Tuesday Skull Session

By Danny on March 13, 2012 at 6:00a
90 Comments

Good morning Buckeye faithful and welcome to your Tuesday Skull Session.

Ah yes, it’s that time of the year when life as I know it ceases to exist on Ohio State’s campus. Yes, it’s finals week.

Being the diligent and studious person I am, I obviously did the right thing to do in preparation for the academic conclusion of the quarter by going to the local drinking establishments on campus, watching several hours of television, and doing every possible thing to avoid actually picking up my textbooks.

However, I did manage to get some productive reading done in between all five seconds of studying I did. I read Mark Titus’ soon-to-be classic Don’t Put Me In Coach. If you haven’t ordered it, do so immediately. If you have it, stop everything you’re doing and read every single word of it.

Wish me luck this week, folks, I’m going to need all I can get.

OHIO TEAMS TO CLASH? Ohio State's region for the NCAA tournament features many teams who are coming into the tournament playing hot, but one matchup that has to be on a lot of people's mind could occur in the sweet 16.

The Cincinnati Bearcats, who play Texas in the first round, could have the opportunity to play OSU in the sweet 16. This would be a very intriguing game, as Starting Blocks points out, because both teams on the floor together would create some interesting matchups. Yancy Gates versus Jared Sullinger and Cincinnati's talented guards against the Buckeyes' back court would certainly be interesting to watch.

Additionally, you can't factor out the fact that both these teams call Ohio home. Thinking of an in-state matchup conjures up images of the 2007 Xavier-Ohio State game, in which Ron Lewis spoiled the Musketeers' fun. It's really a shame these two teams don't play each other more often to begin with because they are both excellent basketball programs just about every season.

However, there is no guarantee this matchup occurs, as Cincinnati would have to most likely play Florida State, who is coming in hot after winning the ACC tournament, before the Buckeyes. Hopefully it somehow ends up that these two competitive Ohio squads get to meet on the biggest stage.

THE GREAT RIVALRY OF MICHIGAN AND OHIO. Insert repetitive jokes about Michigan finally being able to play Ohio here. Seriously, I think they're pretty humorous.

Michigan's first game of the NCAA tournament features a matchup with another Ohio school, which is leading the Mid American Conference in couch burning and Halloween attendance, Ohio University. But this Bobcat team is being viewed as a squad which is poised to upset a group which won a share of the Big Ten conference.

Many, including myself, think Ohio University could be a team people need to keep their eyes on. Michigan may have Trey Burke, but OU has their own stellar point guard in D.J. Cooper along with a scrappy defense which in known for forcing turnovers. This game is going to come down to do who can make a few extra plays on offense because both teams are underrated on defense.

This is, personally, the matchup of the tournament I am most looking forward to in the opening round. Whether or not OU pulls off another upset like they did to Georgetown back in 2010, this should be a back and forth game with an exciting finish.

Now if only this guy could do the same thing to Michigan's mascot. Best of luck, "Ohio."

This trophy was not given out for knowing the differnce between OSU & OU

FORMER RECRUIT INDICTED. Former Ohio State football commitment Roger Lewis has been indicted on rape charges.

Lewis had originally committed to Ohio State but lacked the pre-enrollment scores to attend OSU. His focus then shifted to Mid American Conference schools like Bowling Green and Ohio University, as well as Conference USA's Marshall. Lewis was a standout for Pickerington High School at wide receiver and figured to be a promising offensive talent in college.

Lewis is charged with raping an 18-year old girl and was originally arrested on January 31. Lewis' attorney stated he intends to fight the charges.

SULLY REPEATS. Jared Sullinger was the lone player to repeat as a member of the U.S. Basketball Writer All-American Team. Sullinger also made the team last year as a freshman. 

Sully was joined by Kentucky's Anthony Davis, Michigan State's Draymond Green, Creighton's Doug McDermott, and Kansas' Thomas Robinson. The second team consisted of Murray State's Isiah Cannan, Missouri's Marcus Denmon, West Virginia's Kevin Jones, Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and North Carolina's Tyler Zeller.

Sadly, I believe this will be Sullinger's last individual award of the season, as I don't see him winning the National Player of the Year Award. I believe it'll be either Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson who gets the honor, but we'll just have to see about that.

LOS LINKS. UNC learns its fate... Hooray for graduation...  Does Ohio State need to move on?... Butler replacing Temple in the Atlantic 10?... The Lady Buckeyes are #8 in the Des Moines region.

90 Comments

Comments

The Vest-er's picture

I too enjoyed the Shark's book. I wasted an entire workday "reading" it on my ipod.

 

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

Doc's picture

I too just finished the book.  What an absolute hoot.  It is nice to see the underbelly of Buckeye BB in a good light to boot.

"Say my name."

Orlando Buckeye's picture

The underbelly stuff has me a little worried.  I'm sure there's nothing bad in there but to me it's like reading player tweets hearing the things coaches say to recruits.  It does make me cringe a little.  

