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.
After dominating Illinois in their best offensive game of the year, the Ohio State (14-10, 4-4) women’s basketball team traveled to Madison looking to put together their first set of back-to-back wins in the Big Ten this season and to get above .500 in conference play. Wisconsin (9-11, 2-6) had struggled for much of the season but had given Michigan State a scare in East Lansing on Thursday in a 71-67 loss.
Neither team got off to a good start offensively. A free throw and then a layup by Darryce Moore gave Ohio State an early lead but then pretty much anything resembling offense disappeared as both teams struggled to make a basket. A three pointer by Wisconsin tied the game three and a half minutes into the game. The Buckeyes take a 5-3 and a 7-5 lead over the next two minutes but then the Badgers got their offense going and scored 10 straight points to take a 15-7 lead eight minutes into the game. A Raven Ferguson layup finally broke the Wisconsin run but Ohio State couldn’t get an closer than six before the Badgers scored 6 unanswered to stretch their lead to 23-11 just past the midpoint of the half. A timeout by Kevin McGuff seemed to get things going for the Buckeyes who quickly got four points to cut the lead back to single digits only to see the Badgers push it back to double digits, 30-17 with five minutes to go in the half. The OSU offense showed some improvement in the final three minutes of the half and managed to trim the Wisconsin lead to 36-28 as the buzzer sounded.
Shooting was the big difference in the first half as Ohio State struggled with their shooting and even with improvement in the closing minutes of the half, the Buckeyes only shot 36% from the field while going 1 of 7 from three point range. Meanwhile Wisconsin was hard to stop at times as the Badgers shot 43% from the field while going 3 of 9 from outside. A major surprise for the Buckeyes was that Ameryst Alston, who leads the team in scoring on the season, was limited to only four points in the first half.
After Wednesday night’s results, things looked pretty grim for the entire conference. Just three of the 12 teams possessed winning records in conference play.
Neither Ohio State nor Wisconsin qualify for that standard. Amazingly, both teams were #3 in the country at some point, and were undefeated in their first 15 games. Now, both teams lost to league “bottom dwellers” at home on Wednesday night. They are 1-1 over their last two games, and 1-4 over their last 5.
The slap-fight is scheduled to start at Noon on ESPN. Make sure to stop by and commiserate with all of your favorite Buckeye bloggers and friends. Go Bucks!
Welp, here we are Buckaroos… the Basket Bucks and Football version both have two game losing streaks. Nevertheless, there’s great things happening in Columbus…. give this a listen as we dive right in.
#19 Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2 B1G) vs #9 South Carolina (10-2, 6-2 SEC)
The Capital One Bowl is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the non-BCS bowls. Originally known as the Tangerine Bowl, the game was first played in 1947 in front of a crowd of about 9,000 (which seems like about the number of people who watch some of the lesser bowls we have today such as the Idaho Potato Bowl). The bowl didn’t start out very prestigious, originally featuring matchups between schools in the South, the game often featured the Ohio Valley Conference champion and other small colleges though major schools would occasionally feature in the game. Being in the South, the bowl followed along the racist trends of the region at that time and prohibited African Americans from participating in the game. This resulted in boycotts of the game by Hillsdale in 1955 and Buffalo in 1958; Morgan State would become the first historically black college to play in the game in 1966.
From 1968 to 1975 the Tangerine Bowl featured the MAC champion versus the champion of the Southern Conference or the SEC. As time went on the game began to feature more prestigious matchups as the major conference began to allow more of their teams to play in bowl games. Renamed the Citrus Bowl in 1983, the game jumped a lot in prestige as it signed an agreement to pit the ACC champion against an at-large opponent from 1987 to 1991. Its prestige grew even more after the 1991 game which saw Georgia Tech defeat Nebraska to finish 11-0-1 and be named the national champion by UPI.
Renamed as the Capital One Bowl in 2003, marking the start of the bowls completely selling out on naming rights, the game now features a matchup between the Big Ten and the SEC, earning the first pick of teams from each conference after the BCS games. The game is played at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando. Over the past decade the stadium has drawn a lot of criticism due to its poor condition and lack of modern facilities which likely resulted in it not being included in the upcoming college football playoff system. After years of delays and debate, the stadium will finally undergo an almost complete reconstruction in 2014.
You know what’s interesting about college sports? Call it “the circle of life”, call it “karma” (j/k, don’t do that) call it “Brent Musberger’s Vegas Connections”, but the fact is that things just seem to work themselves out.
In spite of efforts to create story lines and “narrative”, teams win and teams lose and everyone gets to play in a bowl. Well, almost everyone.
It’s like I’ve been saying all season- “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Play well, win the game you’re in, and let the chips fall where they may.
Sure, it’s great that you’re averaging a metric bucketload of points every week, but when you don’t hit that target what will you do? Case in point: Texas A&M, Oregon, and Baylor combined for 41 points in their three losses. yesterday. That’s less than Oregon and Baylor were each averaging per game.
