Turns out we were being a bit delusional thinking the Buckeyes were staring down a high two seed or even had an outside shot of snagging a one seed. Instead, the NCAA selection committee made the road back to Indy a little more difficult for Ohio State when they were awarded the last two seed in the Midwest Regional meaning any paths to a Final Four will have to go through Kansas, the tournament's top seed.
But that's not all. This Regional of Death also includes potential Sweet Sixteen opponent Georgetown1 as the three, Maryland at four, Sparty at five, Tennessee at six, a dangerous Oklahoma State team as the 7th seed and Georgia Tech as a 10. If you're keeping up, those teams represent the Big 12 regular season and tournament champs, the Big Ten regular season and tournament champs, the ACC co-champs, an ACC tournament finalist and a Big East tournament finalist. Day-umn.
Meanwhile, Duke is in a regional with Villanova, Baylor, Purdue and Texas A&M. Didn't the Big Ten defeat the ACC in the Conference Challenge for the first time this season? Shouldn't the Big Ten's regular season and tournament champion get a little bit more love than the ACC's regular season and tournament champion? (See also: The ACC's six selections compared to the five awarded to the Big Ten.)
You have to wonder if the low two seed was because of the team's terrible RPI or whether geography got the nod. The Selection Committee is supposed to seed in an "S" pattern, but it's much easier for the traveling mass of Buckeye fans to get to a game in Milwaukee than it is, say, Oklahoma City or Providence. Is this a case where our reputation for traveling came back to bite us?
Finally, why does the Big Ten have such a difficult time with scheduling? In the fall, there's the 50+ day void when teams fall off the national radar, much to Joe Paterno's chagrin. In the spring, it's the timing of the Big Ten tournament championship -- ending just a half hour before selections are revealed -- that seems to hurt the conference.
The Other Four
If you're a fan of Big Ten basketball, Friday is going to be a special day. While none of the five Big Ten selections will be in action on Thursday, all five will play Friday, kicking things off at 11:25AM when #11 Minnesota squares off with #6 Xavier in Milwaukee.
#4 Purdue tips off against #13 Siena five minutes later in Spokane (Siena is currently getting 4.5 if you're into making some easy coin), #4 Wisconsin faces #13 Wofford (+9.5) at 3:45PM in Jacksonville and #5 Michigan State takes on #12 New Mexico State (+12.5) at 4:20. Which should please members of the Spartan football team.
If you were wondering, the Buckeyes are currently 16 point favorites over the Guachos.
Your Belated Pro Day Recap
Lost in the insanity of Evan Turner draining the life out of Ann Arbor was Ohio State's annual Pro Day. Luckily for you, the first-ever 11W intern, Jared, was in attendance2 and filed the following report:
NFL coaches and scouts were out in full force at the WHAC on Friday despite the fact that this year's crop of departing Buckeyes is without a massive headliner. However, the man that most scouts came to see did not disappoint.
DE/LB Thad Gibson, always known as a workout warrior, wowed some scouts, and even Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric Lichter, by posting an (unofficial) 4.51 40-yard dash (other reports had Gibson running a 4.59). OSU is certainly known for its fast track, and the times were done by hand, but some scouts couldn't hide their astonishment/glee.
Safety Kurt Coleman clocked in with a 4.55 not entirely helping nor hurting his effort to get a look as a corner at the next level and receiver Ray Small came in with a 4.52. All times are unofficial and timed by media members. Ohio State did not announce official times.
In a sad note, DT Todd Denlinger did not finish his 40 yard dash as he pulled up shortly after starting what appeared to be a tight hamstring.
Thad is starting to generate some real draft buzz lately with most analysts pegging him as a second round selection, while a few are even saying he might get lucky and go in the late first round.
BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock is right: The inevitable expansion of any tournament is a terrible thing. How else to you explain a selection show so captivating the nation's sports fans that national advertising campaigns are rolled out for it. I'm not saying I'm dying to move this thing to 96, but you have to admit, having
64 65 involved is a lot of fun.
- 1 We're all Bobcat fans on Thursday night.
- 2 Only the sweetest internships include trips to OSU's Pro Day, you know.