Second Half Collapse Ends Ohio State's Season

By Chris Lauderback on March 31, 2012 at 11:55p
82 Comments

AP: Chris GraythenStaring at screen. Not sure what to type. 

On one hand, there's no sugar coating what was an utter collapse as Ohio State blew a 13 point lead by hitting just 24% of their shots in the 2nd half while allowing Kansas to hit 54% of theirs before completely falling apart over the final two minutes to fall 64-62 tonight in the Final Four

On the other hand, a team comprised of one senior, one junior and 10 freshmen/sophomores (though those soph's were battle tested) turned around what was teetering on becoming a disappointing season after losing three of five games in mid-late February by coming together to win eight of their last 10 games, to capture a share of the B1G regular season crown, a #2 seed in the Big Dance and a trip to New Orleans.

Willie Buford stepped up in his final game in the scarlet and gray with a game high 19 points to go along with seven boards but it wasn't enough to overcome a not good enough effort from both Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger. The pair that had done so much allowing Ohio State to get to this point flat out didn't get it done tonight combining to miss 25 of 33 shots. 

Sullinger did put up a 13/11 dub dub but hit just 5/19 from the floor and helped Jeff Withey set a Final Four record with seven blocks. 

Thomas was saddled with foul trouble and connected on only 3/14 shots. When he was on the pine the offense was mostly reduced to running the shot clock before trying to force a one on one move from out top or else a foolishly attemped bully move from Sully in traffic as Kansas went to aggressively double teaming Jared when he received the ball in the post. 

Leading 59-56 after an Aaron Craft layup with 2:23 left in regulation, the Buckeyes surrendered an 8-3 run the rest of the way. 

After Tyshawn Taylor hit a layup cutting the lead to 59-58, Craft forced a drive on Withey and he turned the shot away leading to a fast break and two free throws by Travis Releford giving Kansas a 60-59 lead with 1:37 to play. 

The Buckeyes responded with a disjointed possession that culminated in Buford missing a makeable but off balance shot in traffic. In one of the themes of the night, the Buckeyes were then sluggish in transition defense and Elijah Johnson hit a layup giving the Jayhawks a 62-59 lead with :27 left on the clock. 

On the ensuing possession, Buford delivered a clean pass to Thomas at the top of the key but Thomas took his eye off the rock and leading to another empty possession. Kansas couldn't capitalize after a Withey walk but down three with :17 left, Thomas rushed back to back threes, the second of which Buford follow up slammed cutting the deficit t 62-61 with 9.6 left in OSU's season. 

Forced to foul, Lenzelle Smith Jr. put Taylor on the line and he drilled both for a 64-61 lead with 8.3 showing. Smith Jr. threw away the ensuing inbounds pass but KU turned it right back over with 3.8 left but it   was a moot point as the Jayhawks purposefully fouled Craft. He hit the first free throw and missed the 2nd on purpose but committed a lane violation trying to track down the rebound and that was that. 

The final two minutes were truly disgusting. I can't imagine how the coaches and players feel especially knowing it should've never even came down to those fateful 120 seconds after Ohio State led by 13 on five different occasions. 

Ohio State's 8/33 display in the 2nd half dropped the Buckeyes to 34% shooting overall (20/59) while Kansas finished at 45%. 

The Jayhawks owned the paint outscoring the Buckeyes 32-16 and Ohio State tried to counter by holding a 23-8 bulge in points off turnovers. 

Thomas Robinson abused Thomas and Evan Ravenel scoring 19 points (8/18) with eight boards, Withey threw in eight rips to go along with his noted seven swats and Johnson pulled down 10 caroms as Kansas won the glass 42-30. 

It didn't look like the story would unfold like this after Ohio State used a 14-4 run to take a 26-13 lead with 6:11 left in the 1st half. Buford keyed the spurt with back to back triples before Thomas scored the last five points on a trey and a putback of a Craft miss. 

The lead remained in the 11-13 point range for most of the rest of the half thanks to pesky defense by Craft as he held Taylor to 2/7 shooting with three turnovers while his teammates helped hold KU's virtual two man offense to 11/30 from the floor (37%) with nine turnovers. Meanwhile, Ohio State used a balanced attack led by Buford's eight points (3/3 FG), seven each from Sully, Thomas and Smith, and five points, three assists from Craft. 

