Posted on: March 15, 2010 12:34 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2010 9:20 am
 

Welcome to the Jayhawk Invitational

Thomas Beisner

12:00 PM


In case you missed the non-stop television coverage of the brackets that began last night (I love how ESPN makes up for not having the selection show by running 4 straight days of analysis), the Kansas Jayhawks are the kings of the basketball worlds and, for their efforts, received the top seed in the NCAA tournament and the hardest bracket ever. So they say. Things get kicking on Thursday in Oklahoma City and, before you saddle up on the couch and root for all things corn and community-driven, it’s time to make sure you really know the Midwest.

Regional locations that are not regional

A few years ago, the NCAA tournament committee made an awful decision to do away with the regionals as a literal destination and use them as more theoretical sites.  So, that gave birth to an interesting set of destinations for teams sent to each region.  Behold, your "Midwest" tourney sites.

Oklahoma City (Thurs. & Sat.) - Oklahoma City was founded in 1889 and named under the premise of “Oklahoma is such an awesome place, let’s claim it twice”. Similar to Simon & Simon, but not nearly as bad ass.

Spokane (Fri. & Sun.) - Spokane, Washington is not in the mid or the west of the state of Washington, let alone the country. In fact, it’s a cool 25 hour drive from the next closest site, Oklahoma City, and 42 hours away from the Midwest games in Providence. There are 380,000 NCAA student-athletes and most of them are going pro in something other than cartography.

Providence (Thurs. & Sat.) - The capital of Rhode Island is the second largest city in the Midwest Northeast and has changed nicknames more than Sean Combs. Providence has called itself “The Beehive of Industry”, the “Creative Capital” and “The Renaissance City”. If Providence was a person, it would drive an F450 and threaten people on message boards.

Milwaukee (Fri. & Sun.) - Beer and cheese! Beer and cheese! Bud Selig! Beer and cheese!

Important Mascot Information

Jayhawk – Not to be confused with a Ray hawk , Le Hawk , a gay hawk , a mayhawk , a Mohawk , a faux hawk , a hawkeye , Hawk Hogan , or a Hawk block , Kansas’ mascot is a combination of a sparrow hawk and a blue jay that's as made up as Darrell Arthur's high school grades.

Buckeye – Ohio State earned their nickname from the name of the nut that falls from the ohio state tree. And, no, that’s not a Greg Oden joke.

Guacho – A little known fact about UC-Santa Barbara's mascot is that it was actually created out of a typo.  This is a Gaucho . This is a Groucho .  My great-grandfather is laughing out loud right now.

Panther – When I originally typed this, I wrote “Panter”, which is not Northern Iowa’s mascot. That’s a name in Rick Pitino’s black book. (boom! Recycled jokes!)

Cougar – The easy way out here would be to make another Pitino/Karen Sypher joke. But I’m not going there. It wouldn’t be fair to Sypher, who cringes every time she hears the word “Cougar”. You would too if that's where all of your kids were conceived.

Non-Jayhawk All-Region Team

Let's be honest.  Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich are everywhere and no one wants to really talk about either one of them anymore.  But, if we didn't put them on this list, we'd get tons (two maybe?) comments from Jayhawk fans complaining.  So, in order to avoid that type of internet showdown, we've removed them from consideration.  They totally would have made it, Jayhawk fans.  Had they been eligible.

Aubrey Coleman (Houston) – 25.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg, nation’s leading scorer, lead singer for Danity Kane

Evil Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) – 19.5 ppg, 6.3 apg, 4.6 rpg, leads nation in hair gel, frequently drives on left side of the road

Evan Turner (Ohio State) – 20.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 5.9 apg, came back from a broken back after six games, feels no pain, fears nothing

James Anderson (Oklahoma State) - 22.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, relocated to Stillwater as part of Witness Protection, originally named Sebastian von Klinkshtenberg

Greg Monroe (Georgetown) – 16.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, wears cardigans, loves Matlock

Little Guys to Know

C.J. McCollum (Lehigh) – McCollum’s appearance in the tournament is going to be brief, but it could only be the beginning of a very memorable college career for the freshman sharpshooter. The 6’3” guard hails from Canton and, despite being named Ohio’s Player of the Year last year, didn’t get much attention on the recruiting trail before arriving at Lehigh. Now, 32 games later, his 19 points and 5 rebounds per game are the centerpiece of the Patriot League champions. 

