Monday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on March 19, 2012 at 6:00a
92 Comments

Bring on the Bearcats.

Almost fifty years to the day since the last time the two schools met in the NCAA Tournament, Ohio State will play Cincinnati1 and the loser will go home. Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery will call the game, scheduled to tipoff at approximately 9:45pm Thursday at Boston's TD Garden.

#6 Cincinnati punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 after dispatching #3 Florida State 62-56 last night in Nashville. Junior guard Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 18 points, while senior guard Dion Dixon chipped in 15. Big man Yancy Gates finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

For many, bringing up Cincinnati will trigger memories of Yancy Gates clocking dudes in early December. The brawl that prematurely ended the Crosstown Shootout, handing Xavier a 76-53 victory, led to the suspensions of four players on each team. Cincinnati suspended Gates, junior Cheikh Mbodj and freshman Octavius Ellis six games each and freshman Ge'Lawn Guyn for one game.

At 5-3 with the other two losses to Marshall and Presbyterian (!!), Mick Cronin's club was staring at a lost season, but Cincinnati responded, winning 10 of their next 11 games. They would put another streak together toward the end of the season, going 9-2 ahead of the NCAA tourney which included a close loss to Louisville in the Big East Tournament championship.

Now 27-10, the Bearcats and their Hypercolor unis are one away from reaching the Elite 8 for the first time since 1996, when Bob Huggins' second-seeded team lost to fifth-seeded Mississippi State 73-63.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are making their third-straight trip to the Sweet 16, matching a run of three-straight trips during the 1960, 1961 and 1962 seasons. Incidentally, after winning the 1960 national championship, Ohio State would go on to lose the next two championship games to the Bearcats. The loss in 1961 was particularly painful as an undefeated and defending national champion Ohio State team that featured future pros Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek was upset by the Bearcats in overtime.

Despite being two of the bigger names nationally in college basketball and being separated by a mere 120-mile stretch of I-71, the two teams have met just once since the 1962 championship game, in a 72-50 laugher2 for the Greg Oden-led Buckeyes at the 2006 Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis.

In only his third game as a Buckeye, Oden finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in just 27 minutes of action.

Afterward, first-year coach Mick Cronin was asked about the two schools not playing each other:

"I'm not going to beat a dead horse," Cronin said. "From everything that's been said the last few days, it's pretty clear they're not interested in it. They caught us when we were down. I got a contract after coach (Bob) Huggins got fired and it was obvious we were going to be in a depleted state. I left it in my AD's hands to make overtures, but I'm not going to beat a dead horse with it. Cincinnati basketball has had great tradition and it's been quite successful since 1962, so if they don't want to play us, why would they elect to schedule the game at this point? I know coach (Tony) Yates, coach (Ed) Badger and coach Huggins made overtures for years. I made mine. If they don't want to play us, fine."

Thad Matta fired back when he was asked the same question:

"I don't know," Matta said. "I don't even know who scheduled the game. I think the Wooden Tradition called us and said do you have an interest in playing Cincinnati on CBS? I think they jumped at it just like we did. This was good for us to bring Michael (Conley Jr.) and Greg (Oden) home. Nobody was feeling sorry for me when I got to Ohio State, were they?"

So, why have the two schools met just once in the past 50 years? While there likely isn't a good answer to this question or even one reason we can point to, there's no denying the animosity between the two basketball programs since the clashes in the early 1960s.

For a good part of this span, Ohio State did not believe the two schools recruited on a level playing field. The recruitment of Damon Flint in 1993 -- which Cronin was involved in -- provided further bad blood and then there's a case to be made that the administrators in Columbus were still a bit butthurt from the back-to-back championship game losses, even after all of these years.

The real losers in all of this are the fans. While we can hope for an annual series between the two teams, we'll have to make do with random high stakes matchups like Thursday night for the time being.

8-0hio. For the first time in tournament history, one state has placed four teams in the Sweet 16. That state is the great state of Ohio3.

Thanks to a series of upsets and stellar play, Ohio State, Xavier, Cincinnati and Ohio are all still alive meaning Ohioans will be walking with a swagger not seen since Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind.

EVERYTHING OHIO POSTER at DRAPLIN DESIGN COThis poster will improve your life and that's just science.

Friday may have been the greatest opening round day (again, refusing to call it "round two") in NCAA Tournament history. Prior to this year, only four 15 seeds had ever beaten two seeds in the tourney, but Friday gave us two more. Norfolk State got things going by upending Missouri 86-84 and then Lehigh was all like "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED" before knocking Duke out 75-70.

As fun as those upsets were, they had nothing on Ohio bouncing the Wolverines 65-60.

That's it. You all were witness to the single-most karmic event possible. For months now, we've had to listen to Michigan football coach Brady Hoke and then later basketball coach John Beilein and athletic director Dave Brandon refer to the Buckeyes as "Ohio", but while they were focusing on the wrong Ohio, the real Ohio crept up and punched them in the mouth.

At first, it was only slightly irritating to hear Hoke refer to Ohio State as "Ohio", but after Bobcats coach Jim Groce called the practice "disrespectful" it became something a little more real. Then, when Hoke admitted that he started using the term as a 10 year-old to troll all of his friends that were Buckeye fans, it all made sense.

No longer will I listen to fans of Michigan University4 try to explain the slight away. It's not because it's what the old scoreboards at Ohio Stadium used to say, although they did. It's not because it's what TBDBITL scripts out at halftime, because it is. It's because Brady Hoke is simply trolling and trolls have a way of looking dumb in the end.

Like when a 13 seed featuring a former Ohio State player and assistant coach ends your basketball team's seasons early. Bonus: The son of one of your rival's all-time greats played a hand in it. You know, just for good measure.

So please, do keep calling Ohio State "Ohio", Mr. Hoke.