The half - in a bit of foreshadowing - ended on a sour note. Leading by 13 with 42 seconds left Craft fouled Taylor leading two a pair of free throws and on the ensuing possession, Craft made a poor decision penetrating too deep against Withey and his blocked shot triggered a Releford layup just before the halftime buzzer trimming the lead to 34-25. 

Even up nine, it felt like a momentum shift was in process and that was certainly the case as the Buckeyes missed their first eight shots of the 2nd half and Kansas opened on a 13-4 run to tie the game at 38 with 14:06 left. 

At the 2:48 mark, the Jayhawks finally grabbed their first lead since scoring the opening bucket of the game after two free throws from Releford capped a 7-0 Kansas run. Following a couple free throws from Thomas and a sick steal and layup helped the Buckeyes regain the lead at 59-56 with 2:23 to play, the aforementioned sloppy finish unfolded, euthanizing Ohio State's season in the process. 

Overall, an excrutiating way to watch this team go out but reaching the Final Four is always a major accomplishment and something last year's juggernaut couldn't accomplish. A tip of the cap to these Buckeyes despite the dismal late game performance. 

And many thanks to William Buford for four years of service. He went out like a lion. It seems a foregone conclusion that Sullinger also played his last game as a Buckeye and it's a shame he went out with a lackluster effort, at least by the standard he set for himself. Now we see where Thomas is at, if anyone (JD?) plans to transfer and what changes the staff might endure with Boals and Dickerson rumored for potential head coaching gigs. 

 

82 Comments

Comments

Baroclinicity's picture

'Twas a good run.  Looking forward to stomping Michigan's guts out in football.

Go Bucks!!

Moses Cleveland's picture

Go Bucks! William Buford is a warrior. Hate to see the senior go out with a loss - but let's be honest, the Final Four is a huge accomplishment for this team and for Buckeye Nation.

Thanks #44.

Baroclinicity's picture

Thanks #44 indeed.  And #0 and #1 if they go.

Emily's picture

^What he said. Still kind of mad though. I feel like I'll never see one of my teams win a championship (save for 2002).

William's picture

Fencing and synchronized swimming brought in titles this year.

Emily's picture

That's awesome, but I mean like football, basketball, etc. Revenue sports. And talking about pro sports too. Just sick of being so close.

buckeyedude's picture

No disrespect to the "players", but I have a hard time getting JACKED for fencing and synchonized swimming season.

 

 
 

cbusbuckeye's picture

We all feel your pain. We've seen great football teams (2005, 2006, 2010, and 2007) that couldnt get it done, and great hoops teams as well (2006-2007, 2010-2011, 2011-2012). How many times is it going to take before one breaks through? Getting so close and coming up short is the worst feeling in the world.

BuckeyeMark's picture

Emily,

You will see at least one crystal fb if not more within five years.  Basketball is tough - such a long road to get a championship.  If this team had been voted to the national title game after the Big Ten reg season - well, anything is possible in one game. 

It was a great season.  We're hanging a FF banner and there's no need to apologize for that!  Tough way to lose but I'm proud of our team.  Go Bucks!

BlockOHBuckeye's picture

Remember, Urban F'ing Meyer is our head coach who knows how to win a national championship. Let's win one in 2013 to mirror our most recent from 2003. tOSU is the only (and will remain) school north of the Mason-Dixon to win tMNC. Basketball loss was tough; now we look forward to Spring Football.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

The thing that's bumming me out now, aside from the horrific sight of watching the Buckeyes blow a 13-point lead against an offense-challenged team, is that we might have seen this program go as high as it's going to get. Matta has been fortunate to coach in an era where the Indiana program reached historic lows, Michigan was crawling back from the depths, and Illinois has been in the hands of an Eldon Miller-type who didn't scare anybody.

Now Michigan and Indiana are back, and Illinois has a shot at improving with a new coach. This is crucial because when you think about the best players Matta has recruited, you've got Oden and Conley (Indiana), Turner (Illinois) and Sullinger (a Columbus kid). You're not going to get high school All-Americans out of Columbus all that often, and the future equivalents of Oden, Conley, and Turner from those states are going to be harder to come by now. Winning a national title at some point could have been what set us up as a program that can recruit nationally (look at Kansas's starters, the ones who committed after they won it all 4 years ago: kids from Vegas, San Diego, DC, and New Jersey), but it didn't happen, and next year looks like a step back at best, and "NIT here we come" at worst.

I enjoyed this run, but I worry it might be the last one for a while.

