Skull Session: Ohio State Takes on Michigan State, Kaleb Wesson's Importance, and the Buckeyes' Tournament Chances

By Kevin Harrish on March 15, 2019 at 4:59 am
Brutus is ready to blast Sparty in today's Skull Session.

The Buckeyes probably did all all they needed to do to get into the NCAA Tournament by beating Indiana yesterday, but let's just remove all doubt and dump Sparty today, shall we?

Last time things went the opposite of swell. The Buckeyes scored 13 points in the entire second half and a Michigan State walk-on scored more points on one shot than Ohio State scored in the game's final 8 minutes.

But people forget, the Buckeyes won the first half.

Nothing would give me more joy than starting off a weekend by putting Tom Izzo in a gutter, so let's make it so. Justin Ahrens is about to prove he's the correct brother. Bucks by six.


Word of the Day: Cimmerian.

 LOCAL TEAM BETTER WITH BEST PLAYER. I guess I was somehow wrong online when I boldly claimed that Kaleb Wesson's absence wasn't totally to blame for Ohio State missing wide open jumpers and shooting like 17 percent from the floor for entire halves.

That seemed like a logical take – I mean, who else are you gonna blame for missing a wide open jump shot besides the fellow missing the wide open jump shot? – but all the evidence from the past five games seems to suggest I'm an idiot.

Joking aside, it really is crazy to see how much better this offense looks when they actually have someone to play through. It opens everything else up and gives the shooters confidence, which is everything.

Remember a few months ago when people on here were creating forum topics unironically asking if Ohio State really needed Kaleb Wesson to start?

 DO YOU HEAR THE MUSIC? With yesterday's win, I think the Bucks are in. I don't even think there's really a qualifier at this point. I think Ohio State could lose by 45 today against and would still be in the field. That says more about the other bubble teams than it does Ohio State, but still.

Now, that trip to the tourney could still come in the form of a trip to the First Four for a play-in game, but I honestly think Ohio State's in good shape to avoid that as well, based on Joe Lunardi's latest projections on ESPN:

Looking good for the Buckeyes.

Now, keep in mind, Lunardi has been consistently one of the least bullish on the Buckeyes, so if he has Ohio State relatively firmly in the field, that's probably the case. Jerry Palm of CBS Sports and Howie Schwab of Fox Sports each had Ohio State in the field of 64 even before yesterday's win while Lunardi had them in the First Four.

As for the chances of Ohio State slipping out of that spot even with a loss, I don't think that's going to happen. NC State, TCU, Belmont, Texas, Indiana and Clemson all lost either yesterday or before then, and can't improve their resume anymore. A loss in an extra game to a top-10 opponent isn't going to knock the Buckeyes down that far, even if it isn't a particularly close one.

I know a lot of you watch this Ohio State team and think "Nah, no way in hell that team is making the tournament." I get that inclination, I really do. But if that's your take, I urge you to look at the resumes of those other teams that you'd have to put in over Ohio State.

Maybe the Buckeyes aren't that good or deserving, especially when compared to previous Ohio State teams, but somebody has to make fill those 68 spots.

 PARRIS CAMPBELL SIGNS WITH NIKE. I remember a few years ago when people in the comments of this very website were calling for Parris Campbell to be benched because of his stone hands.

This year, he broke Ohio State's single record for catches, is about to be a first or second round pick in the NFL Draft, and just inked an official endorsement deal with Nike.

Campbell is perfect evidence for my favorite phenomenon in college sports: players getting better with time. I know it sounds crazy, but I think it's often easy for sports fans to forget that happens.

 REINFORCEMENTS LOOKING GOOD. I say this about once a week, but the class coming in next season makes everything about this season feel like house money.

With all the returning production plus three players rated higher out of high school than any player on the current roster, next year's team is looking like a legitimate contender in the Big Ten, if not nationally.

And it's always good when the lowest-rated player of that trio keeps raking in accolades.

It's going to be fun, but I'm not ready for next year yet. We've still got some Sparty slayin' to do.

 “YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!” Looks like some Columbusite got extremely turnt on a Monday night.

Police managed to stop a drunk woman on a cell phone driving the wrong way on 315 South at just after 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

I love how the lady just looked frustrated and tried to back up and go around the police as if they were in the wrong for getting in her way.

You can almost hear the "I'll call you back" before the cop approaches her window.

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