BEE-ONE-GEE! BEE-ONE-GEE! As you'd expect from Kenpom's top-rated conference, the Big Ten placed four teams in the Sweet 16: Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Purdue was two possessions5 from knocking Kansas out of the tournament, but alas, Purdue.

If the Boilermakers could have held on -- and they should have -- the league would have five teams still in play and a shiny 10-1 record in the tournament with the lone loss being Michigan University's first rounder against the Bobcats. So, basically perfect.

The Big East matches the Big Ten with four teams in the Sweet 16, though with three additional bids to work with, so the edge goes to the B1G with its shiny 9-2 record.

The tally:

  • Four teams alive: Big Ten, Big East
  • Two teams: ACC, SEC, Big 12
  • One team: MAC, Atlantic 10
Logan Stieber: BeastStieber = Beast

STIEBER, SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING CAPTURE CHAMPIONSHIPS. Tom Ryan is slowly putting together a juggernaut with the Ohio State wrestling team, but a lot of his talent is young talent. Over the weekend, one of those youngsters cashed in with an NCAA championship.

Logan Stieber, a redshirt freshman from Monroeville, captured the NCAA championship at 133 pounds, upsetting defending national champion Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State 4-3 Saturday night in St. Louis.

Stieber, the two seed in his weight class, avenged a 7-3 defeat to Oliver at the National Duals in February to finish his first full season as a Buckeye at 33-2.

How good was Oliver? He was 53-1 with pins in 60 percent of his matches (that's like scoring touchdowns on 60% of your rushing attempts) heading into Saturday night's championship.

Big Ten teams finished in four of the top five positions, including eventual champion Penn State. If the Buckeyes are to grow into a dominant program, they will have their hands full with the Nittany Lions for years to come. Penn State finished with 143 team points on the way to capturing their second-straight team title. To put that point total into perspective, Iowa's 107.5 points -- good enough for third place -- would have been enough to win the team championship in two of the previous three seasons.

Penn State's top wrestler, David Taylor from St. Paris Graham High in Ohio is not only one of the two best wrestlers at the collegiate level, but he's also the only man to defeat Stieber in high school when the two met at the prestigious Ironman Tournament when Stieber was a freshman and Taylor was a sophomore.

Stieber would go on to finish his prep career with a 184-1 record and four state titles. Here's hoping he can repeat that feat as a Buckeye.

In somewhat related news, the synchronized swimming team captured its 28th title over the weekend at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Natatorium in Gainesville, Florida. While synchronized swimming doesn't bring in the money that football and basketball do and you'd be hard-pressed to find the championship on television, this is an important sport from an Olympics perspective. You can never have enough gold medals tied to your school. 

ANOTHER EARLY EXIT FOR JIM FOSTER'S TEAM. A lot of fans were upset when the Lady Buckeyes were awarded an eight seed for the NCAA Tournament. After all, this was a team that had finished the Big Ten schedule at 25-6.

Well, it looks like the selection committee was on to something as the Buckeyes were sent packing 70-65 by 9th-seeded Florida yesterday in the opening round of the tournament.

Head coach Jim Foster has taken every one of his 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, often as a top four seed, but he has very little to show for it. He's just 10-10 at the tournament and has never even reached the Elite 8, again, despite being a one seed once and a two seed three times.

ETC: Scoonie Penn has joined Twitter... Craig Sager's tie won the internet... This guy is haunting my dreams, but it's miles better than Pitbull... Clowning on Pitino... In Friday's Skull Session, I made a topless Spurrier reference. He definitely reads the blog... A sure sign that St. Patrick's Day is going to be epic... Speaking of St. Patty's, Walgreens was so close to nailing it... Cruiser dashcam footage from last week's stabbing in downtown Columbus... Multitasking... Have some pride, man.

  • 1 Meet the frienemies for this week: Bearcats Blog (@bearcatsblog) and Down the Drive (@downthedrive).
  • 2 If you clicked this link, congratulations. You got a chance to see what a basketball recap looked like when this site was less than four months old.
  • 3 Brady Hoke has absolutely no idea what's going on right now.
  • 4 Embrace this.
  • 5 How did Hummel not even touch the ball in any of Purdue's last three possessions? For 39 minutes, Matt Painter put on a coaching clinic for Kansas' Bill Self, but he threw it all away at the end.
92 Comments

Comments

Scott's picture

Four teams from the Big Ten and four teams from Ohio in the Sweet 16. Not bad.

Class of 2008

baddogmaine's picture

Purdue's problem at the end of the game was guard play. The team did want to run clock but it wanted to run clock while still being able to run an actual play. Two possessions in a row the point guard dribbled as if he was putting on a gymnastics floor routine, probing onto the side where there was no place to go and then having to waste time getting himself out, and since (it seemed) that no teammates knew what was going on no one was trying to make the defense adjust to screens or movement. A time out before the shot clock was about expired and all that was left was a desparation heave might have been a good idea. The Boilermakers came so close, what a disappointment!

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

Has Purdon't ever had a great guard? I can't remember a single one. 

Joe Beale's picture

Rick Mount?

AcrossTheField11's picture

E'Twaun Moore was pretty good if memory serves me.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

Lincoln's picture

I currently live in Cincinnati, but I am not from here, you can tell because I do not have a Yosemite Sam statue in my yard. The first thing I heard on the radio when I woke up this morning was "80% of Ohio State fans haven't passed the 8th grade" then more and more continued.

Its going to be a long week.

blazers34's picture

yeah, because everyone from cincy has a yosemite sam statue in their yard.  gimme a break.

 

although, i can agree that its going to be a looooong week.  UC fans at work are going to be chirping like crazy.  i wont be talking any smack though, i get way too nervous about these damn games.

Lincoln's picture

Obviously a joke.

