Reading Ohio State's Postseason Tea Leaves

By Johnny Ginter on March 11, 2014 at 11:15a

I have given up trying to understand the 2013-14 Ohio State men's basketball team on any level beyond "acknowledgement that it exists." Every time that I try to use logic, or reasoning, or statistics or any other substantial metric to determine how I think the team will do in any given game, everything fails me as my predictions fall apart like so much off brand toilet paper in my hands.

Even my gut feelings have betrayed me, which I guess shouldn't come as a major surprise since I've never really trusted my gut for anything after developing lactose intolerance. But regardless, I feel like a helpless little sports fan infant, struggling to make sense of a chaotic world and a chaotic team that is perfectly content getting swept by Penn State, and then promptly turning around and dispatching a healthy Michigan State team (despite scoring literally zero field goals over the final three and a half minutes of a tie game.)

So the only proper response to this insanity is to go further and deeper than any Ken Pomeroy projection or dumbass ESPN Bracketology has ever gone. Beyond the realm of quantitative analysis or rational observation. Beyond even a scraggly old uncle insisting that he's "got a gooood feeling about this one." No, if we want to make an honest stab at predicting what lies in store for the Ohio State men's basketball team, we need to journey into the ether of the metaphysical.


If Harry Potter has taught me anything, and I like to think that it absolutely has, it's that words have power. As in, if you say them or look at them in a certain way, you can turn someone into a rat or make a delicious stew or predict the future or whatever. I'm not entirely sure how it's all supposed to work, but if ten year olds can mumble garbled Latin to defeat giant trolls, then I figure that I can scramble the names of Ohio State basketball players and coaches to predict the future.


  • Thad Matta becomes MAD AT THAT

Hmm, I don't like how this is turning out so far. The fates portend an ill wind for coaches that become "mad at that." Assuming that "that" refers to shooting jumpers, offensive and defensive rebounding, free throws, figuring out zone defense, guarding the three point line, turnovers, or layups. Maybe Thad Matta is just mad all the time.

  • Lenzelle Smith, Junior becomes ZENITH LULL REJOINS ME

Again, not a huge surprise. Lenzelle Smith's career has been one of sustained almost-competence, and his game against Michigan State was a perfect example of that. Be on fire for about 8 minutes, spend the rest of the game bricking jumpers and looking for potential rebounds.

  • LaQuinton Ross becomes NO LOANS, SQUIRT

Maybe this experiment isn't all that I thought it was going to be. I mean, sure, Ross  doesn't need college loans because he's on scholarship, but he's definitely not a squirt. And I don't see how that relates to the B1G tourney anyway.

  • Aaron Craft becomes A CARROT FAN

On the other hand, this is very likely true.


Okay, so words by themselves didn't work, but maybe a long discredited system of measuring skulls to determine personality traits might come in handy today. "But Johnny," you implore, "why would you resurrect racist scientific quackery just to try and figure out how Ohio State will play against Purdue?"

Hmm yes I see
A perfect fit.

Well, conscience, this is big time collegiate sports. We draw dubious conclusions about intellectual and athletic ability based on superficial physical attributes all the time. So here's a picture of Thad Matta with some weird thing superimposed over his head.

As you can see, that's uh... well, based on the strength of Matta's squama frontalis, his Ohio State teams are much more likely to... defeat... other teams that, uh, rebound. And shoot. On Fridays in March. But ONLY if the temperature is higher than 40 degrees and the wind is blowing in a southwesterly direction at roughly 15 miles per hour. Anything lower or higher than that, and this analysis is moot.

This is way more difficult than I expected. It's almost as if you can't make presumptions based on guesswork and half-assed science, and frankly that's not a world I'm sure I want to live in.


This is my last shot at making an honest prediction about Ohio State's upcoming tournament run. Literature has failed me, science has failed me, and now I can only hope that the incoherent ramblings of a lunatic on the internet will be my personal saving grace.

Why didn't I see this earlier?!?

So, as you can plainly see, the hollow Ball Cube in which the 4 quadrant corners of zone defense rotate, equates to your 4 corner court, or to a 4 corner arena which represents the 4 corners of Earth - in which stupid and evil Michigan fans teach dumb fans 1 corner knowledge. Each of the 4 corners of Earth is the beginning and ending of its own separate 15 minute quarter - all 4 simultaneous games within a single rotation of Earth.

Place 4 different point guards in the 4 corners of a basketball court and rotate them 4 corners each. Three point shot math applied within this hollow Cube would be erroneous math, as it would not account for the 4th quarter comebacks.

Place a 100 people within this Cubic like court and they will not increase the number of made layups. The Big Ten equates to a deadly plague.

Screw it, I give up. After dozens of games this season, none of which have looked the same and where the basketball team has had very little rhyme or reason for anything that they've done or accomplished, I am no closer to figuring out how they might do in the B1G tourney and beyond. This is a team that could lose their first round game to Purdue (maybe more likely), or go on an epic tear and end up in the Elite 8 again (slightly less likely).

Either way though, it's going to be... weird. I'm looking forward to it.


Comments Show All Comments

hit_the_couch's picture

Phrenology...used to feel and interpret the size of Walt's asshole.

from the 1990 movie classic 'Men at Work'

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+3 HS
Orlando Buckeye's picture

I support the concept of reverse phrenology. 

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Well you've sent us all straight to the anagram rabbit hole today (bastard).  Anyway, this one is interesting:

Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean

Ace manic, Draconian hothead

This one is also clever:

Arkansas Coach Bert

Hacker's cobra Satan

And one more before I go back and get work done:

Michigan Wolverines

Womanish, evil cringe

Yeti's have feelings too.

+9 HS
Doc's picture

Johnny, that was pure gold.  I love your articles, they are all sciencey and smart. 

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

+2 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

they are all sciencey and smart.

and written by a social studies teacher.  Not saying they can't do science, they just may not be my first choice.  I'll take Walter White over Jesse Pinkman.


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

+2 HS
gm3jones's picture

Lol this is why I love this site! Good stuff, Johnny.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

+3 HS
southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Of course, Thad could also become the Mad Hattta, and then spring a surprise on the collegiate world that vaults the Scarlet and Gray into the Final Four!

Hey, don't laugh.  It could happen.

I like cookies.

+1 HS
Crumb's picture

At first glance I thought the fortune teller lady was Bert from Arkansas.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+3 HS
BHT's picture

I thought the same. Maybe they are related in some way? Or maybe she predicted the bad season Bert would have (didn't we all)?

ibuck's picture

Bert's looking stunned they turned down his substitution rule.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

BHT's picture

Hilarious! Great article, and you are right. I do not think one can explain this season. Well, at least you tried...

AngryWoody's picture

This is the funniest thing I've read in five and a half years.

Our Honor Defend!

BeijingBucks's picture

This is way more difficult than I expected. It's almost as if you can't make presumptions based on guesswork and half-assed science, and frankly that's not a world I'm sure I want to live in.


don't worry. Sports Media will keep your world intact

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

OSUFlash's picture

I don't even know enough to know I don't understand this. I am who I thought I was.....I think.


gobucks96's picture

That god you didn't do this on Monday....