Jahmar Young (New Mexico State) – The 6’5” junior guard earned WAC tourney MVP honors despite actually putting up numbers slightly lower than his season averages, though a game-winning shot against Nevada didn’t hurt his case. If the Aggies are going to upset Michigan State in the first round, the burden will fall heavily on Young. He’s also a theatre major, proving again to my dad that there actually is a major worse than journalism. Take that, pops. Also, I believe his first name is uttered in several Michael Jackson songs.

Armon Bassett (Ohio) – An Indiana transfer, Bassett has found his place in Ohio, leading the Bobcats in scoring. In the MAC tournament, Bassett carried his ninth-seeded team on his back, averaging 29 points per game in four upsets.  Even better for him, he's no longer in Indiana.

Three Guarantees

1. Someone you know will ask “What is on Aubrey Coleman’s neck?” – I’ll admit it. I Googled it during the Conference USA tournament. However, I felt bad afterward when I found out it wasn’t a scar from something cool like taking a sword to the neck while conquering a rival army. Turns out his family has a history of abscesses. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

2. Bruce Pearl is angry – Reports leaked out after brackets were announced that the Tennessee coach was not pleased with his team’s seeding. It turns out he was actually just upset when he found out that Northern Iowa’s Lucas O’Rear and Ohio State’s Dallas Lauderdale were real basketball players and not the adult film stars he thought they were. He then unpacked his DVDs and put them back on his coffee table – still unsigned.

3. You'll want to hate Greivis Vasquez, but you won't be able to  – There is no college basketball player of my lifetime who is more hateable than Greivis Vasquez.  And it's not even close.  He taunts his opponents, he taunts their teammates on the bench, he runs his mouth to the crowd, he makes demonstrative hand gestures, all while flat-out killing you on the court. Add that to the fact that he has the nation’s worst haircut and his unathletic appearance fails the “eye test” worse than Stevie Wonder would and you have a final masterpiece less likeable than Joakim Noah, Christian Laettner or J.J. Redick ever dreamed of being. But, yet, you cannot stop watching him.  And, ultimately, loving him. 

I was on the floor (no Pitino) for his manhandling of Virginia Tech a few weeks ago and wanted to despise him.  He was really Vasquezing around that day, putting up a First Team All-A-hole performance in front of ravenous Tech fans.  But, if it's possible to have an underrated 41 point, 7 rebound, 6 assist performance, this was it.  His absurd stats only told part of the story.  Vasquez passed to guys who you wouldn't have thought were open and he dribbled through holes that I swear weren't there.  He knocked down shots you didn't think he'd get off and he played with a passion that every college basketball fan will find to be refreshing.  He was magical with the ball in his hands and had the type of something extra that willed his teammates to be better than they were.  Vasquez was so mesmerizing and masterful with the ball, he should have been wearing a cape.  A black, bloody cape. Maybe with skulls or a flaming dragon.  Trust me, though, you will want to hate Greivis Vasquez.  You just won't be able to do it.  And, before the end of March, you will be trying to convince your boss that the Vas-hawk is acceptable in a business environment.

FINAL VERDICT

The Midwest is more stacked than Hugh Hefner's girlfriends in a dog pile and Ohio State, Georgetown, Maryland and Michigan State are all ready to charge toward the Final Four.  But, ask any expert (or random guy CBS hired to blog this), and they'll say the Midwest still goes through Kansas.  And apparently Oklahoma City, Spokane, Providence and Milwaukee.  

Let's do this!



Category: NCAAB
Tags: Midwest
 
Posted on: March 14, 2010 11:10 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2010 10:33 am
 

Know Your 16 Seed: Vermont

DREW FRANKLIN

The University of Vermont and State Agriculture College

The University of Vermont and State Agriculture College, or the University of Vermont for short, is a national public research university and the state of Vermont's land-grant university.  But most know UVM as 10,000 Phish fans that love peace, love, Mother Earth, and her funny smelling plants.

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Burlington is the largest city in our nation's 45th largest state.  It is known as "The Queen City of Vermont" by Vermonters.

Notable Alumni

Ben Affleck - Matt Damon's husband (Dropped out after one semester)
Trey Anastasio - lead singer for Phish
Eugene Kalkin - founder of Linens 'N Things 

The Catamounts

Because calling themselves the Cougars would really flood the admissions office with young men.  C-A-T-A-M-O-U-N-T-S!  CATAMOUNTS! CATAMOUNTS! CATAMOUNTS!