But you have to admit you will see about 100 blow up bearcats this week for the first time since the Sugar Bowl. Plus I look forward to the return of the b"UC"keye State shirts.

I will be talking 0 smack also, I dont trust this team like I did the last 2 years and both those ended up with a sweet 16 heartbreak. Nervous already.

blazers34's picture

def agree there.  those shirts will be out all week.  people are already chirping on all of the social media sites as well.  i would have much prefered that this was the turnaround game with only one day of rest.  thursday cant get here soon enough.

Breakawayspeed's picture

You might as well enjoy the smack talk.  I  have a few Cincy fans at work.  Should be alot of fun.

I think the bucks will handle them.  We can play defense too!  They won't have an answer for Craft & Thomas. 

BTW, WTH is a Bearcat anyway?  Who came up with that as a mascot?

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I had no idea what a Bearcat is, either, so I looked it up. The below photo appears to indicate that a bearcat is that thingy that gets into your garbage to dig out the rotting scraps of leftover food:

Okay, the little guy does look fierce, too, but a big part of his weaponry appears to be bad breath and rabbies.

Squirrel Master's picture

Bearcat is basically an ugly Racoon, and racoons are the most pretty things in the first place.

 

Honey Bearcat don't give a s**t!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Racoons are sort of cute in a way similar to how a dirty, disheveled 11 year-old pick-pocket who is preying on American tourists in Vatican City also looks kinda cute, too.

What's really cute though is when my three year-old son calls squirrels, "squirrelies."     

Squirrel Master's picture

I meant to say racoons are not very pretty. missed a word there.

Squirrels are great! Probably the most acceptable of the rodent family!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

AcrossTheField11's picture

Why do so many of our rival teams have mascots named after rodents?  Seriously Wisconsin, UM, UC, Minnesota (does that count?), there had to have been something a little better availible when picking your mascots.  I still don't know what a hoosier is, but at least its not considered to be vermin.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

Squirrel Master's picture

Maybe we should change OSU to the "EXTERMINATORS!" (in best Arnold voice).

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Tommy's picture

a bearcat is that thingy that gets into your garbage to dig out the rotting scraps of leftover food

 

So whoever came up with this had foresight into recruiting in-state talent against tosu then?

Doc's picture

I grew up in Cincy.  We were not Bearcat fans in our house.  My Dad got his Masters at XU.  I was talking to my Mom yesterday afternoon and she made a comment that if UC won "WE will play You in the sweet sixteen."  WE...wtf?  If the Buckeyes lose this game I will NEVER hear the end of it from my trolling parents.  For some strange reason they have more pride for "the thugs at UC"(their words) than my alma mater.  I need this win for my own sanity.  GO BUCKS!!!

"Say my name."

btalbert25's picture

Your dad went to X and is trolling for UC?  What the hell is that? lol.  Ohio State will win that game, althought I'm more worried about UC than I would've been FSU.

Doc's picture

My parents hate OSU, because that is the place I got my independence and met my wife.  They lost control over me in Cbus and they have resented the place ever since.  Even though I'm happily married with two wonderful boys, financially independent, and an all around good guy.  They see OSU as the cause.  They have more city pride than family pride I guess.

My Dad went to XU, but growing up you would have never known it.  He wasn't a sports fan.  He didn't wear X gear or even watch the cross town shootout.  He started his X pride after I grad-e-ated from dental school and my sisters FIRST husband was going there. 

"Say my name."

btalbert25's picture

I have a friend who is diehard X fan, buys season tickets and just in general loves X.  A couple of years ago when Brian Kelly had UC playing good football he was cheering for UC every week.  I said WTF is this?  He's said what, I said you love X and you're pulling for UC?  He said well X doesn't have football.  I thought my oh my.  I don't get cheering for your rival, even if in another sport.  Michigan could have a team that played Jacks or tiddlywinks and I'd be cheering against them. 

Doc's picture

I totally agree.  Pick a team/school and stick with'em no matter what.

"Say my name."

FortMeyer's picture

Cincy will use this for extra motivation and in the tourney it can mean alot. I'd rather be facing Florida State. Our guys better be ready to go from tipoff. Get behind early and it will be a long game. 

AcrossTheField11's picture

I still think Sully can own Yancy Gates.  FSU would have given us fits.  The only advantage UC has is the proverbial chip on the shoulder.   We Just gotta go in free and easy and come out with a resounding W before we take on DEAL WITH IT / SYRACUSE.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Unfortunately a chip on the shoulder sometimes proves to be the only advantage needed.  Hopefully, Ohio State will have one on their shoulder this Thursday night.

DaveCHS's picture

I wonder why there's never been an annual "Battle of Ohio" basketball tournament put together?  How great would it be to have a tournament played in Ohio that consists of eight teams from the state.  Maybe do it the last weekend of the preseason before everyone gets into conference play and college football is in the doldrums.

Every year you could have the three big boys (Ohio St, Cincy, Xavier) plus 5 other teams like Dayton, Ohio, etc. playing each other to be King of Ohio.  Guarantee every team three games, so that even the losers on the first day get to play on the last day.  Rotate the location of the tourney each year.   I'm sure it will never happen because it always seems to boil down to Ohio St admins being too chicken-shit to actuallly schedule any serious in-state competition.  But man, it would be great.

German Buckeye's picture

Agree - I'd love to see an all Ohio tourney.  Have the following in it:

OSU, Ohio, Cincy, Xavier, Wright State, Cleveland St, Miami, OH, and Dayton.  These schools all have traditional basketball programs and have fared well in either the NIT or NCAA...

 

 

cplunk's picture

I'd love an Ohio tournie! There is not a lot of incentive for OSU, Cincy, Xavier and Dayton to play the smaller schools though. I'd spice it up a little and do this:

1) OSU, Cincy, Xavier and Dayton are in every year

2) Two slots are filled by other Ohio schools on a rotational basis (Ohio, Miami, Toledo, Akron Cleveland State, etc, etc)

3) Two slots are filled by a school from a neighboring state, rotating among Kentucky, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame.