 

Reminds me of the saying about getting a good look at a Tbone vs taking my butcher's word on it.  When it comes to the Buckeyes, I'd rather just watch the games and read the occaisional propaganda/feel good story.

Doc's picture

There really isn't anything too awful bad.  He makes it clear he loves tOSU and his opportunity to play BB.  He also has the utmost respect for Matta.  Mostly he tells stories of the pranks he pulled on teammates and recaps of the BB seasons.  A LOT of potty humor for sho'.  Oden, The Villian and Willie B come across as really nice guys.  It really is a fun read.  It made me prouder to be a Buckeye, something I never thought was possible.

"Say my name."

FutureBuckeye's picture

First time poster, longtime reader. After my acceptance to OSU this weekend, I decided to make an account on the best Buckeye website out there!

First off, I want to say Roger Lewis' story is tragic. He would have been a great talent at the college level, anywhere he went. To be given talent like that & throw it away is very unfortunate.

Secondly, I'm really excited about the OU-AACC game, as I believe that OU can give them all kinda of trouble. Just a few years back OU beat Georgetown as a 13 seed right? & I really hope OSU plays Cinci. I still remember Lewis' shot, magical.

Thirdly, I just want to thank the 11W staff for working diligently to bringing us the best, most reliable information on anything OSU. The recruiting coverage especially is very well done. Thank you staff!

LadyBuck's picture

Hey, welcome to The Ohio State University family and Elevenwarriors! Good to have you here. 

I picked OU over TTUN since the brackets came out. I like them to win, especially since Groce is a part of the Thad Matta coaching tree. That would be a sweet win for sure. Go Bobcats!

Denny's picture

I hope they both lose.

Taquitos.

BuckeyeSki's picture

Second'd

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Third'd. F "harvard on the hocking(what a joke)" and "the harvard of the west". pricks. all of them.

 

 

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

FutureBuckeye's picture

Thank you very much for the warm welcome! I am very excited to enter another chapter in my life & join THE Ohio State University. I also picked OU to beat AACC in my bracket. TTUN lives by the three, and if they go cold, it could be a very quick exit out of the tourney. I was not aware of the Groce-Matta connection, but now I am rooting for OU even more!

RedStorm45's picture

Pretty sure OU was a 14 seed

FutureBuckeye's picture

Excuse me, your right.

Denny's picture

Good luck with finals -- you've prepared appropriately.

Taquitos.

L-TownNut11's picture

The picture above looks like cheese cubes falling on fred, just as he requested for his post game snack.....

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Doesn't an 8-seed for the Lady Buckeyes seem kind of low?  Weren't we ranked in the top ten (I know there doesn't have to be any correlation between the two).

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

thatlillefty's picture

As a cincy native and Bearcat fan, I'm very excited (and anxious) about a possible matchup with UC

NilesPacMan's picture

Nice comment on the finals. Personally, I prepared for Finals by watching 65 different basketball games Thursday-Sunday.

Speaking of the women's team, they absolutely got snubbed with their seed. I'm not a huge women's basketball, but most of ESPN's experts say that they were under-seeded for sure. They had a rough couple of weeks to end the season, but nowhere near as bad to obtain an 8.

SLVRBLLTS's picture

I would love to see the matchup against Cincinnati. Being a buckeye fan from Cincy, all we hear is chatter about how UC is better than Ohio St in football, and Ohio is now called the b"UC"keye state. They say we are afraid to play them and bladeeblahdeeblah. I can't wait for the first chance we can get to shut them up.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

thatlillefty's picture

Cincy fans aren't that bad... most know their place

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Having lived in Cincinnati my entire life - except the 4 1/2 years I spent studying at THE Ohio State - I strongly disagree. Cincinnati fans are some of the most obnoxious and bitter fans in the world, both Bengals and Bearcats. Reds fans aren't too bad though, but I think that's because baseball takes on a different mentality in Cincinnati for the most part (it's all about tradition and class and honoring the first professional team).

btalbert25's picture

The biggest problem I have, living in the greater Cincy area is that Cincinnati fans are so fair weather.  Have a great Bearcat foot ball team a couple of years ago and they still couldn't sell out Nippert for half the games.  The cyclones draw a couple of thousand fans per game, but they make the championship and US Bank Arena sells out from a huge walk up crowd.  Most regular season games GABP is barely more than half full, but make it a playoff game or Openning Day and good luck getting a ticket.  Personally, I don't mind the venom toward the Bengals.  Brown is an asshole and that franchise deserves whatever negativity comes their way.  They think 1  year of doing something right erases a history of jackassery, not to me. '

I'm guessing the long history of bad pro sports, bad UC football, and the way Huggins was let go influence a lot of the attitudes, but even historically the Reds regular season draw is pretty bad.  I mean as good as the Big Red Machine was they never drew 3 million in attendance.  Milwaukee will have no problem getting there though.  The Phillies have already sold that many tickets.  I wish, for the Reds it would change. 

