Just last week I implied that Ohio State, the top #2 seed, got a raw deal landing in the Midwest bracket. Not only would they need to get past top-ranked Kansas to reach the Final Four, Georgetown and Georgia Tech stood between the Buckeyes and the Elite 8.
Can I get a do over?
When Northern Iowa’s Ali Farokhmanesh buried Kansas with an uncontested three-point shot, he not only destroyed the majority of the office bracket pools, he opened a huge door for the Buckeyes. Add in Georgetown and a solid win over Georgia Tech and the Buckeyes are looking pretty good.
I like what I saw yesterday against Georgia Tech. The Buckeyes showed they could handle the physical play of Georgia Tech and should be ready for the big guns (pun intended) of Tennessee. Once again endurance might be a factor as Tennessee rotates something like 11 players. However, I liked the way Ohio State controlled the foul situation as they got into trouble. They maintained composure, avoided serious foul trouble and got the job done. I would say that Georgia Tech was a good warm up for Tennessee as both play a scrappy, inconsistent game.
The Buckeyes need to watch the turnovers and Diebler and Lighty need start hitting the threes a little sooner forcing Tenn to cover the outside. In doing so, the’ll open the lanes for Turner and the Buckeyes can go on the attack. The Buckeyes will also need to capitalize on their high percentage shooting as Tennesse won’t give them any room under the net.
Big Ten Elite Eight?
Yeah, Northern Iowa played quite a game but can they do it again? Personally, I’m looking forward to an Ohio State/Michigan State Elite 8 matchup. We beat MSU at home and we should be able to do it again. As a Buckeye ex-pat living in Maryland, I can’t tell you how bad I wanted Ohio State to meet Maryland. Although most of the locals have lost faith in former OHIO STATE coach Gary Williams and the Maryland Basketball team, it would have been deeply satisfying to see the Buckeyes take them out.
If Purdue can somehow get past Duke, three Big 10 teams in the Elite Eight looks pretty good. Two Big Ten teams in the final four? With Villanova out, it’s not out of the question.
Turner Named Player of the Year
Although this deserves a post of it’s own, Evan Turner has been named the Oscar Robinson Player of the Year. Turner is only the second Buckeye to win the award since Jerry Lucas who received the honer in both 1961 and 1962.