The 11W Heart of It All Classic: Sports Region Semifinals

By Jason Priestas on March 28, 2014 at 8:30 am

The Sports region of the 11W Heart of It All Classic features three legends and the lowest remaining seed in the tournament, a legend in his own right.

No. 1 seed Jesse Owens and No. 2 seed Jack Nicklaus will be tough outs – indeed, Owens scored the most lopsided win in the second round – but this is an Ohio State site, so don't rule out their opponents, No. 4 Woody Hayes and No. 11 Archie Griffin, respectively.

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Your full bracket is here (PDF), while the vote totals for round two can be found here.

#1 Jesse Owens vs. #4 Woody Hayes

Jesse Owens: In high school, Jesse Owens tied the national record for the 100, won a record eight individual NCAA championships – four each in 1935 and '36 – and then topped that by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin.

He was Usain Bolt, but with more distance between himself and his peers.

In the opening round, Owens collected 98% of the vote against No. 16 Branch Rickey and then followed that up by collecting 95% of the vote in a second round win over No. 8 Jerry Lucas.

Woody Hayes: More than 30 years after coaching his final game, Wayne Woodrow Hayes is still the face of Ohio State football for many.

In his 29 seasons in Columbus, Hayes' teams went 205-61-10, winning national championships in 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968 and 1970. Following decades of winning with people, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

No. 13 Roger Staubach was no match for Hayes in the first round, with Hayes pulling in 98% of the vote. No. 5 Jim Tressel faired better against Hayes in the second round, but Woody still collected 84% of the vote in a matchup of the two most popular coaches in Ohio State history.

#2 Jack Nicklaus vs. #11 Archie Griffin

Jack Nicklaus: Sports Illustrated's Male Athlete of the 20th Century, the "Golden Bear" won the first of five straight Ohio State Junior titles at the age of 12 and then, for the next four decades of his life, he kept winning and winning.

Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur twice, an NCAA Championship and 18 majors – including six Green Jackets.

Nicklaus mowed down No. 15 Buster Douglas in the first round, getting 97% of the vote before rolling over No. 7 Cy Young with 85% of the vote in round two.

Archie Griffin: The only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy, Archie Griffin was born and grew up in Columbus before making his way to Ohio State.

When his four years were up, Griffin held the NCAA record with 5,589 rushing yards and along the way become the first (and one of only two to this date) player to start in four Rose Bowl games.

Archie's service to the state of Ohio didn't end with his playing career. He served in the athletic department for nearly 20 years before accepting the role of president and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association in 2004.

Griffin upset No. 6 LeBron James in the first round, taking 77% of the vote. He earned a bid to the Sweet 16 upsetting No. 3 Paul Brown in the second round with 61% of the vote.

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