Mike Lonergan, Head Coach

Lonergan is in his fifth season as head coach at UVM.  He was the America East Coach of the Year in 2007.  More importantly, he has his own website, MikeLonergan.com.  That's baller status.

The Starting 5

#12 Nick Vier, Guard, Senior - 5.2 ppg, 2.5 apg
#24 Maurice Joseph, Guard, Senior - 14.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg
#21 Garvey Young, Guard, Sophomore - 7.5 ppg, 4.2 ppg
#32 Evan Fjeld, Forward, Junior - 10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg
#23 Marqus Blakely, Forward, Senior - 17.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg

How They Got Here

Vermont beat Boston University - who apparently isn't just a hockey team - in the America East Championship.  Reggie Lewis Player of the Year Marqus Blakely scored 24 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and had 5 assists in the Cats 83-70 win.

How Far Will They Go?

UVM plays #1 Syracuse Friday at 9:30 pm in a very familiar first round matchup.  Vermont upset the Orange in the 4/13 game in the 2005 NCAA tourney.  Will the Catamounts be able to shock the world one more time?  You're damn right they will.

I'm taking the upset.  Vermont will beat Syracuse to advance to the second round in the year of the 16 seed.  You heard it here, folks.





Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 14, 2010 7:13 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2010 7:22 pm
 

Getting to Know #16 Seed East Tennessee State

MATT JONES

7:10 PM



Going into the season, East Tennessee State looked to be in almost certain rebuilding mode.  After making the NCAA Tournament last season and dominating the Atlantic Sun, ETSU lost four starters and was presumed to be of little consequence to the A-Sun race.  But from the beginning, the team outperformed expectations.  They finished conference play 13-7, but in the parity-driven Atlantic Sun, that placed them one game behind the four-way tie for the conference title.  At the conference tournament, they pulled two upsets in their first two games and then defeated Mercer, playing on their home court to win the Championship.  What was thought to be a season in transition, became the Buccaneers’ ninth NCAA berth in school history.  If you don’t know much about ETSU (and honestly, if you don’t live in Johnson City, Tennessee, why would you?), here are some tidbits:

BEST PLAYER

The team’s leading scorer at 14 ppg is a player who until this season, had only scored 75 points in his two-year career for the Bucs.  Tommy Hubbard was a highly touted recruit for ETSU coming out of high school and arrived on campus expecting to make a huge impact from Day one and become a shining star at a smaller school.  But a combination of injuries, playing time issues and collegiate adjustment caused Hubbard to struggle early and for Coach Murray Bartow to even suggest a redshirt season.  Last year he began the season as a redshirt, but had it pulled with nine games to go and became a key cog in an ETSU team that won its league and played #1 seed Pittsburgh close in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  Now he leads the team in scoring and has even garnered interest from NBA scouts.  There may be no player in America who has improved more.

COACH

The Buccaneers are coached by Murry Bartow , now in his seventh season in Johnson City.  Bartow started his coaching career by taking over for a legend, his father Gene Bartow who literally started the basketball program at UAB.  His time in Blazer land was rocky, as he made the NCAA Tournament only once in six years at the school.  When he was dismissed, he took the road less traveled to the hills of Eastern Tennessee and has now become one of the candidates for National Coach of the Year.  There was a time that Murry Bartow looked headed to the Pat Knight school of coaches who couldn’t reach the heights of their famous fathers.  But Bartow now has it rolling at ETSU land and is garnering attention for more than just his last name.

MASCOT

ETSU’s nickname is the “Buccaneers”, an odd decision considering that there are very few places on Earth more landlocked than East Tennessee. But a pirate theme was chosen nonetheless and visitors are to be warned that when arriving on campus, they could be held up for ransom, forced to “walk the plank” or mysteriously accosted by men wearing eye patches and funny hats.  Their mascot is known as “Bucky” and was once part of a duo of mascots, “Bucky and Pepper”, but like Ryan Seacrest telling Brian Dunkleman, “Seacrest, Out”, Bucky got rid of his lesser half and got a makeover to appear more menacing.  What you are left with is a pirate that looks a bit like Wario from “Mario Cart” and seems to scare little children.  Be careful what you wish for.