 

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

Emily's picture

Ugh those are good and depressing points.

faux_maestro's picture

You seem to think that Thad took advantage of the fact that those teams were down. I think that those teams were down BECAUSE of Thad and his recruiting. We will see what happens but I like our chances.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

Poison nuts's picture

Word!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

buckeyedude's picture

Now Michigan and Indiana are back,...

LOL. Michelin is "back?" R U friggin serious? That is the funniest comment I've read. But, I do agree with you that we may have seen two golden opportunities to win a title in basketball slip through our fingers, last year and this year. Next year Matta is rebuilding without Sully and Thomas. Case closed.

 
 

faux_maestro's picture

Yeah....and isn't 25% of M!CH!G@N's team transfering/leaving for the NBA?

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

btalbert25's picture

Honestly, I'm not too worried about recruiting.  Thad was able to recruit well at Xavier.  They may lose some recruits but Thad  is why players will come to Ohio State.  Kids commit to the coach.  They may lose a player here and there, but I don't worry much about Missing out on guys like Connelly or Oden. 

 

Buckeyeholicwompa's picture

Take this Final Four team of 2012 vs. the Championship team of 2008 and who do you think wins? I'll say I think this Final Four team, simply cuz they seem better balanced.

JakeBuckeye's picture

To the "Debbie-downers" and the wallowers:

Gain perspective. You are a fan and/or alumni of THE greatest institution and athletics program in America. For whatever reason, God or whatever higher power you believe in, gave you an immense amount of love and passion for this place. That is an absolute blessing. Believe that. Last year I'm ashamed to say I was a wallower after the Kentucky game and the whole Tressel saga. I was cynical and bitter and depressed. Then this summer hit. My dad passed and my mom has never been quite the same, and Ohio State became something I never realized it was - a safehaven. This football and basketball season have been incredible escapes and incredible rides. I will never associate bitterness or sadness with Ohio State EVER again, nor do I think anybody should. There is so much more to life than Ohio State, but at the same time its also a big part of our lives. I truly believe that should only be associated with the joyful and greatful part of our lives. Its disappointing to not be playing on Monday, but am I the only one who just had a hell of a month? That was one the most fun months I've EVER had as a Buckeye fan.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Okay when I took a second look at that I didn't want people to take the part about my dad the wrong way.

What I meant by that was that we ALL have problems, and that Ohio State should never be considered one of them.

pcon258's picture

I agree completely. as agonizing as it is to lose when we were so close, the fact that we made it this far is fantastic. we watch these games because its fun to watch, and theres no sense following sports if we wallow around after a loss. whose ready for baseball and spring ball?

andretolstoy's picture

Why is this game seen as a collapse? Basketball is a game of runs. We ran the first half. They caught up on the second. Against Cincy and 'Cuse our final runs kept us in the game, against Kansas we came up short. That's basketball.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Totally agree college hoops is a game of runs but shooting 24% in the 2nd half, blowing a 13 point lead and bumbling away the final 2 minutes felt like a collapse to me. Just a matter of opinion, I suppose.

I have to believe the players and coaches feel like it was more of a "collapse" than "basketball" but again, I think it's a matter of opinion. 

CALPOPPY's picture

But Kansas is one of the best defenses, too. Had the roles been reversed would we be thinking that Kansas collapsed because we locked down on them in the 2nd half? Especially if they had their best scorer sitting on the pine?

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

andretolstoy's picture

I agree that you can look at the final two minutes as a collapse.  No excuses. I believe even Matta stated that the players were not in position the final play.

andretolstoy's picture

Should add that this was a shining coaching job done by Coach Matta to bring these guys out of the Feb-slump.

Colin's picture

I have to give a kudos to Buford...I was really down on him the last half of the year and most of the tournament. He really stepped up in this game. Deshaun flopped though, I don't get the awful desperation 3's he chucked up at the end. It reminded me of the Wisconsin loss, oh no we need a three better just throw one up there even if I'm not open...or on 2 feet. He had like a complete mental breakdown at the end of these games.