Doc's picture

I too grew up in the Queen City and BT has hit the nail on the head, again.  BT, you should really think about taking the writing job for 11W.  You would be stellar at it.

"Say my name."

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

never forget the "bUCkeye state" campaign a few years back when they busted their BCS cherry, and then got their butt cherry popped by VT.

 

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Squirrel Master's picture

I think I am crazy for having the bucks go to the final but I just see a path that makes sense. I don't have them winning though. I think Kentucky is just too good. The bucks could give them a fight though.

I would love to be wrong and lose the brackets if it means Buckeyes win it all!

I hate to see a kid go down like Lewis. Its sad that someone could work so hard and being that good at something and then throw it all away.

 

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

btalbert25's picture

I like the Buckeyes path too.  Honestly, I know they have only lost 2 games, but I'd be much more worried about UNC, Michigan State, or Kentucky as the 1 in my bracket.  I'm not sure about UK.  I think they have some great players and are extremely talented, but at the same time, they really didn't look good at all this weekend in the conference tournament.  Maybe they were just going through the motions because they really had nothing to gain and maybe they just weren't ready for teams playing in a tournament atmosphere.  I'm not sure.  I do think they are vulnerable though.  Davis, Gilchrest, and Lamb are great, but Teague(while very talented) has been playing pretty bad lately .  A good PG could light him up in the tournament.  Then there's the Calipari factor.  Has any coach ever had the amount of talent that he has in 20 or so years coaching and never won a title with it?  I just have this, I'll believe it when I see it with him and winning a title.  UK fans always say but he was coaching at Memphis and UMass, that's not UK.  I say no it's not, but those teams were STILL NUMBER 1 TEAMS!!!!!!!  Anyway, would I be surprised if UK wins it all?  Nope, but I don't think they are going to.  I'm looking at an MSU/UNC final in one bracket, and in another I may have U of L upsetting MSU in the Sweet 16 and plugging in Missouri to the final four from that bracket.

Squirrel Master's picture

I have MSU losing to UofL in every bracket I have done. UofL is way to wild and hectic for MSU and Dieng is big and long and would give Green and Nix fits. They are deep and will run you crazy. I just don't see MSU making it out of that bracket. I have Missouri going to final 4.

I do agre with your points. Even the 2 teams that Calipari has brought to the final 4 have been illegal. He should have won that title against Kansas. They coughed that one up.

Syracuse is tough and if bucks run into them, I think they would lose. But I don't see Syracuse getting there. Kansas State is tough and have beaten some good teams. and after that they will have Vanderbilt. Its a tough road for them and I see them falling apart a bit. They run into a team that can shoot and its over.

Team I am most worried about in OSU's bracket is Florida State. They have the defense, if they get hot on offense, well you can see what they did to UNC. Duke was too easy! I think OSU has it though. They truly shouldn't have lost last Sunday, they got overconfident after that run and let MSU take over when Green went to the bench. I don't see that happening again.

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

William's picture

Davidson is going to beat Louisville in the first round, calling it now. Louisville has been downright dreadful the past few years come tourney time.

cplunk's picture

I have Davidson in my bracket too. I don't think Louisville is going anywhere

Squirrel Master's picture

Okay. I will take that one. Louisville has finally gotten healthy enough to play their game and they are clicking. I know in the past couple years they have lost in the 1st round but those teams were really not this complete. Davidson's weakness is shooting and Louisville will exploit that.

and Davidson is not that team this year. I am banking on Ohio beating Michigan for the big upset of the first round. Couple others but that would be the biggest on my list.

Edit; I live in Louisville. I hear both sides.

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

btalbert25's picture

I'm actually not concerned about FSU at all, maybe that is foolish, I just don't see it.  I know they have a couple of good wins, but man they have some really bad losses too. I'm not so sure FSU even makes it to the Sweet 16 though.   If UofL gets to Michigan State, I think hey can beat them.  UofL has to get there first though.  I think they will with Siva playing the way he has been recently.  Their defense has been great as of late.  Last year they lost to Morehead first round, but Fareid for Morehead went off, and he was a legit really good NBA talent.  2010, they had just lost T-Will and Earl Clark to the NBA, so just to make the tournament was pretty impressive. 

 

William's picture

Davidson has 5 players averaging double-digits, they beat Kansas as well as nearly beat Duke at Cameron Indoor. I think they beat Louisville and while they certainly don't have a player of Stephen Curry's talent, they are a more complete team than when he was there. Also I think OSU should definitely be wary of FSU. The thing I don't get is why so many "experts" predict we'll have trouble with WVU? I see us possibly obliterating WVU. The only teams I think we might have trouble against are FSU and Syracuse and I'm more afraid of FSU than Syracuse. A team to watch in the Midwest region is NC State. 