If you're wondering, I left out various other possible schools because teams don't generally want to play teams in their own conference in preseason tournies. One Pitt and WVU move to their new conferences, the only possible issues in the above scenarios are Notre Dame/Cincy, Xavier/Dayton, and the various MAC schools.

That way the big boys have an incentive to play rather than just having an early season tournie where they have to worry about a midmajor upset. It would be a heck of a tournie at the beginning of each year too. 

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Yeah, you kind of answered your own question there. The fact that you referred to Xavier and Cincinnati as "big boys" on the same implied level as tOSU goes about 99% of the way towards explaining why we never have and likely never would go along with such an idea.

I always thought the risk here was minimal. Xavier and Cincinnati had better programs than ours for most of the 10 years prior to Matta's hiring, so I don't think it would cause significant damage if we lost such a tournament every so often.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

cplunk's picture

You do understand that Cincinnati basketball has won more national championships than OSU, right?? 

You also might want to take a look at the all-time records. Cincy is 1598-940 (.630), the 23rd overall program. OSU is 1498-993 (.601), the 38th best.

There's no comparison in football (it would be laughable to claim there is), but the Cincy program is every bit as "big boy" as OSU.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

Not only do does UC have more Championships...  but who did they beat again?

Bearcats are a certainly a legit b-ball program.

That said I hope they go down in flames.

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Um, yes, I do understand this, and I'm not sure what I said that could have implied otherwise. My entire point was that Cincinnati's program (and Xavier's) have been on a rough par with ours for some time now, and were obviously superior for most of the 1990s.

It's one thing to have problems with Bowling Green in hockey, but I am certain the athletic department would prefer that we be seen as the unquestioned #1 men's basketball program in Ohio, and likewise certain that despite any justifiable disdain for Bob Huggins and his methods, it's been fear of a loss that has kept this game from taking place on a regular or even occasional basis.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

The Vest-er's picture

What is cincy's deal? I grew up a mild bearcat fan (went to camps there in the 90's), but never sensed an inferiority complex. Is this new or has it always been like this?

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

cplunk's picture

I think it started when Cincinnati had some success in football fairly recently. I grew up in Cincy and never really sensed much of an issue.

I grew up rooting for Ohio State football and Cincinnati basketball. This was in the 80's (I was born in '71). I've never waivered from that. When they've played bball I've rooted Cincy, football Ohio State. The only difference is I pay almost zero attention to Cincy football, but a lot of attention to OSU basketball.

This game is killing me. I just took off work Friday so I can stay up for the whole thing. I'll need to drink down my sorrows because I lose either way.

Too bad Ohio State, Cincy, Xavier and Ohio couldn't have been the final four. 

 

Jdadams01's picture

I lived in the Cincy area from 1996 to 2010. I think it started in 2002 when they almost upset us and we went on to win the title. They have talked smack since.

Nappy's picture

It was like Painter was trying to pull a Tressel by just running clock.  Hummel needed to touch the ball every time down the court and all the guard did was dribble until there was 5 secs. on the shot clock and turn it over.  That's some winning basketball right there. I'd love to see Indiana knock off Kentucky again. 

I wish our game didnt start so late.  There are no teams left that call the Mountain or Pacific time zone home, they should play the games earlier.

Don't know if the "It started with a whisper" dude is miles better than Pitbull or if Pitbull is just so annoying everyone looks good by comparison.

Thay may be the first suit/tie combo Sager has ever worn that I liked. 

Fan of bacon since 1981

thatlillefty's picture

What a great weekend for the state of Ohio.

I'll be rooting for Ohio State this Thursday but I'm very proud of the Bearcats. They have come a long way this season.

btalbert25's picture

I know Ohio State has had bouts of inconsistency, but when I look at this team and the level of play that Thomas and Sully have shown recently, as well as the quality of play we'ver seen out of craft as of late, I'm not sure there's been a team since the Oden/Connelly team that have 3 players playing at such a high level.  I mean Sully and Thomas look like locks to be a pretty high first round pick and Craft is playing as good as any PG in America right now, especially on D, which we have known for a while.  I've never been one to say this team will go as far as Bufford will take them, but I do think if Bufford wakes up and starts playing the way he's capable of, this team could cut down the nets.  I had them losing in the final four to UNC, but with UNC's PG out and a Melo less Cuse, I think the path is layed out well for Ohio State to meet UK or MSU. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

This Buckeye team has had trouble self-motivating at times - they're a laid back crew; relatively young & inexperienced; they spent the first month of the season blowing away every opponent by 20+ pts; two of their leaders are Sully, who can get frustrated at times, and Thomas, who is, you know, DT.

But while it's been a recurrent issue, I don't think it's a problem that is particuarly likely to reappear versus Cincy as opposed to another team.

In some respects, Ohio State is the team can feel 'dissed compared to Cincy:

Cincy is in the Big East, which is supposed to be hands-down the best conference on an annual basis and is known as the "bully" conference. The sports media are largely based in Big East territory and, although Cincy is not considered one of the marquee teams in the league, these media guys look down on the B1G variety of bball.

Cincy and their fans are constantly talking smack about Ohio State, whereas we tend to ignore them most of the time. I'm guessing that if we scan the twitter archives, much of the locker room material will have come from their camp; moreover, the Cincy camp will probably be more chatty this week leading up to the game.

So far, the CBS and other t.v. halftime guys have been picking against Ohio State and will likely do so for this game.

Arch City's picture

A friend of mine made this map of the Sweet Sixteen schools http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=2bdcdbea3262433a924fb61834bcc8a4&extent=-114.771,25.2766,-55.269,49.0898

 

It gives you a pretty clear representation of just how well BIG and the state of Ohio represent!

