Saturday, March 15, 2008
Top seeded Wisconsin will face the 10th seeded Fighting Illini tomorrow in the Big Ten conference championship.
Illinois, smokin' hot off a win over Minnesota, is just a win away from earning an automatic invite to the big dance and slamming the door in OSU's face. While you optimist-types out there aren't ready to fill out your N.I.T. brackets until after tomorrow's selection show, it's hard to believe that the selection committee would leave room for the Bucks after letting a 16-18 team from the Big Ten sneak in.
No need to lose sleep tonight, however, as Wisconsin has made it very clear down the stretch that it is the class of the conference, winning their last nine games.
This video would normally be 'Duly Noted' material but, in the interest of giving it as much exposure as possible, I'll post 'er here.
As we all know (What?, You stopped caring about basketball after the Bucks lost? Terrorist!) Indiana lost to the Minnesota in the Big 10 tourney today. I almost called the Gophers "lowly" but then I remembered that OSU also, um, lost to Minnesota.
The shocker was the fashion in which Indiana was knocked off.
ESPN is calling the shot "Laettner-esque." Personally, after watching Purdue lose, I'm wondering why the Buckeyes didn't get the memo about upsetting the top seeds in the Big Ten Tournament.
Friday, March 14, 2008
As any LOST viewer knows, asking too many questions about sudden absences and inexplicable reappearances is a complete waste of time. So, instead of going into great depth about how a phone call from traveling reporter Paul Germain this afternoon sparked an Ali-like return to the ring (OK, more like a Josh Huston return to the field after getting a 6th year of eligibility, but lets not get picky) lets focus on the ‘dem Bucks.
It is now all but certain that Matta’s youngins are destined for mediocrity in the only tournament that celebrates it, The N.I.T. (insert clever acronym joke here.) After the winning two games over ranked teams, OSU couldn’t convert the back-end of a two-game series with Michigan St.
The villain this afternoon? Other than some aggressive, if not questionable officiating (3 fouls and a technical in under two minutes—all against the Bucks), Drew Neitzel (28 TP, 6 3-PT) can be blamed. Neitzel is the quintessential Big Ten basketball star: he’s awkward off the court, somewhat exotic yet catchy name, not attractive by any measure (*cough* Sigourny Weaver in Alien 3) , almost anonymous outside the conference and has been around for waaaay too long (See: Duany Duany.)
Give Koufos his due credit for playing like the natural talent he is before the whistle got in the way and try to avoid the "what if" game with Othello Hunter (right, sans O-Hawk) and what could have been if he was around for another two years.
What it boils down to: can you honestly say this is one of the top 64 teams in the country and still look at yourself in the mirror? I tried, and it doesn’t feel good.
On the other hand, I don’t doubt that this team, despite being streaky, clumsy and unlucky, could beat about 32 of the teams that will hear their names called on Sunday.
So, considering the flaky, contradictory musings above, one can expect a weird and appropriately ambivalent March in Columbus.
photo/ JIM DAVIDSON-THE O-ZONE