Squirrel Master's picture

They had a 1 point lead at halftime against Duke and got beat down in the second half. The Kansas win is big and I can't argue it. I will say that Louisville is a different beast than Kansas and Davidson will have to be ready for a really up tempo game. Pitino will try to run Davidson into the ground and wear them out. I think alot of people are over looking Louisville because they were really beat up during most of the season. They are healthy now.

FSU is a beast! Beating Duke doesn't bother me at all. Beating down a UNC team is an accomplishment. If they can shoot, they can beat anyone! That is where Craft and Smith/Thompson will be most important. I think OSU can score on them. Just gotta bring the D.

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

When was it that Louisville was dealing with a rash of injuries?

They had a midseason slide (late Dec. - early Jan.), losing 4 of 5, but then they also lost 4 of their last 6 regular season games (Feb. 13 - March 3), before going on a run in the BE tournament.

So, was Lousville missing several players during February and then they all came back right before the BE tournament?

Thanks for any info.

btalbert25's picture

Here's a good link detailing what they've been up against.  It's hard to think they have been playing without Buckles, Van Treese, and Marra and have still been competitive.  Those guys were all pretty good players.  Missing Siva and Blackshear hurt too.  With Buckles and Marra on this team they are a completely different team.

http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/38721/louisville-injuries-just-keep-piling-up

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Thanks for the link. So I looked up the names and, while you guys might be right about Louisville advancing in the NCAA tournament, I'm not persuaded by your point about them now rounding into shape after numerous injuries.

First, Van Treese, Marra, and Buckles are all out-for-season. Obviously, they cannot come back to help Louisville, which I see as a liability. It's great that Patino made the best of the cards he was dealt, but they did lose 4 out of their last 6 regular season games for a reason.

Moreover, all the other guys who missed a few games here and there (Siva, Kuric, and Swopshire who is apparently transfering after this seaon!) - with one other exception (see below) - were all back into the rotation well before Louisville's late regular season swoon. So it's not like they got an (re)infusion of talent right before the BE tournament. They went on a nice run, but it was the same team that looked awful leading up to the tourney.

The one exception is a frosh named Blackshear, who first started playing in Feb, but that kid barely plays at all - he averages 2.5 pts.

If anything, your tip has made me like Louisville even less. If they're supposed to play up tempo and wear out teams like Davidson, I'm now skeptical that they even have the bench to do that. In recent games, Pitino's substitution patterns have looked rather Matta-esque.

I'll probably regret it, but I'll take the winner of the New Mexico v. Long Beach State game, thanks.  

btalbert25's picture

The thing about it is, it's hard for Pitinio's teams to gel if they don't play a lot together.  So even a couple games here and there, hurts the team quite a bit.  They've finally had a stretch where everyone was healthy and got to play together.  I think they are playing the best basketball of the season right now, I know they were ranked high at the beginning of the year, but even their biggest homer fans will tell you they were never really a top 5 team.  I'll just say again, I think the three wins they had back to back to back last weekend are more impressive than the 2 they'll need to get to the sweet 16. 

Squirrel Master's picture

and that is a very good point BT. Pitino has that type of system that needs continuity! He uses more team work than say Calipari, which allows players to be more free in their roles. Its Pitino's strength as well as his demon!

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Okay, but haven't they had plenty of time to gel in the last two seasons (both first round exits)? Shouldn't the gelling theory have boded even better for them then as opposed to now?

btalbert25's picture

Well again you have to look at injuries Fido.  Last year they lost Swampshire, Buckels, and Dieng for significant portions of the season.  Really the last 2 years have been hell for that team when it comes to injuries.  Plus Samuels left prematurely for the NBA and they had to have a guy with a horrible attitude and work ethic, Terrance Jennings take the bulk of minutes at center.  In another season a guy like Jennings may have been sent packing but out of neccessity he had to play a lot. 

In 2010, they had just lost 2 first round draft picks and their starting PG, and had an extremely young team. Yes, last 2 exits were early, and yes this year the team has struggled at times, but really for the last 2 seasons they have had significant injuries with key pieces missing some time or full seasons. 

Again, I wouldn't be shocked if they lose in the first round, but I think their run to the sweet 16 is much easier than the run of 4 neutral court games they had to string together to win the Big East Tournament.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

You two have made a valiant effort to explain Louisville's NCAA troubles the past two years and why they're poised to do better this time around, but I'm still a bit skeptical - not as much as I was halfway through this thread, but still not ready to move them into the sweet 16.

They went 25-10 and 12-6 last year in a stronger (but overrated) BE; this year they went 10-8 in a so-so BE. Now that Melo is out, I'll have zero BE teams in the final 8.  

William's picture

I have to agree. My Elite 8 has 3 B1G teams, 2 ACC, 2 B12 and 1 SEC. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Mine is 3 B1G, 3 B12, 1 SEC, 1 ACC.   

William's picture

I'm guessing that you picked: OSU, MSU, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, UNC?

I've got: OSU, MSU, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Baylor, Missouri, UNC, NC State.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

You guessed it.

NC State is a bold pick.