BuckeyeSaab's picture

That map got me thinking about just how rich the basketball tradition is in the Ohio Valley.  I did a little looking and it turns that Ohio Valley cluster on the map in this years Sweet 16 are responsible for 23% of NCAA Championships.

 

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

Statutoryglory's picture

Absolutely this team needs Craft to bring the fire in that huddle and on the floor.  He has to be the guy Lighty was last year.  

FLAMikey's picture

-Too bad about Purdue. That was a monumental pooch-screwing blow-up at the end.

In preparation for Thursday, Matta should instruct Ravenel as follows: If a fight breaks out, attack Gates immediately before he can sucker punch someone that we'll need for the rest of the tournament.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Ohio State has to win. All of my closest friends and family went to UC, and I will never hear the end of it if the Bearcats win. Luckily, my sister and mom went to Xavier and they hate UC, so they'll be on my side. And my sister's husband went to Butler and likes Thad, so he'll be cheering for the Bucks too. When we all get together Thursday, it's going to be about 14 Cincy grads vs. 1 OSU grad and his allies from Butler and Xavier (the Universities of Thad). Heavy drinking commences Thursday after work. 

Maestro's picture

Sounds like a tough crowd.  Wear kevlar.

vacuuming sucks

Doc's picture

Humble, how does your XU grad sister like Matta?  My Dad (XU masters) thinks he is a coward and a turn coat.  "He snuck out of town in the middle of the night."  8 years later and he is still butthurt over it.  I try to explain to him that XU is a stepping stone job where OSU is a destination, but he still hates on Thad.  Is your sister a little more forward thinking?

"Say my name."

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Yes... my sister was bitter at first, but she isn't anymore, especially since Xavier essentially did to Butler - her husband's school - what OSU did to Xavier. She's rational enough to know that if you're offered a significant pay raise, you take it. That, and she hates UC with all of her heart. The Crosstown Shootout was VERY intense when she was at XU, and she had some experiences with some VERY rude UC fans.

btalbert25's picture

I have friends who think Matta is a jerk, he told his kids he wasn't leaving, then took off the same day etc.  I say that's how it always works when a coach leaves, they can't announce to the world that they plan on leaving before the contract is signed.

One thing I will say though, as a program X was much better than Ohio State at the time Matta left.  There was even some talk that Matta may have been able to get Oden and Connely to X.  The difference between them is Ohio State had a lot of money and great facilities, but quality of basketball wasn't on par with X at the time.

Doc's picture

I'll agree with you that X's team was in a better place than OSU's, but OSU was still a step up.  I've been to the Cintas Center for a few XU games.  It seems like a glorified high school game to me.  The Schott has a "Big Time" college feel to it.  OSU had been to the Final Four not too far before Matta showed up.  I admittedly have some real disdain for "The Harvard of the Midwest".

"Say my name."

btalbert25's picture

Obviously, facilities wise, X couldn't ever compete with Ohio State, I mean does X even have 10,000 students?  The Cintas Center is small, honestly NKU's new arena is probably pretty comparable in size if not bigger, but NKU is probably a bigger school than X too.  At any rate, I'm not disputing facilities and capablility to pay.  Ohio State makes Matta a better coach because it's so much easier to recruit a kid to a B1G school with great facilities, than it is a small school like Xavier with a very nice, but small arena, and not much else to offer.

In fact, I'd say the work Matta did at Xavier was more impressive than what he's done at Ohio State. He didn't have nearly as many weapons at Xavier. At Ohio State, he's had a player of the year, a few all Americans, and quite a few first round picks. 

Doc's picture

He really had some good scrappy teams at XU.  Recruiting would be easier at a bigger school with nicer stuff.  I've got to check out NKU's new digs sometime.  i have heard from multiple people it is really nice.

"Say my name."

btalbert25's picture

I went to a concert there a few weeks back, it is really n ice.  I think it's a lot like the Cintas center really.  It's a HUGE step up from Regents hall which was definitely smaller than some high school gyms around here. 

I think with them making the jump to the Atlantic Sun conference next year and becoming a D-1 program I may try to get season tickets just to help support the jump.  I honestly think the GLVC in D-2 with Bellarmine, KY Weslyan, and Southern Indiana is probably better than the conference they are getting into now. 

I'm hoping the jump to D-1, the new digs, and some big crowds will result in better recruits coming to Highland Heights.  Should be fun to see how it unfolds the next few years.

Doc's picture

I hope the jump is a good one for them.

"Say my name."

AcrossTheField11's picture

Some of my best friends are UC grads and the banal stream of sports diarrhea that flowed from their mouths during the year their football team got demolished by UF in the Sugar Bowl was damn near unbearable.  So I feel your pain to some lesser degree.  We MUST win this game.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Great game for the Bobcats and a huge win for the university.  I'm guessing Athens was partying it up big time!!!

As for the Buckeyes chances to move to the elite eight - I can only remain cautiously optimistic that Buford will actually show up and erase the funk and replace the brick shots with swishes!!!  I have a feeling it will be a very rough and physical game, to say the least!

Go Buckeyes!!!

Go Bobcats!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

madhatterhater's picture

I think Cronin is a good coach, but he always seems to whine all the time. I live south of Dayton and north of Cincy. I have to hear all the little man syndrome from UD and UC fans. I would actually rather play at UD than UC because their fans actually sellout the arena. I actually like UC, but get annoyed by the fair weather Cincy fans. Sure OSU has their share of a-hole fans, but they usually don't come and go like UC fans.

