This game was essentially a rescheduling from last year, after Ohio State and Marquette couldn't play on an aircraft carrier due to weather conditions.
Perhaps it was a sign from the hoops gods: We'd rather you two just not play each other.
Because what transpired in Milwaukee Saturday afternoon wasn't good for anyone. Ohio State went on the road and knocked of No. 17 Marquette 52-35, and it wasn't pretty at all. The 10th-ranked Buckeyes finally found a semblance of offense after equaling Marquette's putrid first-half output, the score tied at 19 after 20 minutes. That's right, both teams averaged less than a point per minute in the first half.
Ohio State's football team (60 points) outscored its basketball one.
It was that kind of day.
I have no shame -- in fact, I think this feeling is pride -- in telling you that I passed out on my couch for 20 minutes while attempting to get through this one, knowing full well I had to write about it once it was over. Only the unabating tweets of whistles coming from my television (was this all a dream?) awoke me in time to see Marquette was still in the 30s with less than two minutes to go.
It was that kind of game.
Five days after college basketball had a beaut of a doubleheader in Chicago, featuring four of the best teams in the country and a parade of future pros showing off theier prowess, Milwaukee played out like a two-hour cortège. It was the Golden Eagles' first home loss since Dec. 29, 2011, when Buzz Williams' club was knocked off 74-57 by Vanderbilt. It was the fewest points for Marquette in a game in nearly 14 years.
Marquette's starting five shot 10.7 percent from the field and scored 12 points. It committed 20 turnovers, allowing Ohio State to snare 10 steals, half of those swipes coming from Ohio State junior guard Shannon Scott, who scored a game-high 13 points. LaQuinton Ross, expected to be Ohio State's leading scorer this season and a future NBA draft pick, scored as many points as you did.
Senior OSU guard Aaron Craft had a good day, achieving a double-double in dishing ten dimes and scoring as many points. And in a defying act of confidence and comedy, Todd Mayo came off the bench for Marquette and fired off a game-high 15 shots, somehow allowing three of them to fall through the hoop. Mayo scored 11 for Maruqette, a team-best. MU was just 1 for 18 from behind the arc.
But this game will not break you. And it will not break me. It will only make us stronger. I congratulate Ohio State and Marquette for putting on a timepiece of a performance, paying homage to recent college basketball style from the past few years, but it's a new era, boys, and we're about the points now. We're about games ending 78-75, and 85-80, and 93-84. Onward ho.