Good luck with your brackets. Hopefully, we both picked the East region correctly.

Squirrel Master's picture

Pitino uses his bench way more than Matta ever has. Even with injuries.

Not trying to talk you out of anything. You pick them, you take them. I am basing my pick off of what I see and that is a team on the run. Blackshear isn't a factor. That is why I didn't bring up his injury, although he is very talented and could make one of those appearances.

Uconn last year lost 4 out of 5 before they went on their run. Not saying Louisville will win the NCAAs, just that you can't look at a late swoon as the reason just as much as you can't look at a late run. They don't tell anything. It's what the team is built to do vs. their opponent. Davidson will have their hands full, win or not! I say Louisville comes out on top.

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I don't doubt that Pitino has long had a pattern of using his bench much more liberally than Matta. But in recent games, he's used a short bench. Maybe it has something to do with the three guys out-for-season?

Squirrel Master's picture

Even with a short bench, he still goes to it and uses it now. Blackshear is pretty much the 8-9 player off the bench. You see him getting subbed in during prime parts of the game. Pitino uses his bench to keep the pressure going and get his players some rest. Constantly.

but the bench is not really the story. Its Siva. He was running like that on a bum ankle and really struggling. He is playing really well right now and doing the things he needs to do.

Those last 4 loses btw were, 2 to Syracuse, 1 to Cincinnati who is pretty good and they just beat, and the sole pretty bad loss to South Florida. South florida could still get into the main part of the bracket. They are still in it. Those are not bad loses. They have always had a fight against Syracuse and Cincinnati. Its not like they lost to Seton Hall or Rutgers.

Their bad loses were during late December and early January. that was the injury timeframe.

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

btalbert25's picture

South FLorida's style of play keeps them in any game.  Since December I don't think anyone has put up 60 points on South Florida.  That is crazy.  As for Pitino, he's always been pretty famous for going 10 deep if he has the personnel to do it.  This year it's been tough without guys like Buckels, Marra, and Van Tresse.  He is constantly rotating guys in and out though.  Some of his teams at UK, had a bench 5 that would make a top 25 starting 5 at other schools.  He likes a nice deep bench and uses it a lot.

Squirrel Master's picture

Forget this convo. Fab Melo is out. Buckeyes are the odds on favorite in the bracket now! No doubt!

 

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

btalbert25's picture

Sweet, was it "grades"(drugs)?  No matter, there's no excuse to not take this bracket down now.

 

Squirrel Master's picture

Yep. Buckeyes basically should own this bracket. It is theirs for the taking.

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I will take Louisville against Davidson, but will have to alternate between Long Beach State and New Mexico on my two sheets, either team beating a worn out, thin Louisville squad on Saturday in Portland freakin' Oregon. Of course, by making this public declaration, I have just guaranteed a Final Four for Rick Pitino!

Squirrel Master's picture

Well true most of them were early on. But they have been missing their starting PF Buckles all season (ACL), starting SG Mike Marra (ACL) and dealt with a rash of injuries all season. Siva has been off and on all season with ankle injuries, Kuric was out for a couple weeks in January. They have been starting Chane Behanon all season (an unheralded freshman). It takes time for a Pitino team to jell together.

They still only have 9 healthy players but all 9 are completely healthy and ready to go. Siva being the most important! They are ready to run!

I am not saying Louisville doesn't have a chance of losing, all teams except #1 seeds have a chance of losing. I am saying I think it is less likely than past couple of years and I think they are hot. They played really well in the tournament and that is not an easy task in the Big East.

I will add this as to why I am confident, they don't have Terrence Jennings! Dude was a waste and a cancer. Dieng is much better, a bit raw, but much better.

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

btalbert25's picture

Yeah I like Siva too, the guy is really starting to become a great PG.  I wouldn't be shocked if they lost in the first round, but I wouldn't be shocked if somehow they ended up in the final four.  They did just beat the 2, 3, and 4 seeds back to back to back in the Big East tournament, and quite honestly I'd take any of those 3 teams over Davidson any day. 

William's picture

I'm not buying the Siva hype. His 3 pt. shooting has gone down from 40.4% two seasons ago to 23.8%. He's averaging 2.9 PFs per game, is turning the ball over 3.5 times per game, and is only averaging 9.1 ppg. Very, very mediocre if you ask me. Two years ago, I'd say that yes, maybe he could be a great PG, but as his career has progressed, his game play has regressed. Or if you look at last year's numbers, where he played much more minutes and the stats would be just as comparable, his numbers are just as worse as this years. If anything, with more playing time, Siva has gotten worse.

http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/player/_/id/45951/peyton-siva

btalbert25's picture

No doubt he's had some really bad games, but did you watch him play last weekend?  Guy was awesome.  He's a lot like Edgar Sosa was, only I don't think he's as immature as Sosa.  When he's on it's hard to beat that team when he's off it's not so hard.  He has made bad decisions, and played bad at times, but last weekend  he looked like one of the better PG's in America.  He continues that level of play and U of L can go a long way.  Again, they beat Marquette and Notre Dame pretty bad, then beat UC in a tough game, I think all 3 of those are greater than Davidson and likely the game they'd  play after that.  I don't see this years team getting beat early, and I'm certainly not going to say well the lost early the last 2 years so that means they'll do it again this year.  The last 2 years have no bearing on what the team does this year.