LOCATION

East Tennessee State is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, which may be most famous to you as a key line in Travis Tritt’s hit “Bonnie and Clyde.” If however you are not as familiar with Travis Tritt lyrics as you should be, there are still reasons to care about Johnson City.  It was founded as a railroad depot, but quickly gained prominence as one of the centers of old-time country music producing such stars as “Fiddlin Charlie Johnson” and “Blind Lemon Jefferson.”  The need to give descriptive nickname to its residents helps explain the current mayor’s name “Edict Declarin’ Williams” and the locals preference to call the ETSU Coach, “Drawin Them Plays Bartow.”  Johnson City is also the last city in America to still have a “Barney Fife” Ordinance on its books, which allows the town to deputize citizens in times of need…such as when Buccanneers strike.  

FAMOUS ALUMNI

Unless you count Timothy Busfield, who was on the 1980s television show Thirtysomething (and I don’t), the famous alumni section of the ETSU handbook begins and ends with country star Kenny Chesney.  The former country crooner who has recently turned into Jimmy Buffet-lite, graduated with a degree in advertising, which he brags about when he is hanging out with Peyton Manning (what, you didn’t know they were friends?).  “Beach Kenny” would like you to know that he is having a cocktail now and life is grand out here on the island.  And oh yeah, go ETSU.

So there you have it, your East Tennessee State Buccaneers.  This probably isn’t the team that can upset a #1 seed, but it is the team that will have a beach party and take your bounty while doing it.


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 14, 2010 6:47 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2010 7:51 pm
 

15-Seed Robert Morris Is Bowling -- Er, Dancing

C.M. TOMLIN

In NCAA tournament play, it has by and large been an unspoken law of the basketball cosmos that schools named after a person (first and last name, it should be noted) don't traditionally perform well. Oral Roberts University. Sam Houston State. Jim J. Bullock Technical Institute. The University of Colorado at Hal Linden.

That's not to say that there aren't exceptions to this rule. Our hearts were stolen away by a plucky George Mason team in 2006, for instance, when the Patriots famously crashed the Final Four. And this year another team based on a lesser-known constitutional conventioneer hopes to do the same. The Robert Morris University Colonials, who just won their bid by squeaking past Quinnipiac and stealing the Northeast Conference Tournament, picks up a fifteen seed today in hopes of dazzling us all and offing number two Villanova in the South Region.

A private university in Moon Township, Pennsylvania -- a suburb of Pittsburgh -- Robert Morris University began in 1921 as the Pittsburgh School of Accountancy, and that institution became Robert Morris Junior College in 1962, Robert Morris College in 2002, and will likely become Robert Morris Space Station in 2067. Taking the name of a Continental Congressman who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the team adopted the moniker of the Colonials, so there would be little doubt that everyone was really into the whole "1770's" theme.

But while basketball is king in Moon right now, however, bowling's big. How big? The well-established Robert Morris men's bowling team are regular national contenders and have produced several bowling professionals. And Colonials basketball head coach Mike Rice even took his boys bowling after the quarterfinals of this year's NEC tourney to clear their heads.  They were going to need it if they were going to continue their trek and eventually face rival and one-seed Quinnipiac.

It worked. The Colonials eventually faced the Bobcats in the NEC finals, where solid defense and two well-placed free throws earned them the NEC Championship. And now Robert Morris finds itself in the deep end of the pool again, a fifteen seed assumedly being prepared for sacrifice next weekend to a juggernaut. But they have a little ammunition. After all, Karon Abraham was the NEC freshman of the year and a fresh force behind the Colonials, and point guard Velton Jones has stepped in to shoulder the duties left after his predecessor Jimmy Langhurst suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Despite cleared heads and good intentions however, they're still a fifteen seed playing Villanova. And that's one tough row to hoe. But senior Rob Robinson thinks the Colonials could surprise. "Shock the world," he says.

The Colonials might want to hit the bowling alley again. Just to be safe.




Posted on: March 14, 2010 6:00 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2010 1:21 am
 

Know Your 16 Seed: Lehigh University

DREW FRANKLIN


Lehigh University

Lehigh University is a private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines. As of 2009, the university comprises 4,856 undergraduate students and 2,118 graduate students. Well, at least that’s what Wikipedia says. And we all know Wikipedia never lies.