What's the over/under on how many times the completely washed up Nick Lachey is mentioned.

go bucks

Bucksfan's picture

Man, I started going to UC games in 1991, and I don't remember the Shoemaker Center not being sold out until Zimpher fired Huggins and alienated the entire fanbase.  For example, they made it so that if you wanted a season ticket basketball package, you HAD to buy football tickets.  That p*ssed my dad off to no end (although, he's now a season ticket holder for UC football, so...), and he has yet to sign up for basketball tickets again.

I really hate it when people call Cincy fans "fairweather."  They got dirt kicked on them by the school, and the school really hasn't done a good job of trying to get fans back in the seats.  This isn't Chicago where idiot Cubs fans just mindlessly shell out the dough for a cr*p product.  And I've also read some garbage here about the Reds and the Bengals not selling out.  I can't think of a more wretched ownership as far as the Bengals are concerned.  The county dedicates 15% of its budget to Paul Brown Stadium - so the residents are financially supporting that team by law no matter what.  And the Reds are a victim of a rough economic situation.  But there is a LOT of buzz this year, and I think you'll see a lot of Reds games being close to capacity.

btalbert25's picture

I kind of think fans in Cincinnati are fair weather in general, but I also think it's a result of how bad sports in this city are and how teams like the Bengals have screwed their fans over.  I agree with you, UC's problem getting people to the games has to do with the fan base being alienated over the Huggins firing.  They always had packed houses when he was the coach, and t hey lost a lot of fans after that firing. 

The Bengals are a mess I won't even touch, I can't stand that franchise or it's owner.  I wish they would've just let them walk instead of building them that new stadium.  They bring nothing positive to the table in my opinion.

The Reds are my favorite sports team out there, I love them and supposedly the city does too.  This is what drives me more crazy than anything with Cincinnati fans.  They'll complain about moves that aren't made, yet they don't come out to support the team either.  They are in a pennant race in 2010 and in August/September regular season games they were drawing like 19,000 on week nights.  Then they make the playoffs and someone like me, can't get tickets from the team, I have to try and find them from a scalper.  Demand was so high I wasn't lucky enough to win the ticket lottery for an opportunity to buy tickets.

This year, they are projecting if the Reds have a hot start tickets will be hard to come by.  I'll believe it when I see it personally.  I know their TV and radio ratings are high, but the only time the "fans" seem to come out is openning day, Playoffs, bobblehead games, and when something historic is about to happen like Griffey hitting 600 etc.  You know event he Big Red Machine never drew 3 million fans.  The Brewers have already sold over 2 million tickets for next season.  Philly has sold 3 million.  Reds fans just piss me off to no end.  I can make excuses for the Bengals(I wouldn't spend a dime in that stadium for the Bengals) and UC, but I just can't come up with any defense for Reds fans.

Bucksfan's picture

BT, I really do think it has to do with the fact that the region was hit pretty hard by the recession.  You couldn't have asked for a worse aligning of planets than everyone worried about their houses and a Reds unlikely playoff appearance:  a night out for a family of four at GABP is easly $150.  The 1970s weren't exactly a prosperous time, either.

I agree that more people need to go out to watch the team play if they want to keep talent like Joey Votto and BP around.  But where are those people going to come from?  You need a lot of young professionals.

btalbert25's picture

I don't disagree completely, there's no doubt that the recession hurt.  To be sure if I were going to take a family to the game and not get creative like Parking in Covington for free and bring my own refreshments, as the reds will let you bring in unopenned drinks and stuff like that, the game would be quite pricey.  Another thing is for some reason, Cincinnati had a real hard time getting over the whole strike in 94 too.  I still hear people say they won't go to a game because of that!  Then people use the excuse that the Cincinnati area has a lot of people who just prefer to come home and watch TV after work, that was something I kept hearing 2 years ago when no one was going to the games. 

I don't know the exact demographics, but I can't imagine that St. Louis which is larger, but not significantly larger than Cincinnati and Milwaukee are exactly boom towns.  I don't know, there's just a fickle aspect to Reds fans.  While I think there are some aspects that keep people away from the stadium, in a metro area over 2 million and a fan base that comprises other metro areas like Indy, Columbus(I know the Indians are popular there too), Dayton, Louisville, and Lexington, I would think even with a poor economy there should be more than 19,000 at the stadium when the team is playing at a high level.

At the same time, the season ticket base was extremely low from so many seasons of bad baseball, so maybe in the coming few years it won't be such an issue.  We'll see.  There definitely are a lot of factors, thy have to have the season ticket holders take more tickets, you won't get 30,000 walk ups per night, especially in a city like Cincinnati.  Maybe a quality team plus the banks development can help with walk up sales and get some larger crowds.  I know I've decided from a bar stool to go watch a game, if I were sitting on a stool across the street from the stadium it may make that decision even easier.

Bucksfan's picture

Good points.  Excuses on behalf of Reds fans that didn't show up much in 2010 are thin at best.  But another thing you're not pointing out is that those Reds were, I don't want to say "lucky," but they definitely played the easiest schedule of any playoff team.  They were awful against teams that finished over 0.500, including the Cardinals.  Not living in the area anymore, I had to catch the games when they were on national TV.  They lost all but 2 of them (I think it was 2-7 or something, not including getting swept against Philly).  

So, could it be that Reds fans were excited they were good, but recognized them as a pretender?  I don't know...shouldn't matter, really, you're right.  The Enquirer had some articles around that time pointing out what you're saying.  And I'm inclined to agree that the 20 straight years of bad baseball probably played a factor.

I was in town last weekend and checked out the Banks - pretty frickin' nice, I must say.  Having a good bar scene is vital to getting people out to the games.  It should help.  Hopefully.

btalbert25's picture

Yeah hard to believe it took so long to get that development going.  Glad they finally did so I don't know there's actually something to do near the stadium.  I'm really looking forward to go to that Christian Morelein Lager House.  I hear the Toby Keith place is cool, and Holy Grail is popular.  

