Skull Session: The Buckeyes Are the Simulated NCAA Basketball Champions, Trey Sermon Could Be Coming to Ohio State, and Scott Van Pelt Celebrates Buckeye Seniors

By Kevin Harrish on March 18, 2020 at 4:59 am
The leafs are on the helmet in today's skull session.

This might be our first day since Saturday without a commitment.

It could get rough, but we'll get through it together.

Song of the Day: "Take a Chance On Me" by ABBA.

Word of the Day: Vacuous.

 HANG THE BANNER. Get that banner ready because the Buckeyes are the closest thing we're gonna get to a basketball national champion this year, thanks to an extremely good and correct simulation by the Washington Post.

The Post's simulation has the Buckeyes dumping Yale, Oregon, Kansas, Michigan State, Dayton and Baylor to claim the natty. I see no flaws.

The Buckeyes, however, were a sleeping giant. They were the eighth-most efficient team in the country after accounting for strength of schedule, with skilled three-point shooters (37 percent, 23rd) that could score in bunches. They beat Oregon in the round of 32 and knocked off Kansas 72-65 in the Elite Eight to make this year’s Final Four. The Jayhawks’ defense was stout (second-best in the country) but they allowed way too many shots from behind the arc (41 percent of all field goals, 288th out of 353 teams). Once they ran into a team like Ohio State that could make them pay, it caught up to them.

Then Ohio State beat Michigan State to make the Final Four. Pace played a key role in this simulation. The Buckeyes’ slow play (280th in the nation) added emphasis to their three-point shooting. Their rebounding prowess (25.2 percent) also stopped Michigan State from fully utilizing its own strength on the offensive glass, propelling Ohio State to a 64-52 win.


Final Four

No. 5 Ohio State (Midwest) beat No. 1 Dayton (East) 80-64

The Buckeyes allowed opponents to shoot just 44 percent on two-point shots during the regular season, the 17th best rate in the country. That let Ohio State do the one thing better than most against Dayton and Obi Toppin, the best dunker in the nation: defend the rim.


National title game

No. 5 Ohio State wins 74-69 over No. 1 Baylor

The Buckeyes were the better shooting team all year (effective field goal rate of 52 percent vs. 49 percent for Baylor) and close enough defensively to allow Ohio State to win its second national championship and first since 1960.

I think it's safe to say the Buckeyes are on board with these (simulated) results.

For any decision-makers reading this, I would wear the shit out of that shirt. Someone needs to go ahead and get those printed and take my money.

 SERMON SMOKE. The Buckeyes have been so busy convincing extremely good teens to do football in Columbus lately that I almost forgot they had a chance to land an immediate starter at running back.

And in a little game of fact or fiction, that's exactly what the folks at Rivals expect to happen with Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon presumably very interested in Ohio State.

Farrell’s take: FACT. The Oklahoma transfer-to-be seems very interested in the Buckeyes and I assume the interest is mutual. Ohio State is looking for a back to replace J.K. Dobbins and  Trey Sermon can do many of the same things despite being a big back. His receiving skills are underappreciated and he’s a great fit for what Ryan Day wants to do on offense.

Gorney’s take: FACT. Sermon is really talented and he could be a huge boost to any program's offense and Ohio State looks like a perfect landing spot for someone highly-skilled who was not getting as much opportunity at his old school. The Buckeyes need to replace Dobbins and Master Teague is injured, so someone could step right in and have a huge season. Other programs desperate for a running back will try to get Sermon, there but I’m picking Ohio State for him.

A top-100 prospect, the No. 2 overall running back in the 2021 class and the top available transfer running back. Tony Alford was just saving all his recruiting juice for one mega month, and I won't be anywhere near mad about it if he can pull it off.

 SENIOR NIGHT. Thousands of seniors across dozens of sports across the country saw their senior seasons (and athletic careers) come to a very unceremonious close this month.

It sucks, and there's not much we can do to change it, but noted good dude Scott Van Pelt is doing what he can, making sure to properly celebrate as many as possible – including a few Buckeyes.

Wrestling matches don't seem quite as easy to simulate, so that seems out of the question. But let's just go ahead and give Kollin Moore and Luke Pletcher their titles. The championships were just a formality anyway.

 STILL NOT OVER IT. I'm hoping one day I'll be able to think about the Fiesta Bowl without becoming physically ill, but today is not that day.

KJ Hill's father is in the same boat, except he's making it even worse for me, highlighting a play I'd forgotten I was even irate about.

I thought I wanted sports back, but if a few still screencaps from a game that happened three months ago evokes this much hurt, maybe it's healthier for us all if they just stay canceled.

Nah, nevermind. November makes it worth it no matter what.

 EJ PSA. Don't worry, y'all. EJ Liddell is here to give you all the coronavirus information you could ever need.

EJ did fine, but nobody is topping Nick Bosa's advice Super Bowl media day.

"Just hang in there. Enjoy the Super Bowl."

There has never been better advice.

 NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. UK's sewage system is in danger of gridlock from toilet paper substitutes... A 40,000-mile journey was nothing for this 19th-century female explorer... A woman discovers the bar of soap she’s been washing her hands with for days is actually a block of cheese... A possible dinosaur DNA find sparks a Jurassic Park debate... They went off the grid, then came back to coronavirus... Everything on "Naked and Afraid" is real... The Jewish racing driver who beat the Nazis... The life and death of one of America's most mysterious trees.

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