As the prophet said, “Everyone’s got a plan until they get hit in the mouth”.
The Ducks went down in spectacular fashion, giving Rich Rodriguez a home upset of a nationally ranked team that will surely a) earn him an extension and b) give Michi1gAAn fans eternal heartburn. Not only did Mariotti throw his first interception of the year in the game as a result of that great play you see above, but he then tossed his second on the way to a 42-16 loss in Tuscon. It’s not that the Ducks were without flash and sizzle… it’s just that they never found a rhythm and were unable to play Stanford football.
Baylor came into Stillwater not having won there in forever… and left the same way. The nation’s top offensive team was unable to deal with the different looks that TBPU gave them, and struggled to get their high octane offense going.
In addition, their vaunted defensive front didn’t create any consistent pressure or stop Oklahoma State’s bigger specialists from making play after play. I guess the Lord helps those who help their Chelf.
Helmet sticker goes to the “turf monster”, though, who seemed to be the leading tackler for both teams. He also made a big play by interfering with a Baylor snap late in the game to solidify the win for the up and coming Cowboy team.
As for Johnny Freaking Football, he and the Aggies continued their trend of underperforming against top competition. As our friend @FightOnTwist pointed out earlier in November, Manziel is an amazing quarterback, but his interceptions often lead to opposing teams’ scores; and other than the win in Tuscaloosa, he’s been pretty pedestrian versus teams that are nationally ranked.
Against LSU on Saturday, his one TD pass was coupled with only 1g completions and two interceptions as the Aggies fell again to LSU by a 34-10 score. I guess you could say he got beaten like a… well… yeah. Read More
In a week full of surprises, this is a pretty good soundtrack for your Monday morning reading.
Sometimes life gives you some unexpected gifts. You’re set up on a date to be a wingman for a friend who’s girl has a cousin in town, and you end up in an amazing marriage together. You open a book and find an old letter from a friend that you’d forgotten about. A seldom worn jacket has cash in the pocket. Mowing the grass reveals a dog you’d forgotten you had. You let a friend borrow your truck and he has it detailed while he’s got it.
On second thought, that last one probably means that he used it to transport a body or something. Let’s move on.
This week in college football was like that- on paper, there weren’t any marquee “games of the century”. But, as we know, games aren’t played on paper- instead the tiny men who square off in our TV sets gave us some fantastic finishes and an incredible weekend of sports.
Let’s start in the B12… We give Charlie Weis and the Jayhawk program a lot of well deserved grief hereabouts, so I’ll be among the first to celebrate their win over the couch fire that has become the West Virginia program. It’s hard to say that Coach Holgorsen might be in a bit of a rebuilding year, but it’s certainly difficult to see the Mountaineer program fall so quickly from the tops of the conference.
That’s not to take anything away from Kansas- great win, gang. However, let’s not get all carried away, shall we?
Ohio State fans are certainly well aware of the Baylor Bears, who now are poised to jump the Buckeyes in the “we’re still totally making this up as we go” BCS standings. Baylor continued their undefeated season with a big win over Texas Tech on Saturday, a Raiders team that was a media darling following a soft early season schedule, but has now dropped four straight games. What the #narrative won’t tell you as they tout Baylor’s 63-34 win is that the Bears were trailing 20-7 in the first quarter. But hey… shiny!
With all the firepower that the Bears bring to the table one of the surprises is that it was Tech that gave us our first “catch of the week” nominee. For another angle, check this out:
Interestingly enough, the B12 also brings us the hit of the week, which was 100% targeting. It’s a Vine, but check out the shot that this trooper puts on this fan who decides that he wants to be a part of the action… If only Stoops’ team had tackled that well against Baylor. Read More
Several hotels in Las Vegas have offered to comp me as often as I want to visit as long as I continue to pick games so poorly.
After 17 games yours truly sits at a Pepto Abysmal 9-8 while Gary is sitting pretty at 13-4.
I think just to avoid any further embarrassment I’m going to mimic his picks the rest of the season.
That wouldn’t be fun.
Of course neither is this.
Last week was pretty lame. We both guessed right with OSU over Penn State. We both were wrong with Northwestern and Nebraska.
But the Dantonio Effect worked again as Sparty beat Chief Illiniweck.
We have a full slate this week so fasten the seat belts and get ready.
Actually this one is pretty easy. Gary and I agree on all the games but one. We are both taking Wisconsin over Iowa, Indiana over Minnesota, Nebraska over Northwestern, Penn State over Illinois and Purdue over Ohio State.
Just kidding on that last one. Wanted to see if you paying attention.
I am ready to jump on the Dantonio Bandwagon and take the Green and White over the Maize and Blue, but Gary isn’t showing the love.
“Time for Sparty to choke, much like you on your picks,” he said.
So let’s recap:
Scott and Gary: Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Penn State, Ohio State.
Scott: Michigan State