#33 Ohio Bobcats: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Ohio Bobcats were one of the teams to put on Cinderella’s slipper in last year’s NCAA Tournament, advancing as a 13 seed to the Sweet 16 where they nearly knocked off North Carolina before falling in overtime.  Head coach John Groce left for Illinois but Jim Christian comes from TCU to lead an OU team that returns all nine rotation players from last season.

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#64 Ohio Bobcats: College Football 77 in 77

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I’ll give this to the Ohio Bobcats college football program- they know how to make headlines for goofy stuff. Good, nuanced quirky stories are something they specialize in. First there was the mascot attacking Brutus the Buckeyes when they visited Ohio State. Then there was the punter tweeting about how much Boise sucks in the winter when they got sent there for their bowl game.

What wacky hi-jinx are in store this season? I don’t know what to tell you there; but I can tell you all about their 2012 on the field prospects.

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Illini basketball introduces John Groce: I hope reality is inverse of press conference

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You’ve heard the expression “win the news conference.” Well, for the University of Illinois and the Illini basketball coaching hire of John Groce, that ship sailed weeks ago. Any time you get your sixth (possibly seventh) choice in a men’s basketball coach at a basketball school, your news conference is…well, you just hope there’s no pitchforks and flaming torches.

Most news conferences are exactly like they’re portrayed in the “Batman” movies.

The officials up there telling you they’re saving the city are the ones who are actually destroying it. What you hear aren’t really facts; just lip service, platitudes, tautologies and some plain ol’ lies. Because a news conference is nothing more than a grander, living, breathing, audiovisual version of a press release. And a press release is nothing but a propaganda document. The quotes in it aren’t even real. Those are lies too. Lots of people like to make jokes about lawyers, but the actual profession of lying is truly Public Relations. Or as they call it in PC terms “spin.”

And regarding yesterday’s Assembly Hall press conference that’s a good thing! Not a bad thing. I hope they were lying.

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Your next Illini basketball coach: Ohio’s John Groce

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It’s not official yet, but it’s looking very likely that Illini Nation will have to settle for their sixth choice in a head coaching candidate, a man with a 34-30 career record in the MAC.

Ohio Bobcats coach John Groce could be introduced as Bruce Weber’s successor in the next couple days. And he’s not a terrible hire, it just means that this basketball hiring process has been a complete failure up to this point.

I know that seems contradictory: hiring a decent candidate, when process is fiasco. Let me explain: Croce brings steak, but no sizzle. And maybe the Illini need that meat and potatoes right now over flash. The U.S.S. PR splash hire has sunk big time.

Before this process began, Seth Davis of CBS described the Illini job as “top ten nationally.” Consensus was top 15-20. Today, after getting rejected by two mid-major coaches, and a couple more with mediocre at best credentials, it barely looks top 50.

Here’s why, and also why Groce would actually be a great fit to fix the mess.

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Buckeyes, Musketeers, Bearcats, Bobcats: Ohio basketball bonanza

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When it comes to college basketball, the state of Ohio is the anti-Illinois. There may be no Midwest swing in the region’s most populous state this year (the Land of Lincoln) but there’s plenty in the Buckeye state.

The birthplace of aviation has seen their teams soar in the NCAA Tournament this year, as they went 8-0 on the first weekend. They comprise one fourth of the sweet sixteen: the Ohio Bobcats, Cincinnati Bearcats, Xavier Musketeers and Ohio State Buckeyes.

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Michigan on Upset Alert Against 13-Seed Ohio

The Wolverines just completed their most impressive regular season since coach John Beilein arrived in Ann Arbor in 2007, a campaign that included 24 wins, 13 of those in conference, and their first Big Ten Championship since the 1985-1896 season–even if they only technically own 1/3 of that crown.

Those impressive numbers awarded the Wolverines a four-seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, which sets up a showdown with 13-seed Ohio. But let me clarify something, these are not the “Ohio” Buckeyes that Brady Hoke and Beilein are constantly referring to, the team that beat the Wolverines by 22 points in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal. No, this is Ohio University, a well-coached, athletic group that will give Michigan all it can handle.

The Maize and Blue haven’t been playing their best basketball of late, most recently falling, 77-55, in the semifinals of the conference tournament to the other “Ohio”, a game in which freshman point guard Trey Burke shot just 1-11 from the field.

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Ohio Punter Tweets Profane Disgust for Idaho Bowl Placement

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As we learned last winter with Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (who voiced his concern over the Bears-Vikes game being played on the rock hard playing surface at the Minnesota Golden Gophers stadium) most people don’t value the opinions of specialists in the football world.

Even if the “World of Warcraft” fanatic thought TCF Bank Stadium playing surface would be a “concrete train wreck

Ohio University punter Paul Hershey did some squawking through social media anyway.

Let’s say he wasn’t happy that his Bobcats are going to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho, Hershey tweeted:

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