Ohio State needs to play more than just 6 or 7 guys

thad matta ohio state

In 2010, Ohio State won the Big Ten, the Big Ten Tournament and had a #2 seedin the NCAA Tournament. They were loaded with talent yet they only played 6-7 guys regularly, and were overly reliant on National Player of the Year Evan Turner.

They were upset by Tennessee in the sweet sixteen.

Last year, the Buckeyes were the tournament’s #1 overall seed, again loaded and deep, yet again over-reliant on one star- this time Jared Sullinger. Again they were upset in the tournament’s second weekend, and did not make the Elite Eight.

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Is #2 Ohio State the Best Team in All of College Basketball?

aaron-craft

As we put the finishing touches on another season of non-conference play in college basketball, we can take stock of where a lot of programs are, and where they are not.

In the Big Ten, the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes are clearly the class of the league. Yes, Wisconsin and Michigan are also ranked and we know they can ball. The Indiana Hoosiers are way better than any of us anticipated. Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and Northwestern could all be solid, or they could all be NIT. All of these teams have struggled putting away the scrubs, while OSU blows all their scrub opponents out of the water.

I think the Buckeyes aren’t just the best team in the conference, but also the nation. Why because now they have an Aaron Craft to complement a Jared Sullinger.

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Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger: Top Player in the Nation?

jared sullinger

If you believe in the Ewing Theory, how a team can somehow get better and much more successful once their best player vacates, look no further that last year’s Big Ten champion, and Big Ten Tournament Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. Somehow the additions have outweighed the subtractions.

They lost (with apologies to LL Cool J, “All-World”) swingman Evan Turner, the individual who swept all the national college basketball player of the year awards, yet they’re still the class of the Big Ten and #1 in the nation thus far.

How did this happen? Look at their outstanding freshmen class, which is to blue chip prospects what illegitimate children are to Antonio Cromartie. It’s led by Jared Sullinger, the headliner of this class like Lebron James headlined the Cavaliers for many years.

Sullinger has developed into a front-runner for the national player of the year awards. Right now it’s between him, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, UConn’s Kemba Walker and Kansas’ Maurice Morris

By Paul M. Banks

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#1 Ohio State Stays Unbeaten; Skate by Illini in Champaign

To paraphrase Dean Martin’s timeless lyrics and apply them to college basketball: “Everybody loses a ballgame sometime, everybody gets defeated somehow.”

And on paper, it appeared Ohio State’s trip to Assembly Hall meant “that sometime was now.”

We know that OSU is the #1 team in the Big Ten (after all, they’re #1 in nation), but many experts (including ESPN’s Dan Dakich) believe Illinois to be the second best team in the conference. So it makes sense that a road game against the Illini would logically be the hardest game left on the Buckeyes’ schedule.

By Paul M. Banks
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Ohio State will soon be #1 in College Basketball Polls

ohio state cheerleader

The great American poet Cornell Haynes once posed this existential query:

“What does it take to be #1, two is not a winner, and three nobody remembers.” In slightly more recent history, another local wordsmith named Kanye West stated “number one can’t put nothing above that. You deserve a verse from me, we’re going to party like it’s our anniversary.”

Today, the Ohio State Buckeyes, among favorites to win the Big Ten, now looking like serious contenders for a national title, are living these lyrics. With the Florida State upset over Duke, the polls will later today deem the Buckeyes the new rulers of college basketball.

OSU fans, I hope you run these two rap references into the ground, exactly like I did in 2004-05 when Illinois was #1 for most of the season. It’s pretty rare for the same school to assume the #1 ranking in both college football and college basketball, but OSU is about to pull it off.

But again, this is the same school that (along with the University of Florida) played for the national title in both college basketball and football.

Here’s what some of the stars of the team had to say:

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