It was a great year...we just fell a bit short. Unfortunately, next year most likely won't be nearly as good.

zbd's picture

Don't know why Sullinger has so many problems with mediocre tall white guys. Don't know why the Bucks played like a wuss the second half. Don't know why Kansas out hustled the Bucks. The stupid play at the end of the first half set the frame for the downfall.  Just poor shooting at the most important time of the year.  On to football.

deafmix3's picture

I don't think Withey is particularly mediocre.  Seven blocks in a game is no small potatoes.  He's agile, w/ the volleyball skills, and if he puts on some muscle I can see him playing a couple years as an NBA backup or ten years in Europe.  Which is what Sullinger and Thomas are looking at if they believe their own hype and leave after that disaster...  That game was like a highlight reel of how NOT-ready for the NBA those two are.  Forget Withey - Robinson is the sort of player you face every night, all game, in the NBA, and he is in an entirely different category, and he owned the court the whole second half.  Sullinger did look like he'd never played against a tall guy before, and continuing to force shots that were either stuffed in his face or flickered harmlessly off the top of the backboard was stubborn to the point of bizarre.  But I'm with the people - or I will be in a week - who said that a Final Four for this group equates a triumph.  I don't think Matta can ever win it all unless he learns to use a bench, but his strength as a coach is in recruiting guys like Buford - and thank you for a great career, sir - and Craft and Smith, Jr. and Lighty and Diebler.  Ultimately, the one (or two)-and-done's are irrelevant - I, for one, do not feel as though Oden or Conley or Cook were "Buckeyes" and have forgotten them - but in this day of selfish play and mega-hype, Matta brings in good young men who make me proud of my alma mater, and that is saying something.        

Idaho Helga's picture

Agreed totally with the "Matta will not win a championship until he learns to use his bench".

I suspect next year we see how good Amir is and go "WTF? WHere was he Last year?"

Idaho Helga's picture

Agreed totally with the "Matta will not win a championship until he learns to use his bench". I suspect next year we see how good Amir is and go "WTF? WHere was he Last year?"

Michael's picture

I didn't even think about this, but I wonder what happens if Craft scores/gets fouled/eats up the clock on that last first half possession that lead to the Kansas fast break and 2-points at the buzzer.

Tim's picture

Still wonder what happens if bad calls that put Thomas on the bench don't happen.  Anyway, in fewer than 48 hours, Kentucky will have stomped Kansas, and it won't matter.

awwwwwwop's picture

Thank you Willie buckets

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Deshaun Thomas played INCREDIBLY selfish tonight. I can't be the only one who thinks this.

I understand he's a scorer, and that he's going to take his fair share, but the quality of shots were terrible. THey were rushed wide open looks or desperation heaves.

If he thinks he's ready for the NBA, lol.....

William Buford shoild have taken the last few shots. Period. No discussion needed.

If Thomas leaves, good riddance. If he comes back, hopefully his game matures, and he can become the top 10 pick he's capable of being.

luckynutz's picture

Agree with this totally. What in Gods name was he thinking? You aren't the guy...buford is. Buford has put in the time and effort. And earned the right to have the ball in his hands with the chance to e to send it to ot. Make or miss, he should have been given the chance to exend his career for at least 5 minutes.

Brutus's picture

Great season. It was always likely to end in disappointment at some point. I'm just glad that it ended in late March and not sooner. Thanks Willie. I wanted a better finish for you more than anyone, but it's been a joy watching you play and having you on this team.

HolyBuckeye1093's picture

Wanna give props to Buford for a great OSU career. Too bad it had to end this way but very proud of him over the past 4 years. Gonna be a rough 2012-13 if we lose DT and Sully to the draft next year without getting anyone in the 2012 class. We're gonna need Ross, Thompson and Scott to develop big time offensively to compete for a Big Ten title next year.

moopdawg's picture

Buford was shooting well tonight.  I was really hoping we'd run the offense through him a lot more, especially with Sully being contained and Thomas being in foul trouble. 

Run pick and roll with Buford and Sully to get Whithey away from the rim.  Whithey is slow. The further away from the rim, the more awkward Whithey looks and the lanes to the rim begin to look a lot clearer.  Buford then can make a read -- pull up, go to the rim, or pass to Sully or to one of his other teammates. 

Maybe this would have worked, maybe not.  But whatever it was that we were running was not getting us any consistency on offense in the 2nd half.  Players are told to play like it may be their last game -- coaches need to do the same thing.  Make adjustments and take some risks!!! 

What frustrates me the most is that I really believe that at every position we are either even with Kansas or better than them.  They adjusted, and we didn't. 

Alright, I'm done venting for now.  Have a good night, Buckeyes.  The future is bright for basketball and football.  However, this night sucks.

JakeBuckeye's picture

And who knows, maybe Sullinger and Thomas sit down, realize how poopy this night felt, and realize how good this team can be with their services next year. That's obviously wishful thinking, though.

