Buckeyes, Musketeers, Bearcats, Bobcats: Ohio basketball bonanza

xavier-mascot

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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#2 Ohio State (ment) Game: Buckeyes Crush #4 Duke 85-63

Jared-Sullinger

In the transition from 2010 to 2011, the Ohio State Buckeyes lost Evan Turner, the man who swept all the national college basketball player of the year awards, but got better. Last year they were the tournament’s overall #1 seed, lost a couple key guys this offseason, but may be better this year than they were last year. They certainly looked the part Tuesday night.

This was supposed to be the Big Ten/ACC Challenge heavyweight title fight. Instead it was a laugher, as OSU scored the first 13, and ran away with it long before halftime. Duke never led, and instead suffered one of the worst November beatings in the history of the school. This was no doubt one of the worst losses of the Coach K. era.

Jared Sullinger had a game-high 21 points (and eight rebounds) for the Buckeyes. It is the 41st time he has scored in double figures in his career. Aaron Craft had 17 points and eight assists. But the name which started to become household in this one is Deshaun Thomas, who had 18 points. It is the 17th time in his young career and sixth consecutive that he has scored in double figures. A highly rated recruit who got lost in the shuffle last year, he’s playing a very prominent role for the Bucks this year.

“Everything kind of fell into place for him (Thomas). He had a couple of nice drives and open threes, which got him into a rhythm. The last play of the first half, the out of bounds play, was huge – we literally put that in at practice today and it gave us all the momentum going into the break. He just has a knack for finding shots,” OSU Coach Thad Matta said of Deshaun Thomas’ performance after game.

Ohio State has now defeated two AP Top 10 non-conference opponents at home this season for the first time in history. They are 3-3 all-time vs. Duke and 38-26 all-time vs. the ACC. Ohio St. moved to 5-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with four-consecutive wins. As a ranked team, the Buckeyes are 402-108 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 280-59.

NBA players Evan Turner, Mike Conley, Greg Oden, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade were all in attendance at this game.

“I thought Ohio State played a great game against us. They were a fresher team; I thought our team played tired. They are very athletic, together and they played with a great verve. Obviously they are deserving of the win, but they were a lot fresher than we were. We could never get into the ballgame,” Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

#1 Ohio State Buckeyes get Serious Scare from Northwestern

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Earlier this college basketball season, NU took the #1 (and then undefeated) Ohio State Buckeyes down to the final minute, and lost by just one in Evanston. And today the Wildcats had a lead on the #1 in both polls Buckeyes, but couldn’t close the deal.

A day after Northwestern senior Juice Thompson put the point in point guard (breaking the Big Ten Tournament single game points record held by Purdue Boilermakers Brian Cardinal), the Wildcats struggled substantially with their offense. Sure, part of that was the game plan, slowing tempo and limiting possessions.

But part of it was ineffective shooting; and the result was a 67-61 overtime loss. Still #1 vs. #8 games in the Big Ten Tournament are not supposed to be this close and exciting.

By Paul M. Banks

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Undefeated Season in the Cards For #1 Ohio State?

jared sullinger

Tuesday night’s game between top-ranked Ohio State and No. 12 Purdue – freshman phenom Jared Sullinger vs. the Moore/Johnson combo – had the makings for a classic Big Ten battle. Instead, it was a one-sided affair in favor of the Buckeyes as they embarrassed the Boilermakers 87-64.

To see where we forecast their first loss go here

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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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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