyes have advanced to their fourth straight Sweet 16 and look to continue hitting their stride in the city of angels tomorrow night against Arizona. Spring football practice has reconvened. The Big Ten has 4 of the 16 teams still vying for the Final Four. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The range of emotions regarding feelings toward Buckeye point guard Aaron Craft hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during Sunday’s 3rd round matchup with Iowa State. The nations best defender was on his game, went through a folly of errors, missed the front ends of two one-and-one free throw attempts, then made the games two biggest defensive plays, drove in for a layup and finally proceeded to drop a bomb to seal the deal.
The Buckeyes entered Bloomington on a bit of a hot streak and proved that it was more than just a fluke, up-ending the #2 Indiana Hoosiers 67-58. The game was an epic battle of two great teams and just goes to prove the quality of this conference in no uncertain terms. As has been typical the last few games, the Bucks were lead by DeShaun Thomas (18) and Aaron Craft (15) in scoring. Indiana was lead by Cody Zeller (17) and Christian Watford (12), with Oladipo surprisingly not breaking double digits.
It was clear in the first half that the Buckeyes came into this one prepared. OSU began attacking outright and seemed to take Indiana by surprise. Most critically, the Bucks managed to stick Oladipo with two fouls fairly early, which helped to minimize the impact of the Hoosier offense. Not surprisingly, Indiana did manage to get things moving and forced the Bucks to make adjustments to maintain their three point lead going into the half.
The intensity did not dial itself down in the second half. Both teams fought hard, trading baskets through the majority of the half, and generally taking it to the opposing defense. Neither team allowed the other to build too much of an advantage, but the Buckeyes clearly carried the momentum advantage in the middle of the half. Leading into the final TV timeout, the Bucks took control with several straight baskets including a huge DeShaun Thomas three pointer. The run did eventually end on a Hulls three pointer, but the damage was mostly done.
There is no question that this team has gelled after the crushing loss to Wisconsin. I hate to give the Badgers credit for anything, but this team has really come together to be a solid all-around basketball team in a tough conference. A big win in Bloomington is a huge step for the NCAA tournament resume, since it gives the team a big away victory late in the season when it matters most. Ultimately, this team is peaking at exactly the right time, and hopefully they can carry the momentum through the Big Ten Tournament and beyond.
The Buckeyes escaped their tough test in Evanston, but now get a much more stiff examination. Ohio State will be in Bloomington tonight to take on the top team in the Big Ten – the Indiana Hoosiers.
Today’s game is scheduled for 9 PM EST on the Big Ten Network. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
After a two and a half month hiatus, I triumphantly return to the ranks of the Basketball previewers! Of course, my return is timed to coincide with the toughest game on the schedule this year. Let’s take a look.
|Division:||NCAA Division 1|
|Stadium:||Assembly Hall…no, the other one.|
|Head Coach:||Tom Crean|
Indiana marched into Columbus coming off a tough loss to Illinois and made the Buckeyes pay for it 81-68. The Hoosiers dug a deep hole for the Buckeyes before having to hold on in the last two minutes of the game to keep the Bucks from making good on their comeback attempt. Indiana saw three players break double digits in scoring, and in fact score all but 11 of the team’s scoring, with Cody Zeller’s 24, Victor Oladipo with 25, and Christian Watford picked up 18. The Buckeyes responded with three of their own with DeShaun Thomas (26), Aaron Craft (16), and LaQuinton Ross (11).
The first half was a picture of exciting offense – mostly for Indiana. While Indiana started out of the gate quickly, a 9-0 run allowed the Buckeyes to sneak back into the game. Outside of that excellent run, where solid defense helped keep the Hoosiers from finding easy looks, the Buckeyes looked simply outgunned on both sides of the court. Indiana needed only four players to score, and the Bucks simply couldn’t play enough defense to stop them. Adding to their problems was the foul difficulties that allowed Indiana to get to the line repeatedly over the last 5 minutes. It all added up to an 8 point Hoosier lead going into the half.
The second half was not much of an improvement for the Buckeyes. The Hoosiers came out of the gate and quickly regained their momentum to blitz out to a double digit lead. OSU had very little answer for the surging Hoosiers, finding themselves completely unable to consistently make things happen on offense. To make matters worse, they also couldn’t pick up a string of stops on defense to try to help close the gap. By the eight minute mark, the Hoosiers were in a clock-eating mode, satisfied to cling to their double digit lead.
This is yet another learning-lesson game for the Buckeyes today. They still need to figure out the offense, and they’ve discovered that their defense is not yet up to par against the top competition in the nation. However, the team showed heart at the end in trying to fight back even when the game seemed hopeless. If they could learn to capture that passion more easily earlier in ball-games, they could turn into something special down the stretch this season.
School: Indiana University
Location: Bloomington, IN
Student Population: 110,436 total, 89,175 undergrad
School Type: Public
Stadium: Assembly Hall
Head Coach: Tom Harbaugh Crean
Experience: 5th year at UM