William's picture

He played fairly well during the Big East tourney, yet his numbers show, that he is still very turnover prone, which I don't like. His scoring was alright during the tourney and his assist numbers were very good, but he had so many turnovers that it really diminished the amount of assists he had. During the Big East tourney he had an A:TO ratio of 1.64:1. Not very good. On the other hand Craft, with one less game to play, had an A:TO ratio of 3:1. Which is alright. 

btalbert25's picture

I guess actually watching the games I was more impressed by how he played than the actual numbers.  I think he provided much more to the team than just strictly what his numbers were.  He nearly had 2 triple doubles.  Then energy he had, the defense he and Chris Smith provided on the press.  He was just extremely valuable to the team.  I'm not disputing the numbers, they are what they are, but I watched all 4 games he played in and was extremely impressed with how he played.  Sometimes the strait numbers don't tell the whole story either.

In the games against Marquette and Notre Dame he had 8 rebounds each game.  6 steals against Marquette and 4 against Notre Dame.  Plus he scores a fair amount of points, but I think Craft shows you don't have to score as a PG to be a very good PG.  He even had 1 block in each of those games.  So, I think that just looking at the A:TO ratio doesn't tell the whole story about the kind of weekend he had.  Again, I'm not sure if you watched all 4 of the games or not, but I did and I think he looked pretty darn good.  The quality of guards he went against in those games far exceeds the quality he'll see out of Davidson I think.  So while I could see them losing,it's the tournament anything can happen,  I don't see why I should expect it other than well they lost in the first round the last 2 years.  That seems to be Doug Gottlieb's explanation and the only real reason anyone else is coming up with.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Is that the high bar for Louisville - beating Davidson? If all you're saying is that Louisville is likely to beat Davidson, I'm not going to quibble with you. 

I tend to pick my brackets working backward, though. Do they have much chance of beating MSU? I don't see it. Moreover, what about Louisville's past performances indicate that they're superior to the winner of the New Mexico/LBS game? And if they're roughly on par with those teams, wouldn't you prefer the well-rested western team, playing in Portland, over the thin team from Kentucky that's had an arduous season, having just played four games in four days, got on a plane for a Thursday game, and then played again on Saturday?

Forget Doug Gottlieb and others making lazy arguments. The reason I brought up Louisville's recent exits was to challenge your theory that Pitino's teams need extra time to gel. Last year's team had injuries, too, but fewer than this year, and therefore even more opportunities to gel. Yet they lost in the first round. Thus, what's better about this team cannot be that they had even more injuries than last year. So, what is it that makes this year's team a team that can beat New Mexico/LBS, MSU, Missouri?

Are you saying the PG's improvement is the telling difference this year? What else?      

btalbert25's picture

Well I don't see how they could Gel more this year when guys on this years team, Swampshire and Dieng missed HUGE parts of the season.  Plus a guy who played almost all of last year and was going to be a very big part of this season Marra missed significant time.  Think about 2 key parts of this team missing most of last year and the team having to figure out a way around it, only to have another key part or 2 miss most of this season. 

The goal certainly isn't only to beat Davidson, I don't see why so many people are seeing them being upset in the first round other than the fact that they have the last 2 seasons.  Pitino over his career makes more sweet 16's and elite eights than he does first round exits. 

I see the potential of the team, the press and defense they run, and look at how they played last weekend and say this team is poised to win 2 games.  I definitely think they'll beat Davidson, and I just don't see the winner of UNM/LBS being that daunting of a task either.  Just my opinion, but I don't think I'd be terrfied to play either of those teams, and I think that Marquette especially and maybe Notre Dame and UC are all better than the first round matchup and possible 2nd round. 

Once again, I can see this team going down in the first round.  Shit can happen and they have played some bad games this year, but they just played their best basketball last weekend.  I like that they have seemed to kick in gear at this point in the season.  Where I may have left them for dead before the Big East tournament and not been surpised if they lost early, now I see a team that could do some damage.  They beat 4 teams that all had something to gain by winning.  They didn't win a conference because someone they played had nothing to lose or gain by winning like in the ACC and SEC finals.

Squirrel Master's picture

Siva is one of those players you can't see by the stats. He causes so many turnovers for the other team as well. He plays strong defense. He makes Louisville tick. If you watch the games, Louisville actually has its problems when he sits and Russ smith comes in. Russ Smith is going to give Pitino a heart attack, seriously!

I just go by what I see and I see a team that will make a run. They have the talent and the teamwork. They didn't have the teamwork last year. They didn't have the talent 2 years ago. and even though I think Siva is what runs this team, Dieng is a monster that I will put my money on.