I do agree there are a host of reasons why the attendance was down, I just hate when people make excuses for the baseball fans of Cincinnati.  Cincinnati is a great baseball town for 1 day a year, Openning Day, but they think they are on par with the other great baseball towns in America and that's just not the case anymore.  It really hasn't been for a long time. 

I hope it comes around and people start coming back, I'm just skeptical that it will. 

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

BT, I really do think it has to do with the fact that the region was hit pretty hard by the recession. 

Not to nitpick, but as someone who analyzes markets for a living (B.S. Economics tOSU 2010), I can tell you that Cincinnati was not hit nearly as hard by the recession as other places in Ohio and the rest of the region. Still though, the point is valid. In addition, a lot of it also has to do with the population continuing to move further away from the city. During the Big Red Machine years, the vast majority of the baseball fan demographic (i.e. families that would head down on a weeknight to the ballpark) lived within 15 minutes of downtown. That demographic has moved out to West Chester, Mason, and beyond.

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Here's a new short name for that school up north: U of M&Ms. Except the real ones taste better.

moopdawg's picture

Haven't seen Cincinatti play until I watched them last night against Florida State.  From what little I have seen, I feel confident in the Bucks getting the win.  Cincinatti seems to have lots of quickness, but they lack size.  I do not believe that they have anyone who can match up with Sullinger.  They will be forced to double him, and that should lead to Thomas, Craft, Buford, and Smith to get open looks.  With multiple days to prepare for this one, I see the Buckeyes being very focused and well rested. 

If the Buckeyes are focused, it means that they will communicate on the defense.  This will be the key to shutting down Cincinatti's penetration.  If this is accomplished, I see the Bearcats struggling to find any consistent offense.  Craft and the rest of the back court will need to take care of the ball, because I think Cincy will try to create offense by using their pressure D.  Once again, if the Bucks are focused, they should end up with a solid win from a gritty Cincinatti squad.  Looking forward to a good game.

 

 

spqr2008's picture

At least we should play Cinci every year.  They should be our biggest Out of Conference Rival in basketball.  Most years it would be a quality game, either win or lose, and help both programs, as it would most likely be an ESPN game.

Nick's picture

Same could be said for Xavier and other Ohio schools. Maybe a early season Ohio tournament a la NIT/Maui etc could benefit the Spielman foundation or some other cause

Squirrel Master's picture

I totally agree. Louisville and Kentucky are a heated rival and I couldn't imagine them not playing out of conference. They also play football every single year. That would be good for the buckeyes cuz cincinnati is decent in both.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

btalbert25's picture

Crazy thing about Louisville and UK is they didn't play for like 80 years.  I think the rivalry got renewed in the mid to late 80's and now it's a very heated rivalry.  I wouldn't mind seeing Ohio State schedule them every year in basketball and football.  Basketball it's a quality game and Football they can quit playing MAC teams from around Ohio and play a BCS conference school non conference every year.  It really is kind of silly to not have a natural in state rival to play every year, especially when they are both BCS programs.  It would be marginally tougher than playing a good MAC team and when UC almost wins or wins that crappy conference every year, it will help immensely with the BCS ratings.

Squirrel Master's picture

Not to mention the slight towards Michigan that we decided to find a more worthy advisary! lol

*of course nothing will replace the hate and rivalry of meatchicken!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Doc's picture

I think a UC-OSU rivalry every year in bb would relly be cool.  They could alternate sites and everyone involved would be a winner.  Playing them every year in foozball would be a stinker.  You are not going to schedule a home and home series with them.  Nippert is no bigger than a shoe box, and playing at Paul Brown is fun as a lark.  Plus the fact they think their football team is on par with ours.  It's not and playing them every year would give them the feeling it is.  How long would it be before UC would beat us in football?  10years?  Maybe more.

I totally agree with basketball.  That would be fun.  Ignore XU.

"Say my name."

Squirrel Master's picture

Cincinnati has no answer for Craft. Nobody does! Craft is looking to bring the championship, even if he has to do everything himself. On saturday he was an animal!

So, 1st round (or 2nd round, whatever the hell you want to call it), Thomas was the man and stepped up. In the next round it was Craft. Who is next? I say buford blows up on Cincinnati. Only because of matchups and its about time he does.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Maestro's picture

The Bucks looked focused against Gonzaga.  I expect them to take care of business.

vacuuming sucks

timdogdad's picture

i'm also remembering the bucks losing to scum in '92 in the reg finals and cincy wth nick van exel making the final 4. just more gas on the fire.  

Bucksfan's picture

I grew up a huge Bearcat fan.  My dad went to UC - it was why he moved to Cincy.  His brother went to UC.  The people on my mom's side of the family who went to college pretty much all went to UC.  When I was at OSU, I'd tape UC games and watch them later.  I had Cincy-native friends at OSU, and we'd all go to BW's to watch the Bearcats if they had a big game.  When I would go home for Christmas, I'd bum tickets from my relatives that had season tix that couldn't make it to the games.  I'm sure I'm not the only Buckeye student who did this, either.

So, I'm pretty loyal to that program.  I grew up with it, and despite being a Buckeye, I still follow them as my first love, with Ohio State being the program I ended up marrying.  That said, I'm really just rooting for a great game.  The outcome for me will be sweet either way.  I know that might not sit well with a lot of die-hards here.  But the OSU-UC rivalry is pretty much isolated to the NCAA tournament, so we should all just enjoy the fact that we get to 88mph it back to 1962.

This game is going to be a grind.  Ohio State is obviously the favored team here, but UC's identity all year has been to beat teams that they should lose to.  Looking forward to it.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

so we should all just enjoy the fact that we get to 88mph it back to 1962

I got a 2.1 gigawatt power source if you got the flux capacitor. Then we can bet on the games just like Biff.

