Titus on Ohio State's Loss to Michigan

By Jason Priestas on February 6, 2013 at 4:31p

Mark Titus isn't even mad.

Take a deep breath, Ohio State fans, and think about it: If you would've known before the game that Michigan would hit 14 3-pointers, have five players score in double figures, and shoot 47 percent from the field, how much would you have guessed Ohio State would've lost by? Twenty? Fifty? A million? Heading into the game, I was certain the night would end in embarrassment for the Buckeyes. Sure, OSU matches up better with Michigan than any team in the country, but the Wolverines were coming off a loss and they were playing a revenge game at home against their rivals. Meanwhile, except for the November game at Duke, the Buckeyes haven't played particularly well on the road this season. All signs pointed to a Michigan blowout. But Ohio State rose to the occasion and provided us with the best game in college basketball this year.


Anyway, stay positive, Buckeyes fans. I've been saying all year that if Ohio State could get everything clicking, they have the pieces necessary to make a national championship run. Tuesday night proved it. Now let's cross our fingers and hope they put forth a similar effort when Indiana comes to Columbus on Sunday.


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VHX7's picture

I've dogged on this team all year, but I was downright impressed with what they did last night, regardless of the loss.

hodge's picture

Mark Titus: professional Kool-Aid dispenser.

Killer nuts's picture

My thoughts exactly, this team has proved that it can play with any team in the country. We're starting to put the puzzle together and once this team gets rolling I think we can be dangerous in March

Triv's picture

If Amir and Q can play like that consistently we are going to be a much tougher game for anybody from here on out

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

Unky Buck's picture

I was saying the same things to a couple of my friends last night after the game. It sucks to lose but that was one of the better all around games our guys played. If guys like LaQ and Amir can use this as a stepping stone towards bigger things, we could be in for a nice March run.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

AndyVance's picture

Okay, Mark, you had me right up until the last paragraph:

I've been saying all year that if Ohio State could get everything clicking, they have the pieces necessary to make a national championship run. Tuesday night proved it.

Sorry, Mr. Titus, unless one of those pieces is pure dumb luck, I'm seeing a team with all of the pieces to make a run into the first round or two, but not to the final bell.
That said, yes, the performance in Ann Arbor relative to pre-game expectations was good, though I'll contend that our management of the extra minutes was a disappointing disaster.

Clmm297's picture

You're starting to sound like BadDogMaine....

Kurt's picture

I miss baddog...what happened to him?

Maestro's picture

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

vacuuming sucks

Alhan's picture

Maestro is in the zone today!

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

William's picture

Huh? The performance they put on last night was Final Four-Elite Eight worthy. There hasn't been a better game of college basketball this season. That game last night was like watching two Final Four teams go at it. 

smartfootballrankings's picture

The problem is getting a poor seed.  If you are a #1 seed going into the tournament, then you play no one good until the Sweet 16 round, and it's not even that good of a team.  Get a 3 or 4 seed, you are playing a much better opponent at that level, and have more teams that can knock you off.  Last year, with Syracuse being weak with Melo out, even a 2 seed was facing not that great competition until the Final 4.  And then we lost.
It all comes down to what your bracket looks like and who chokes ahead of you.  We are the 11th most likely team to win it all based on the betting markets.  If we can get an overachieving team like Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 (or they slip up), then the Elite 8 run looks better

OldColumbusTown's picture

I'd say the problem, more than seed, is your bracket and the matchups presented, as you alluded to in your second paragraph.
Two years ago Ohio State had the best team in the country, and was the #1 overall seed.  They ran into quite possibly the worst matchup imaginable, and it was a 4 seed in Kentucky.  They'd have been better off as a 2 seed in a different bracket.
Seed does not matter, truly, and is like splitting hairs when you're looking at the differences between a 3, 4, and 5 seed.  As long as Ohio State continues to improve and they get a "decent" seeding with a manageable bracket, in terms of matchups, I'll be happy.  To be honest, there is not a single team above Ohio State in the rankings that causes me considerable worry.  They really can play with and beat anyone in the country.  They could also lose to a lot of teams below them, but that is life in CBB this year.

AndyVance's picture

I've said elsewhere more than once that they played a great second half (I was in the car and didn't see the first). But, as with the Duke game as a notable example, we failed to close by having a very poorly-managed OT that seemed devoid of a coherent strategy to score.
I've also said I was really impressed with the guys that stepped up in the second half, including some great stuff from Q, and some good looks from Amir getting inside and putting the ball in the bucket. And of course Craft continues to make a case for National Defensive POY consideration.
I'm not one of the "Matta haters;" in fact, I've written not once, but twice about his amazing stat sheet in the first eight seasons at Ohio State.
I am not, however, drinking the Titus kool-aid (as Hodge so brilliantly put it) on this one, as I do not think in any conceivable reality that we are a Final Four team. We've seen Final Four teams in the past decade - more than once - and this, to me, doesn't look like one of them.