Location: Bethlehem, PA

Were you aware that Lehigh was located in Bethlehem? Of course you weren’t. I bet you didn't know Bethlehem is Hebrew for "House of Bread" either.  So, next time you're nestled by the fire in your favorite Christmas sweater, singing Oh Little Town of Bethlehem , remember you're singing about bread and Lehigh University.

Notable Alumni

- Don Most - Ralph Malph from Happy Days
- Jesse W. Reno - Builder of the World's first escalator
- Bobby Weaver - Gold medal winner in wresting at 1984 Summer Olympics

The Mountain Hawks

Until 1996, Lehigh’s athletic teams were known as the Engineers. The Student Senate voted to change the name to the Mountain Hawks after exploring other possibilities like the Fighting Trust Funds.

Brett Reed, Head Coach

Brett Reed is in his third year as the Murray H. Goodman '48 Head Men's Basketball Coach at Lehigh University.  Don't feel bad if that sentence confused you.  That is his actual job title.  Yeah, I don't get it either.

The Starting 5

CJ. McCollum, Guard, Freshman - 18.9 ppg - Patriot League Player of the Year
Marquis Hall, Guard, Senior - 11.3 ppg, 5.7 apg. - 15h in the nation in assist/TO ratio
Zahir Carrington, Forward, Senior - 10.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Gabe Knutson, Forward, Freshman - 9.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg
Dave Buchberger, Guard, Senior - 6.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg.

How They Got Here

Lehigh won its first Patriot League Tournament since 2004 with a 74-59 win over Lafayette.  C.J. McColloum led the way with 20 points while Zahir Carrington scored 18 and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Mountain Hawks.  Lehigh set a school record with 22 victories this season.

How Far Will They Go?

A 16-seed has never advanced to the second round in the NCAA Tournament.  However, this is the year Goliath goes down.  

You heard it here, folks.  The Mountain Hawks are wearing their upsets shoes to the big dance.




Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 14, 2010 5:43 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2010 11:08 pm
 

Know Your Play-In Team: Arkansas - Pine Bluff

Thomas Beisner

6:00 PM


It's finally go-time for the NCAA as the brackets are being rolled out.  Like every year, there will be a handful of teams from small schools that make a brief one-day appearance and retreat back to their small town celebrity.  But, is that fair to them?  Absolutely not.  They worked their tails off to get here and it's only fair that you get to know them.  So, here is the first in a serious of introductions to these tiny Davids.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

1. First time - For the Golden Lions, who rejoined the SWAC in 1998 after departing in 1970, they’ll go dancing for the first time. Though it probably won’t be like your first dance, where you stood in the corner and sipped grape soda and regretted wearing that three-piece suit, Golden Lions coach George Ivory knows that weird feeling in his stomach will last just as long. "This means a lot for our school and our fans," Ivory said after winning the SWAC. "We worked all year to get to the Big Dance and now we can always brag that at least for one year, we got to The Dance."

2. Happy New Year! -Arkansas - Pine Bluff would eventually power their way to a 14-4 record and a second-place finish in the SWAC, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The Golden Lions looked a little tarnished to start the year, jumping out of the gate with an 0-11 record. Pine Bluff opened the year with 10 of their first 11 games against BCS schools (five of them likely in the tournament) and didn’t capture that winning feeling until an overtime game at Mississippi Valley State on January 4th.

3. Surprise MVP - This is the time of year where Cinderella teams steal our hearts and Joe Nobody at a small school captures the hearts of the nation before retreating to Howie Schwab’s spankbank. However, there might not be a more surprising rise to stardom than Pine Bluff’s Allen Smith. The 5’10” senior entered the post-season as his team’s seventh leading scorer with 4.5 points per game and finished it as the MVP of the SWAC tournament after posting 16 against MVSU and 11 against Texas Southern in the title game.

4. Big names don’t scare them - Despite going winless against big name schools, the Golden Lions aren’t exactly afraid of all big names. In the SWAC title game, they faced a combined 5 NBA All-Star games on the Texas Southern bench. The Tigers boasted Vin Baker as a student assistant (a step up from the Milwaukee Bucks?) and Beisner childhood hero Nick Van Exel as an assistant.  Those five NBA All-Star games are now watching the NCAA Tournament from their homes.  Likely very sizable homes, but homes nonetheless.