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

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree. People talk about Ohio State having a potential matchup issues against FSU, but what about the other way around? FSU has poor ball handling. If you take into consideration that Ohio State doesn't press much and that the Big Ten has many good ball-handling teams, the Buckeyes are among the best teams forcing TOs in the half court. In addition, FSU is not a particularly good rebounding team. This is not last year's FSU team with Chris Singleton. I could easily see Ohio State's defense just twisting FSU's offense into knots, winning something like 60-45.  

William's picture

I guess I can agree with that. Another thing people aren't taking into consideration is that the 3 best defensive teams in the nation are OSU, MSU and Wisky. The fact that we played those two teams 5 times really makes me feel better about our offense now. The fact is, we won't face anyone better defensively than them, and we've proven that we can beat them.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yep. If Ohio State plays against WVU, for example, they will score 85 points and the offense will think that they're facing Purdue (except Purdue has a better offense than WVU).

On the other hand, if they play Gonzaga, the Buckeyes offense will have to work harder, but on defense they'll feel like they're checking Iowa.

They won't see teams as good as Wisky and MSU until the round of 8. I'm not guaranteeing that they'll advance that far, mind you, (anything can happen) but the other teams (WVU, Gonzaga, FSU, Cincinnati, Texas) have much more to be worried about with a potential matchup against Ohio State than vice versa.   

btalbert25's picture

I think people just see the big win against UNC and think wow FSU is really good, but they ignore the losses to Harvard, Princeton, Miami, UConn, Florida, Clemson, and Boston College.  I don't consider UConn or Florida to be terrible losses but they are a 7 and 9 seed respectively.  They had 2 losses to teams that are better than them  and that was MSU and Duke.  So, to be sure they've played some tough teams and have 3 really good wins, but I'm looking at the same team with 7 losses against teams that really aren't that great.

I get that they COULD pose some matchup problems for Ohio State, I just don't think they will.  Everyone is all wound up about having to play them, but I don't even know that they'll make it that far.  I'd honestly be more concerned about UC than FSU. Just my opinion.

Squirrel Master's picture

I think you mean against UNC, big winssssssssss. They beat them twice this year!

I think you are proving the point though BT. FSU can lose to easy opponents, but FSU has the play to take on the big boys and I am not talking chances. They are strong, tough and can match up really well. The part that is tricky is their shooting. When they are hot, its like playing Brandon Paul (raining unlikely 3's), when they are not, anyone can beat them.

UC does have that brute down low. UC can be a tough fight. I just don't see them matching the overall talent. FSU can match the talent. That is why I am more concerned about FSU than even Syracuse.

I do also agree with you, I don't really, truly think FSU will beat OSU. I don't. That is why I have OSU going to final 4. I think OSU got a favorable draw this time. There are no Kentucky bullshit #4 seeds. There are no UNC should have been #1 seeds. Syracuse will fall before the reach elite eight. OSU takes the bracket!

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

btalbert25's picture

I know they beat UNC twice, but the 2nd time was in a game where UNC had nothing to gain/lose from winning it and they were missing a key player.  It's a W, but I wouldn't take it much more seriously than UK or Syracuse losing.  I was more referencing the ass kicking 30+ point win they had over UNC, and that was at a time when UNC wasn't looking too great. They may beat OSU and I'll be very wrong, but I just don't see it myself.

RBuck's picture

Besides the guard Cooper, the Bobcats also have a pretty good 3 point shooter named Kellogg who just happens to have a pretty well known dad.

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

NC_Buckeye's picture

Temple to the Big East. Really. The only thing the BE has is bball.

The current rumor making the rounds is that BYU finally wants to come on board the Big XII and that Louisville will be the other school.

So take away Louisville and there's very little cross-over between the football schools and the basketball schools. What you've got is two conferences acting like one conference. I don't see how the Big East stays together for more than a couple years.

So my question is this -- how much longer is Notre Dame going to hitch their wagon to the Big East?

Squirrel Master's picture

Nice graphic! I love how conferences were originally created for regions. Now they are all over the map. Some point, if the NCAA survives all of this, I can see the powers that be to say "Hold up! We are going to realign this whole thing and stop this crazy across the nation crap!"

San Diego St in the Big East? Seriously? That makes no sense at all! There are 2 conferences who's name signifies that region, Southeastern Conference and Big East. That should basically mean, no team north of the mason dixon line should be in the SEC and no team west of the Mississippi should be in the Big East.

Can you imagine if your team from the eastern time zone is playing San Diego St at 8pm Pacific? You would be starting a game at 11pm est! As a fan I would be pissed!

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

RedStorm45's picture

Well, the Pac-12 does have the pacific coast...and the ACC has the "Atlantic Coast" so the 2 major exceptions are the big 10 and big 12.

Squirrel Master's picture

Very true. Just adds to my point. This is a big mess and needs to get corrected.