German Buckeye's picture

Willie B, many thanks for sticking with the team for 4 years! YOU are an Ohio State Buckeye! APPRECIATE YOU!  Best of luck as a pro...

TatumRuled's picture

As much as I love and respect Thad Matta, he's turning out to be the John Cooper of basketball: He's an excellent recruiter, has a good record, but seems to blow most of the really big games.

"Hell, Woody didn't recruit me; he recruited my mother!" -Jack Tatum                       

faux_maestro's picture

Yeah EXCEPT Coop never made it to the championship game, didn't win as many B1G titles and couldn't beat the rival. That isn't Thad's MO. Seriously, anyone who thinks Thad isn't the right coach for this team needs to remember the previous coaches/results of this basketball team.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

faux_maestro's picture

Also, while I'm not saying Matta is coach K or anything, but coach K made 2 championship games and 2 semifinals before he won his first title. I remember people saying things like "coach K can't win the big game" and now he's considered the best in the game.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

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

Great point.

As you think about the future, I've read Matta would like to coach until 55 depending on his foot. My question is how long will some of the other elite coaches stay in the game?

Boeheim is 67. Coach K is 65. Roy Williams is 61. Pitino is 59. If these coaches hang it up and their programs take a hit, I like Matta's chances of getting a championship.

 

 

 

ScottS's picture

Thad is a great coach--not sure OSU is going to do a whole lot better in the near future. I think we should be grateful for what we have.

Idaho Helga's picture

Comparing Matta to Cooper is ridiculous. I'm old enough to remember the Eldon Miller days. He had Herb Williams and Kelvin Ramsey on the same team in '78 & '79. Talk about talent!

And where was this program before Matta?

I think the word "collapse" is fair for last night. But overall I'm very proud of the team and like others have said, you have to look at the big picture. Our basketball team just went to the final 4 and Urban Renewal is in full swing. Listening to a press conference, Urban mentioned in passing about 3-5 players names who he said have put on 20-30lbs on muscle in the weight room just THIS WINTER and I can't wait to see this team and the changes made.

I live in the pacific Northwest where there is nothing to cheer about sports-wise locally so yeah.... I'm very proud and happy to be a Buckeye. Folks around here would kill to have Gonzaga or Wazzu (I won't even mention Idaho, I had a better chance at Friday's lottery) get to a final 4 or have football players or coaches the quality of ours.

I think it was a bright spot to have Buford go out with good performance given the tough spring he had. Thomas would be wise to stay a year and learn better defense.

throttlefinger's picture

What a rollercoaster ride! The expectation of this team, from what I recall, was to be a team that could make it into the FF. Granted, they should be playing against KY but devolved into the shoot first offensive that plagued them in February. This was a hardheaded team that probably got a little too big headed early in the season, humbled in the middle and focused in the tourney. Shame they resulted in their old ways. Craft was uncharacteristically aggressive on offensive and made some very bad decisions that ended up costing them a lot of momenteum. Then again, that aggressiveness on both ends helped get them up by 13. Sullinger, dude you are going to get your ass beat in the pros if you don't realize your abundant talent won't compensate for getting an inch off the ground. Pass the ball out and make quicker decisions. But you've been a BEAST to our program. Smith Jr., I see you filling a lot of holes offensively next year. Thomas, I'll take it by your play that you're going pro. Wish last night you would've been the inside/outside player that became an unstoppable force during the tourney...rather than the blistering 3 pointer shooter you imagine you are. And Buford, I will look at your accomplishments collectively rather than focus on the frustrating senior season. Way to go out strong. Thank you Willy B. Matta, you frustrate the shit out of me with your substitution and TO decisions. But other than Coach K and Izzo, couldn't have a better coach running the Buckeyes. Summation: shitty ending to a very disorienting and overall successful season.

buckeyedude's picture

Craft was uncharacteristically aggressive on offensive and made some very bad decisions that ended up costing them a lot of momentum.

I agree with everything you said except this quote. Craft uncharacteristically aggressive? I would call it "hustle." That is Craft's trademark. There is nothing "uncharacteristic" about it.  I wish the rest of the Buckeye team would have been uncharacteristically aggressive. Especially in the second half. Maybe OSU would have won?

And if you recall in the first half, Craft hit some "uncharacteristic clutch 3-pointers" that he rarely hits. No...Craft and Willie B played hard. The rest of 'em? Not so much, and that is why OSU is not playing in the championship game. So close. So damn close, again.

