Hello and welcome to your pre-game Skull Session. Tonight begins the second-half of round 3 (4) of the tournament, and our own Buckeyes will be facing the Kentucky Wildcats. Ohio State will no longer enjoy the homefield advantage provided by Cleveland, but I'm told that Jon Diebler has been prepping for Newark, New Jersey by sleeping in a hyperbaric tanning bed. We'll have a comprehensive preview up later tonight, but suffice it to say that Kentucky is no George Mason. Winter keeps creeping into my spring, but as long as the Buckeyes keep winning, I'm alright with 40 degree weather.
The Bigger They Are. . . Upsets galore in the first half of the Sweet Sixteen, headlined by Arizona's demolition of Duke. The Blue Devils become the second 1-seed to fall in the tournament and Arizona proves yet again that Demon-hunting is their business, and business is good. Derrick Williams was the hero of the contest, and someone I'm sure Sullinger and Matta are keeping an eye on.
So far, only one higher seed has come away with a victory in the Sweet Sixteen, when Florida pulled out the victory over BYU. The Cougars no doubt missed Brandon Davies, but losing to the #2 seed is about as shameful as breaking the BYU honor code. Meanwhile, UCONN beat SDSU, eliminating the MWC from the tournament, and fellow B1Gers Wisconsin fell to Butler. I guess Butler "dealt with it."
David Lighty Lights Up Everyone's Life, pt. XVIII. Will any player be more missed than Lighty next season? It's a completely rhetorical question, because the answer is so obviously no that it's not worth responsding. ESPN's Brian Bennet writes about the infectious enthusiasm that permeates everything Lighty is a part of, and it even made me want to get up and go for a jog (I ate some chips and took a nap instead, but it's the thought that counts!) Money quote:
That's an impressive amount of energy for someone who seemingly has played for the Buckeyes since the school won its only national title in 1960. Or as Sullinger jokes, "He tells us to enjoy this, because his 20 years at Ohio State really went by fast."
Perhaps it's because Lighty has been playing since the oft-forgotten Fred Ayers roamed courtside, but as much as I love Sullinger, Three-bler, Buford, and the rest, it'll be Lighty that I'll miss the most.
"At the end of the day, it's just about us being on the court with the streamers coming down and holding the trophy," [Lighty] said.
Indeed, good sir.
So you're saying they're different? Ralph Nader, activist and notorious ruiner of elections, has come down against the semi-amateur status of college athletes. While not typically known as a prolific sports commentor, Nader has been known to venture outside of the typical social/environmental activist role he generally plays. Regardless of your opinion on the man, he certainly knows how to stir the pot. He's apparantly proposing either ending the athletic scholarship or making college sports a truly professional venture, and he's taking his proposal to college presidents. Whether this makes as much noise as his campaign for car safety, or makes about as much noise as his presidential campaigns (zero, basically), remains to be seen.
It was the coolest near death experience anyone had ever witnessed. As mentioned in Buckshots, several pilots who buzzed to close to the crowd during the Iowa-Ohio state game last season have been disciplined by the Air Force. Apparantly getting 30,000 pounds of thrust near your head is a bad idea, but no matter what the "experts" say, it can't be reiterated enough: it sounds pretty awesome to me.