Bucksfan's picture

What the hell is a gigawatt?!  2.1 oughtta do it, though I think 1.21 might suffice.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I see now, your Bearcat loyalty explains your insistence last night that Cincy is one of the best defensive teams in the country, despite being among the lower-half rated defences in Pomeroy of the sweet 16 teams:

Ohio St. = 1
Louisville = 2
Michigan St. = 3
Wisconsin = 4
Kansas = 5
Kentucky = 9
North Carolina = 11
Syracuse = 15
Marquette = 16
Cincinnati = 22
Baylor = 34
Indiana = 46
Ohio = 47
Xavier = 54
NC St. = 72
Florida = 74

Don't strain any facial muscles this week pretending to be neutral on this game. We know which way you swing.

Squirrel Master's picture

How about them Cardinals. I really think they could beat MSU. They have that type of game. Then again, Izzo doesn't fret against those types of teams. I think it will be a better game than Cincinnati and OSU. Just because I think OSU matches up well with Cincinnati.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I have to give them more credit than I was ready to give them last week. I had New Mexico beating them, in part because the game was in Portland. Now, to be fair, New Mexico inexplicably kept bricking open jump shots, but Louisville's D was solid.

The real test, though, is against MSU and I see Adreian Payne/Nix as the difference makers, outplaying Dieng. Louisville will have trouble scoring in the mid-50s, while MSU is very efficient offensively.

The one wildcard that might help Louisville is that MSU can be TO-prone, but Louisville's style is a two-edged sword: MSU loves to run and are very hard to beat when they get going in transition. They have the discpline to take running opportunities when they present themselves, but pull it out when it's not there. In other words, Louisville won't be able to dictate the pace; they'll only help MSU get a handful of easy buckets . . . UNLESS MSU starts turning over the ball.

MSU 63, Louisville 54.   

btalbert25's picture

I'm pretty sure Michigan State wins, but wouldn't be shocked to see UofL pull it out.  While only 2 players from this team were on the 2009 UofL squad, there's a revenge factor.  Plus, Pitino is a great coach.  I can't say enough how incredible it is that he was even able to get this year and last year's team into the tournament much less have success this season. 

Bucksfan's picture

Jeez, Fido, give it a rest, will you?  I see your 22nd-ranked defense as well-within the limits of "one of the best," particularly when there are 338 teams (top 6.5% nationally).  If you watched last night, you saw a team that gets their hands into passing lanes, and forces turnovers.  The Bearcats rank 17th in turnover margain (Ohio State is 24th), and UC averages 8.1 steals (36th) a game to OSU's 7.1 (101st).  Florida State ranks 7th in blocked shots, Cincinnati 45th, Ohio St. 192nd.

What Ohio State is very good at is scoring defense, where it is 14th.  Cincinnati is 34th, Florida State is 66th in a very high scoring conference.

Like I said, I'm not really familiar with Pomeroy.  It looks like you need a subscription.  I think all of those rankings you're posting would qualify as proprietary information that you need to pay for.  So, be careful.

nickma71's picture

Cedar Point is in Sandusky, not Ottawa County. Although I would have preferred the shorter drive than the 40 minutes to get there. Don't people use editors any more?

Jason Priestas's picture

What does this refer to?

BucksfanXC's picture

I think it means the Ohio poster pictured above.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

If you go by the county, Cedar Point is in Sandusky, which is in Erie County.

klfeck's picture

I was born in Cincinnati, lived here most of my life and went to UC. I am a Bucks fan and always will be. I don't get the envy or hatred from some UC folks. I support UC because it is my home city, a city that happens to be in Ohio where the state school is Ohio State. All I can say is it must be the Napolean complex.

Kevin
OH!!!!!
Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

Squirrel Master's picture

I've never been much of a fan of Ohio University, but I was rooting like hell for them to beat UM. I also have no problems with any of the teams in Ohio, but whenever they face OSU I am not pleased to think about them winning against OSU. Buckeyes are #1 priority, then it goes: state, conference, coast bias, national, planitary. I can root for anyone in those settings (Ohio over Michigan, B1G over SEC, Boston over LA, USA vs Russia, Earthlings vs Mars) except Michigan and any team coached by Saban. Even when Michigan plays Alabama this year, I will hope somehow, some way, they both find a way to lose.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

btalbert25's picture

See, I have a totally different view on my loyalty to my teams.  I personally don't care what state I live in.  I'm from Kentucky but who cares.  People always say that to me, why do you like Ohio State, YOU'RE FROM KENTUCKY!!!!!!!!!  I didnt' know that was a pre-req for cheering for a team.  I do like some of the other KY schools like UofL and WKU but more so because I've been to games or hung out a lot on their campus.  I like Morehead because I like to fish at Cave Run Lake and had spent a week on campus there when I was in high school one summer. 

I guess I just don't have a lot of state pride.  Don't get me wrong, I love the state of Kentucky, there's a lot to like really.  I love Ohio too though, and Maine, Indiana, Arizona, Rhode Island, and most of the other 42 states i've been fortunate enough to visit.  I don't know, just my 2 cents.  I really don't get having pride in all things Kentucky, or whatever respective state one comes from.

Squirrel Master's picture

Well I am not saying so much pride in the state teams, I mean moreso on who to root for in a game or challenge. I would prefer a team from Ohio over say a team from any other state. I too live in Kentucky and do have some affiliation with Louisville. I like to see them win, but I am a bit torn when they play Cincinnati because I just root moreso for ohio teams than other states teams. It doesn't mean I have pride in them. I only have pride in OSU! If Louisville loses or any ohio team does, I feel nothing. When OSU wins or loses, my life depends on it (figuratively).

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Doc's picture

When did UC change their school colors to purple and pink?  Those unis are ugly.

"Say my name."

Bucks's picture

I have absolutely NO desire to play UC & was really hoping for a FSU draw. Our guys had better come out on their game.