 
 

throttlefinger's picture

Agree with you on a whole. Specificially I was talking about his drives to the hoop. He was getting himself in a jam and doing more times than he usually does. Normally, he drives and it's a one on one play that he usually wins. Last play of the 1st and a lot of the 2nd half he was going into traffic hoping the refs would bail him out (and I think he was fouled on the play to end the half). But yes, everyone else should've played as hard. Although I liked Smith Jr and Thompson's efforts as well. Both played with much more confidence.

AltaBuck's picture

He over penetrated quite a few times and was not getting the calls, typically by drawing contact on Withey. I would think at least 3 or 4 of Withey's blocks were on Craft drives. He needed to adjust That being said, there is no tOSU player I'd rather see on the court.

Craft certainly picked up his offensive game in the tourney. His perimeter shooting looked the best it's ever been. That bodes well going into next season.

And Thank You Willie Buckets! You came back for your senior year, led this team to the Final4 and put up with tons of shit but still played a great game last night when the pressure was highest. Good Luck to you at the next level.

I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon. - Crash Davis

throttlefinger's picture

Agree on all accounts. Craft was the leader of this team and his intensity on D got us out of many jams when the O stalled. 

ScottS's picture

Thanks Willie B! And good luck.

3cent's picture

I hate to say this, but maybe this loss is a good thing because this team would have gotten blown out by 20 plus against UK (another SEC team). Perception wise it is better to get to the final 4 and lose by two, than to get to the NC game and get blown out.

klfeck's picture

Kansas has better celebrate now because ky is gonna beat them like a drum.

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

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I'm disappointed and feel bad for the kids who played their asses off and worked so hard this season despite what some of the posters on here say.

I'm still amazed that OSU didn't push the pace on offense. It almost always leads to something good. Kansas' defense was serious. I was impressed. The only thing that I'm still kind of mad about is the way Kansas would push the pace bringing the ball down, go the length of the court and drive and score. They would screen Craft at the top and Sully or whoever was down low was to slow to pick up the guy driving. It happened like six times in the second half. Was totally an adjustment by Self. It's what put them up by 3 at the end. Can't believe OSU didn't respond to it better. Or in the waning minutes, actually see it coming to defend it.

At least GoT is on tonight.

AltaBuck's picture

I was thinking the same thing last night about GoT. Something to look forward to and get my mind off that 2nd half. That dumbass Jayhawk logo might as well have been black "dark wings, dark words".

I have been known on occasion to howl at the moon. - Crash Davis

BuckeyeJim's picture

This seemed like a movie where WB's body went into DT and Sully. The numbers were all wrong. WB took more shots than any player in Buckeye history. I don't know how proud he is of that record. He had all the talent to be excetional but not the mindset. Good luck in the future WB.

Emily's picture

Following a night of rest (and a Twitter rant), I feel a little bit better. A final four appearance is still something to be proud of, especially when our team didn't look so good during that one stretch in the season. It may be awhile until we get this opportunity in basketball again, but at least we have football to look forward to!

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

When Tank was guarding Robinson down low, did anyone notice how Tank was taking an extreme amount of punishment? He looked like he was getting punched in the chest. I think that caused Tank's offense to struggle a bit. I know people are hating on Deshaun but he had to guard the only offensive threat Kansas has and the dude is a monster. Tank has to take shots. He has been the only consistent threat. Hind site and all that.

RedStorm45's picture

Well, the rest of the team for KU scored what 46? So he's not their only offensive threat.  That was going to be the key matchup/mismatch and Tank lost.

Abe Froman's picture

It was a season to be thankful for (as a fan) and to be proud of as a player. From my perspective, the team just seemed to run out of gas at around the 4 min mark in the second half. Understandably so, as the bench support was minimal at best.

Next years will be interesting with a 3 guard rotation and Ross either starting or coming off the bench. At least I hope he matures enough......

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

TNbuckeye91's picture

That hurt pretty bad and the predators lost too. Badn night for me

RedStorm45's picture

Up 55-49 with 5:07 to go...score 7 the rest of the way.  Pathetic.  No offensive flow in the 2nd half whatsoever.  We started jacking up 3's when what got us here was our game inside the arc sprinkled in with some 3's.  That was about a bad a half of basketball as we played all season minus one or two against MSU.

Buford hit the most shots from the field (6) but THREE other players took more attempts.  Did they not learn the lesson of the hot hand?

Our National Title to Final Four appearances is now below 10% (or at 10% if you don't count '99).  This is getting really hard to swallow.