5. Famous Alumni - For a small school (3,000 students), Pine Bluff does pretty well in the NFL department, sending L.C. Greenwood, Mark Bradley, Courtney Van Buren and both Dante and Greg Wesley to the pros. However, the big name alumni on their list is rapper Big Tuck, who apparently got his name from Gregg Doyel’s favorite Silence of the Lambs scene.

Up Next :  Dayton, Ohio and the NCAA play-in game against Big South champion Winthrop on March 17


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 14, 2010 5:40 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2010 11:07 pm
 

Know Your Play-In Team: Winthrop

Thomas Beisner

6:00 PM
 

 It's finally go-time for the NCAA as the brackets are being rolled out.  Like every year, there will be a handful of teams from small schools that make a brief one-day appearance and retreat back to their small town celebrity.  But, is that fair to them?  Absolutely not.  They worked their tails off to get here and it's only fair that you get to know them.  So, here is the one in a serious of introductions to these tiny Davids.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Winthrop Eagles.

1. Middleweight Muscle - Winthrop, a founding member of the Big South conference, has established itself as the muscle in the conference, clinching their seventh NCAA berth in the last nine years with last week‘s win at Coastal Carolina. By knocking off sixth-seeded Notre Dame in 2007 and playing second-seeded Tennessee to within two points in 2006, it’s safe to say Winthrop is a big-time small school. However, the Eagles have not let it go to their head though, resisting the urge to name their Rock Hill, South Carolina school “The Campus of Champions”. Oh, they did? I take that back then.

2. Don’t keep it close - The Eagles haven’t really given anyone the impression that they’re going to push a major conference school to the brink, going 0-4 with an average loss margin of 20 this year against BCS squads. But, if it’s close at the end, go with Winthrop. The Eagles are 8-2 in games decided by 5 or less this season and have wins against a rock (Limestone), a religion (Presbyterian) and an idea (Liberty).

3. Offensively offensive - The Eagles have a style of play that’s one part Hoosiers and one part running up an escalator, politely termed by analysts as “deliberate”. It will most likely be called “plodding” in the tournament or “Geez, I can’t take this. Can they flip to another game?” by your roommate. Sophomore Reggie Middleton leads a Winthrop attack with 10 points per game and six of Winthrop’s ten players that log over 10 minutes per game shoot below 40% from the field. Winthrop played 32 games this year. They topped 70 points four times.

4. Jack Frost is nipping at your nose - And also answering all your basketball questions. He’s Winthrop’s SID.

5. Famous Alumni - Winthrop boasts a lot of politicians, foreign basketball players and writers, none of which I care about. Outside of a producer for “Reading Rainbow”, it appears to a pretty bland alumni group. That is, until you get down to John Michael Nix, who I would assume to be a made up Wikipedia entry. It says he’s the inventor of the front tuck, which we all know as Gregg Doyel’s favorite part of Silence of the Lambs.

Up Next:  Dayton, Ohio and the NCAA play-in game against SWAC champion Arkansas - Pine Bluff on March 17

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 14, 2010 5:39 pm
 

Big Ten belongs to the Buckeyes


John Wilkinson


El Ohio State wins the Big Ten Tournament in resounding fashion, 90-61 over Minnesota. This is the Buckeyes first tourney title since '07, when they rode old man Oden all the way to the Final Four. Can Evan Turner do the same? 

All signs continue to point towards 'yes', as the phenom racked up his second 31-point game in a row, to go with 12 boards and 6 dimes. Fellow guards David Lighty and Jon Diebler pitched in with 20 points and 19 points respectively. 

Coming off a 2-OT semifinal thriller, the Buckeyes looked no worse for the wear as their 6-man rotation took a 3 point halftime lead and exploded to a 29 point win. Ohio State has a huge talent advantage over Minnesota, but you rarely see a Tubby Smith coached team A) get blown out, and B) give up 90 points. 



Bracketologists and Bracktiatrists alike are scrambling to find the correct prognosis to the Big Ten's malady. Illinois came to Indy with the belief that a win over Wisconsin in the quarters would lock up a bid to the dance, however, it appears they've been hoisted by the Tubster and Minnesota, who battled out of a 6-seed to finish runner-ups. 

It's understood the selection committee wants to have the field locked and loaded a couple of hours before the broadcast, so you have to think if the Big Ten is to only get 4 bids, the Illini are NIT bound. 






 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com