Unky Buck's picture

I agree with your point to an extent. Right now, no, they don't look like Final Four team at all. They still have a lot of question marks and still need consistent play from game to game from some of those players you mentioned. Until we see it, their ceiling very well may be Sweet Sixteen.
Where I tend to veer off in completely agreeing with you is that I believe, and said multiple times at the beginning of the year, that as this team grows and gets clicking, it can become a special team as the talent is there and there aren't many teams that can match our overall athleticism. At this point last year, even with all the talent that we had, we weren't clicking and after the loss to UM, I had doubts that we would even be a #4 seed. We were playing awful and it showed game in and game out. Then right around the end of the year and through the B1G tournament, things came together and they were able ride that to a Final Four appearance.
I don't know if they can do what they did last year again, but what I saw from them on Tuesday night was, at the very least, a step in that direction. If they can put a few more games together and gain some confidence in these young sophomores, then things will start looking much better.
At least we know that the season isn't all for naught if we come across stumbling blocks. The real season starts in March. Until then, let's use playing against the best competition in the country as a way to get some things figured out because come tournament time, that will only help us.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

AndyVance's picture

I agree we're a good team, and I agree we have one of the better defenses in the country. The Titus scenario presupposes a lot of "ifs/thens" that I have trouble seeing. If it comes together, I'll be the first guy to drink a toast to Matta, but I'm just not sold that out of all the great teams he's assembled, that this one will finally be the one to get him a ring.
We can all agree, of course, that Thomas is a stud, Craft is the best on-ball defender in the universe, and that we love to see Slam Thompson put on a show, right?

Unky Buck's picture

Can't argue any of those points, especially the latter!

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

Barney's picture

They'll win Sunday

Set your gearshift for the high gear of your soul!

Buckeye Chuck's picture

We heard the same things after the Duke and Kansas games. At some point, the "good losses" need to become wins.

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

OurHonorDefend09's picture

True; however, college basketball is almost meaningless until tournament play (conference or NCAA). Think about the teams they have faced this year already, but their losses in particular.
@Duke (top 5 team) - won the first 35 minutes of play, couldn't finish
@Michigan (top 5 team) - they shot the lights out in a revenge game and OSU took them to OT
@MSU (top 10/15 team) - lost in a tough environment on a "buzzer beater" (LOL)
Kansas (top 5 team) - played the WORST game of offense I've ever seen and weren't out of it until a few minutes left
All it takes is one tough break to go their way during tourney time. I'm not saying they're the favorites, but when college basketball is down and you've already played the best of the best, it's not like seeding will matter too much come tourney time.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

Menexenus's picture

Great effort in regulation, but scoring only 2 points in 5 minutes during OT was *very* disappointing.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

avail31678's picture

They did play a great game.  And despite some mistakes (and a couple bad foul - or no foul, as it were - calls) at the end, we might have won. 
This team has the best D in the country, quite arguably. 
However, we match up real well wiht scUM.  They aren't that big down low, and our D's strength is on the perimeter.  I fear that Indiana who obviously IS good down low may have its way with us.  We'll know soon.
Either way, they are gradually gettting better and hopefully will peak in March.  Go Bucks!

sir rickithda3rd's picture

andy vance is wrong that is all

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

AngryWoody's picture

This team is so much better than at the start of the year and I thought they played great. Make your kool-aid jokes, but a lot of people would kill to have our basketball team and they are real contenders.

Our Honor Defend!

shortbus20's picture

You can see the growth every game from the young guys. I believe they will do well come B1G tournament time and in March as well.

  • shortbus20
Doc's picture

Should have beat AACC, but the close losses need to turn into wins.  IU needs to be a victory on Sunday.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

hail2victors9's picture

I know how it feels to be one shot away from winning and the bad taste of losing close tastes.  And I know how it feels the whole game came to the final play, when it actually doesn't. 
A lot of people have mentioned how OSU only scored 2 points in OT...Michigan only scored 4, and 3 of them was on the first possession.  Michigan had 6 or 7 chances to put the game away and failed to do so.  GRIII couldn't even make consecutive free throws to give Michigan a 3 point lead.  What no one mentions is that Jordan Morgan, the most experienced player on the team and best defensive threat down low only played 4 min due to injury.  
Anyway, beat the Hoosiers!

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

OldColumbusTown's picture

I'd say McGary did more than his share of winning the game for UM.  In fact, I'd say he may be reason #2 why they won, right behind Hardaway.  McGary had several critical putbacks in the first half, and actually played much better hedging the ball-screens Ohio State was running than I've ever seen Morgan do.
McGary is going to be a player in the B1G.  I was very impressed with him against IU, and even more so against OSU.

hail2victors9's picture

 Looks clean to me.  The last play of the game was a foul, though.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

OurHonorDefend09's picture

This one was for sure clean, and a nice play. I wish Craft would have taken this one all the way in , and tried to draw the foul here.
SIDENOTE: Those jerseys seriously look like someone just pissed all over them. Does anyone at TTUN actually like those things? I know they're your jerseys, but those can't be appealing to anyone... can they?

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

buckeyewiseman's picture

It seems too many people are overestimating the impact of Jordan Morgan. He's averaging 5 ppg and 4 rpg, WORSE than his freshman season. Amir has better numbers! There's no way you can argue he's better than McGary, anyway.
He would've had minimal impact. So, I don't think anyone can actually say it would have been different with him or anyone is "forgetting" his impact. Maybe Amir doesn't get fouled one time and go to the line, but that's about it. He's average, at best.

hail2victors9's picture

And I'm guessing you don't watch every Michigan basketball game and are basing your opinion on stats.  He's not a good offensive big; I didn't say that.  And if I had to pick between him and Mitch, I take Mitch any day.  The impact is more a product of experience.  He's the best defensive big that Michigan has.  It's the intangibles that don't show up in the stat lines like being in position, knowing when to make that extra pass instead of going up for a contested shot, and getting a body on someone. 
Regarding McGary: He's such a high-motor guy that he needs rest a little more than most.  Michigan is best when they can rotate between all 3 guys, freely.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

buckeyewiseman's picture

Ah, so he's Evan Ravenel. Gotcha. Haha, average player. Again, I'm probably saying he's the difference in a bucket or 2..which wouldn't make much of a difference.