I know this isn't the time, but does anyone else think we're extremely WEAK at finishing at the rim? How many of Kansas' blocks would have been 2 points and/or a foul if our guys had taken one more dribble and tried to throw it down (with the exception of Craft because that's not really part of his game)?  Sully had at least a lay-up or two swatted/altered when he could have dunked it.  Throughout the season, we've left a lot of points at the rim on blocked or missed layups.

Brutus's picture

I measure the magnitude of a loss by whether it makes me lose sleep. 2006 was the worst it's ever been. I didnt get a decent night's sleep for about a week. It was like someone died and I'd just lay there in bed lamenting it. It was pathetic really because no one died and no one got hurt and the loss meant nothing in the bigger picture. Thankfully, I'm not that bad anymore. I slept pretty good last night. I guess in my mind, this loss doesn't rate losing sleep over. I said at the beginning of the season that anything less than a Final Four would be a disappointment. Anything more would be icing. Last night was icing.

RedStorm45's picture

This was disturbing, post-game...Sully - "I wasn't really expecting Kansas to double team.  It kind of caught me off guard."

What? You've been doubled ALL SEASON with the exception of the game in Madison.  Sure, not EVERY time he touches the ball, but to be confused by a double team is sad, especially in game 39.

rdubs's picture

Well with Withey on him as the primary defender they didn't double him most of the night and it worked pretty well.  That is what he got used to, so it was a different look once they started to double.  Plus it wasn't like he was dominating Withey so he would expect some help later on.  Pretty benign statement to me after watching the game.

klfeck's picture

I am not completely disappointed. While I believe the Buckeyes certainly could have beat the Jayhawks, I was not delusional enough to see them getting past Kentucky this year. There is absolutely nothing shameful with this team not making it past the final four. We all know this team had its limitations. Had this been the same team as last year I would be much more disappointed. I appreciate what this team accomplished with what they had to work with. I hope WB and Sully both do well in the NBA. I really hope Thomas sticks around another year. And I can't wait to watch Craft impress us all with his amazing hustle next season. I'd love to see the Bucks develop a serious rebounder. That was missing all season and was a glaring weakness last night. Thank you Bucks for a great season and for giving me many hours of enjoyment while watching. GO BUCKS!

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

baddogmaine's picture

How you feel about the game depends on whether you'tre a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty type. The former can celebrate getting to the final four - it's more than I expected with a roster with no outside shooters at all, no scorers on the bench, and too much of the starting five that did too little on offense for too long. That we lead for most of the game and only lost by two is amazing, given how poorly Craft, Sullinger and Thomas shot.

But I can't watch a game like that and not wish . . . I wish Matta were capable of making adjustments at half and during games, as Self did. Kansas adjusted, we never did, leaving mismatches that could have been corrected; transition defense that stopped transitioning. I wish Sullinger understood that trying to prove you can outplay a seven footer is a good way to get a lot of shots blocked and look bad on too many of the shots that don't get blocked. Had he kicked out insead of muscling the second half might have been much different. I wish Craft recognized that if Sully was getting stuffed he was going to get stuffed too, and stopped trying to drive the lane. Back to wishing Matta would tell students how to play rather than watching them wreck the train. After wishing for so long that Buford would sit I wish he had not picked up a cheap second foul when he was actually shooting well, breaking his and the team's flow. And I wish that this had been the game that Sully had had to sit with foul trouble, because given his selfish, macho approach I think we might have done better with more Emir and less Jared.

I'd bet my house that Sullinger goes pro. And when he declares Thomas will see too little reason to come back and leaves too (one bad shooting game will not undo his terrific play in the tournament before that). Unless Matta is bringing in a ton of talent the Buckeyes might struggle in 2012-3 even in a depleted Big Ten (the league is losing a LOT of talent. If Cody Zeller doesn't leave early the Hoosiers might be the best of show.)

buckeye76BHop's picture

Couldn't agree with you more about the coaching...Self did a great job in the second half and for some still undetermined reason...Matta TOTALLY changed the line up that had got us to thirteen point lead 3 different times in the first half.  Thompson never saw the court again...still don't know why (he didn't make any shots but made several key plays on rebounds that turned into transition points for others).  That's just one example...I could go on.  The starting five besides Thomas started and played most of the second half besides Ravey and after his HORRIBLE positioning on Def to allow that momentum changing dunk by Robinson, that should have been the last time he was on the court...but it wasn't.  Amir must not be good enough...LOL.  Matta got out coached and the team shot for shit in the second half...key to the loss...bottom line.  Why Matta never uses the talent he has on the bench will never make any sense to me...OSU got gassed too many times last night and during the year as well.  If you got the talent...then use it...unless there isn't any...in that case look forward to a long year for 2013 unless one or both studs come back...which they won't.  