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

cronimi's picture

One might say the same thing about a conference whose name indicates it has two fewer members than it does -- or two more, for that matter. I would argue all FBS conference names are based on geography (MAC, WAC, Mtn West, etc.) -- except for the B1G and Big XII, and both of those are "struggling with counting". Even CUSA's name is (loosely) based on geography. At this point for most conferences, the name is the brand, regardless of the reason the name was initially chosen.

Squirrel Master's picture

but you just pointed out that the conferences were originally developed for a certain region. Most of the conferences are still a large part of those regions and the rivalries. I just think it is getting out of hand when you start bringing in San Diego St into the Big East and Maryland into the Big Ten. I understand the money and expansion, but as a fan it is getting a mess. I have no desire for OSU to go to Maryland or San Diego or England or Alaska or Mexico. I want to see them play in the midwest, in the conference of course. Out of conference is for those games, that is why they are out of conference.

San Diego St in Big East is just ridiculous!

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

Denny's picture

To be fair, Temple absolutely pounded Maryland in the footyball this year.

Taquitos.

Maestro's picture

So the "Ohio" thing continues to befuddle me.  I don't see how it's derogatory.  It's the name of most Buckeye fans favorite state.  How is that a bad thing?  It's a lame attempt to counter TTUN or TSUN.  Keep trying wolvies.

vacuuming sucks

FortMeyer's picture

Maestro, I do not think it is the word, other than it is just the attempted slight, that is the problem. They feel it is disrespecting us, which is in itself the issue in my opinion. If they called us Brutus it would be the same. We do not want to take an ounce of crap from the totally inferior Ann Arbor Community College. And the slight of not saying our proper name meets that criteria.

Maestro's picture

Agree, but as I pointed out it is a lame retort to TTUN/TSUN imho.

vacuuming sucks

BuckeyeJim's picture

I agree Maestro. Whenever we get called "Ohio", and I can say is "SO".

dbit's picture

Didn't Woody come up with TTUN/TSUN?  And so it took them this many years to come up with a comeback?  Harvard of the Midwest forrrr sureeeee

Brutus's picture

If they started calling us Brutus and meant it as a slight, I will personally fight Michigan, all of it.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

I think to understand it you need to look at the UM/MSU relationship.  As UM and MSU are in the same conference, the competition and familiarity have breed a great hatred.  UM fans despise and look down their noses at MSU.  One of the manifestations of this are the cat calls of "little brother".  To be mistaken as the Spartans would really piss off a wolvie.  This makes calling us Ohio feel like a huge insult to them.  I would even go as far to suspect that many misinterpret our nonchalance to the term as us trying to act like we aren't angry in the hopes they stop it. 

What really isn't considered is that the relationship between OU and OSU couldn't be more different.  There is no rivalry and for many Ohio State students attending a party/Halloween in Athens is a rite of passage.  Most of us have, from parties and the Hocking Hills, a positive view of OU.  Thus it does not feel like an insult to us.

This leads me to think Jabba The Hoke coined the term, not to piss up off, but to rally the wolvie fan base.  I find their fast adoption of it quaint, and its silliness opens them up to rejoinders like this, "Perhaps if you'd prepared to play us and not the Bobcats you wouldn't have lost so badly" after we smash their faces this year.

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good comment. I've known a few people affiliated with OU who despise Ohio State, but OU has never come close to earning reciprocal enmity. To us, OU might as well be Miami University. Thus, "insulting" us by calling us "Ohio" just makes the name-caller sound stupid.     

Idaho Helga's picture

Excellent post. scUM have their high and mighty snobbery going I think because their basketball program used to be relevant and Sparty is clearly excellent under Izzo not to mention the beat-downs Sparty has done to the UM football program under RichRod. I actually cheer for Sparty when not playing us because of my total hatred for all things TTUN. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

p.s. Have good friend who went to MSU undergrad then got Harvard Law degree cum laude. Stick it scUM snob. Lots of good education going on in Big 10

Ethos's picture

I miss a lot of things from my career at Ohio State, however classes are not on that list.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I 2nd this.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

NC_Buckeye's picture

I wonder if Gravy is thinking when that picture was taken how lucky he was that a third SEC team could not be selected for a BCS bowl.

Cause he definitely would not have been holding the Sugar Bowl trophy had Arkansas, Georgia, or S Carolina been selected as their opponent.

Idaho Helga's picture

Breaking NEWSSS>...... and good news.... Syracuse center out for the tournament. Sounds like academics.

BIG loss for them. Sounds good to me for the #2 seed!

Also, my coworkers are gonna hate me because it looks like Gonzaga vs tOSU and sorry, but Sully is gonna hang 35 over Sacre. Sacre looked really good but has never lived up to potential.

Buckman's picture

tOSU vs Michigan State in the championship game.  How exciting would that be?

I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault.

JACK TATUM

cbusbuckeye's picture

I put them down for it in my bracket. Its certainly possible.