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

It's incredulous to think Sullinger and Thomas are NBA-ready. Last night proved they need another year of schooling on college basketball floors so they don't end up on some NBA bench as the team's number 10 player for the next five years. Yeah, that was some kind of double-double for Sully...5 for 19 doesn't cut it in my book for praising him that way. Thomas was terrible, too. He played selfish and when he needed to be alert in the last minute, he let a pass get away from him. He looked like a big whining crybaby on the bench, too. This was the biggest game of the season for them and they blew it. Sorry, scarlet-colored Buckeye fans but this OSU fan sees it that way. It's also ironic that the guys who carried Buford when he played poorly in the tournament failed to help Buford last night. That was Will's best game of the NCAA and outside of the always reliable Craft, no one bothered to help him out.

buckeye76BHop's picture

It was a collapse no doubt about it.  The Bucks were very bipolar at times this year and they unfortunately did it again last night.  Shooting upwards in the high 30s to low 40% and then 24% in second half is a collapse.  Give KU credit where its due...they took advantage of Thomas in foul trouble and used their bench players well (and played much better in the final minutes of the game).  Not to mention their all American stepped up where ours did not...hopefully that bad performance will convince Sully and Thomas to stay...but I'm not silly they're both gone.  Would be nice to see this as the starting five next year (Craft, Smith Jr, Thompson, Thomas, and Sullinger).  Oh well...nice to dream anyway.  

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

CRAFTFORTHESTEAL's picture

Or Craft, Smith Jr, Thomas, Sully, Amir, no will want to take it to the basket. Amir could be a monster on the block, he just doesnt get the playing time to prove it.

Pay It Forward!

dubjayfootball90's picture

sucks to see WB go. Loved the way he played man. Here's to an offseason where the ones who stay work to get this taste out of their mouths and get hungry for next season. Go Buckeyes! Great Season!!!!

andyr78's picture

Thomas had no business taking the last 2 shots.  Not saying he lost the game or anything, but the one shot was very contested and (sorry can't remember who, think it was Sully) was standing in the corner wide open.  This years draft is incredibly deep.  It wouldn't suprise me if one or both Thomas, and Sully came back.  Not saying I expect it, but with the NBA being locked out earlier this year a lot of the 'one and done' players last year came back for their sohphomore seasons.

Did anyone hear Sully say that he thought Kansas just wanted it more?  That comment really bothered me, with him sitting at the press conference with Buford after the game.

Congrats to the Buckeye basketball team!  They had a great season, making it to the Final Four is no easy task.  Look forward to many more in the future.

osubuckeye4life's picture

^ Exactly, the loss stings however I'm still proud of this team.

They were able to navigate some tough games and got the Sweet 16 monkey off their backs.

UK would have most likely smashed us but we'll never know.

I'm pulling for Kansas on Monday but I doubt they can beat UK.

Looks like another banner will be taken from the rafters of Rupp Arena in due time.

Willy B showed up when it counted but an off night by Thomas sunk this ship.

Thanks for the four years Willy B you will go down as one of the Buckeye greats. 

Craft played great but couldn't take over the game like he did against the Zags.

This team looked dead in the water in February and put together a strong March.

I hope Sully and Thomas come back but I doubt they will. They both could use another year to improve their games, however there is the fear of injuries. Also, the allure of the money from the NBA is tough to resist for most players.

Oh well, bring on the rest of the new era: Thompson, Scarlet Mamba, Ross, Williams, and of course Craft badger.

djidell's picture

I really enjoyed watching these guys play all year!  Thanks, Willy B, Craft, Sully, Deshaun, LENZELLE!

Love you guys!

RBuck's picture

There is one reason only that the BasketBucks lost this game. They got completely out hustled in the 2nd half. No offensive boards to speak of which has been one of their strengths all season; and, how many times in the last 20 did we just see them give little or no effort to go after a long rebound or loose ball. Even my wife was bitching about this and she don't know jack about hoops.

I don't think this team got tired, I just think they turned back into the "cool guys" after halftime and lost focus.

Anyway Buckeyes, thanks for the ride. You went further this year than I expected.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)