BBN Basketball Liveblog: Nebraska Part 2

Written January 20th, 2014 by Eric

The Buckeyes are again away from home, taking on the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the second time this season. Recall that the Buckeyes took care of business at home by 31 immediately before starting their three game slide.

The game will start at 7:00 PM Eastern on the Big Ten Network. Stop by and chat with all of your favorite Buckeye bloggers and friends! Go Bucks!

Pregame Glance MBB: Nebraska Part 2

Written January 19th, 2014 by Eric
"Waddya mean we get the Buckeyes after a three game bender?!"

“Waddya mean we get the Buckeyes after a three game bender?!”

The Buckeyes are hoping to get back on the winning track versus Nebraska after a rough opening to the meat of conference play. Unfortunately, road wins tend to be harder to come by.

That goes double for this conference.

Thad Matta’s Buckeyes have now lost three games in a row at Michigan State, at home against Iowa, and at Minnesota. That murderer’s row wasn’t considered to be the toughest stretch in the conference slate, which does not bode well for the remainder of the season. This is also the first time Matta has lost three games in a row since 2008-2009, when games at Wisconsin (55-50), at Northwestern (72-69), and at home against Illinois (70-68) got the Buckeyes. That year was also the last time Fran McCaffery got the better of Thad Matta, as the Buckeyes fell to Siena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Now that we’ve gotten the doom and gloom out of the way, it’s time to talk about the positives. The Buckeyes have been playing terrible basketball the last three games. The turnover numbers alone for Scott and Craft (26 in three games) are appalling, and the team as a whole have committed 51 in the same span. This is not typical Thad Matta basketball, and I’m sure he’s working hard to get the problems cleared up.

“Wait, I thought you said the doom and gloom was over?”
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BBN Basketball LiveBlog: Minnesota

Written January 16th, 2014 by Eric

The Buckeyes are on the road tonight in Minneapolis, trying to get back on the winning path after two straight B1G losses.

The game is set to tip at 9:00 PM Eastern time this evening, airing on ESPN2. Come join your favorite Buckeye bloggers and friends for the game!
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BBN Basketball Liveblog: Iowa

Written January 12th, 2014 by Eric

The Buckeyes are at home following their tough, but gritty, overtime loss at Michigan State. Today’s opponent, the much improved Iowa Hawkeyes, who are certainly in the running for a Big Ten title.

The game is scheduled to tip at 1:30 PM Eastern. Stop by and chat with all of your favorite Buckeye bloggers and friends! Go Bucks!
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No, Michigan State Is Not Our New Rival

Written January 9th, 2014 by Jeff

“Michigan State is Ohio State’s new rival.”  This theme began around 11:30pm Tuesday night.

To be fair, rumblings of this new theme began long before the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes in overtime at the Breslin Center, but they began to emerge heavily after the scarlet and gray’s 72-68 defeat.

I reject this thought immediately. Michigan State is NOT our new rival. Ohio State has one rival, and only one rival.

Tradition dictates that the Michigan Wolverines are the lone rival to my alma mater, and their misfortunes of late do not knock them from the ranks of rivalry. (By “misfortunes of late”, I mean their football team being a steaming heap of dung throughout the entire 21st century. Boom, roasted.)

Michigan State is atop the Big Ten, and they earned it by knocking the Buckeyes from the ranks of the unbeaten twice in five weeks. I can accept that they are the champions in football and the current leaders in basketball. They’re a damn good team in both sports, and while I am not happy about it, there’s no denying it.

But I cannot and will not allow history and tradition to be rewritten over an excellent stretch of athletic competition.

To me, a rivalry requires more than wins and losses on a stat sheet. It takes decades of hatred, frustration, glory, and respect. Michigan State will never evoke those emotions the way Michigan does.

The Spartans are our chief competitors for the title. They are our most difficult opponents. They are our toughest struggle. But they are NOT our rival.

So what’s the difference between MSU and UM?

  • If I’m watching a pro sport and I see a player has played for MSU, it’s no big deal. “Oh, I remember Mateen Cleaves. He was great.” But if there’s a former Wolverine on the team, I’m immediately pulling for the other team (or a minor injury of some sort).
  • In 1998, Michigan State gave us our only loss and ruined a championship season. I can’t name more than one or two players from that Spartan team off the top of my head. But I can tell you exactly where I was when Michigan’s John Kolesar caught a game-winning pass against us in 1987, that traitorous sonofabitch.
  • If a Buckeye assistant coach were to take a job as Michigan’s head coach, we’d curse him until the day he died (Ex – Bo Schembechler). Meanwhile, Mark Dantonio roams the MSU sidelines without a harsh word from our fan base.
  • There isn’t a punk band in Columbus called the Dead Heathcotes.
  • Nobody knows how many days until we play MSU again. Maybe Jack Park knows, but the rest of us don’t. But I can tell you that it’s 324 days until “The Game” renews in Columbus.
  • Here’s a list of the “Ten Greatest Michigan State Spartans”. Hell, I forgot half the names on this list. You don’t do that with a team that is actually your rival.

There are several teams that want to claim us as their rival. That’s fine with me – they do it because beating us would make their season. We’re the kings. But just because Penn State or Indiana wants to declare us their rival doesn’t mean we should reciprocate. Let it go. Take the games seriously, but there simply is no massive rivalry aside from the maize and blue. You’ll never compare to our greatest rival.

If that’s not enough to convince you, perhaps a history lesson is in order.

Towards the end of the John Cooper era at Ohio State, there were similar rumblings coming from Ann Arbor. Michigan had handled us so many times recently, and their fans were losing the flavor for The Game. They were declaring Michigan State to be their biggest rival. Perhaps they were doing it to get under our skin, because that’s what Ohio State and Michigan does to one another – constant contempt and mockery.

It worked. It got under our skin. Michigan began to take us for granted, and after they knocked us off 38-26 in 2000, we’d had enough. We went and hired Jim Tressel. Since that day, the Wolverines have paid the price for disrespecting The Rivalry. They’ve only tasted victory twice in the 13 years since.

Buckeye fans, I urge you – do not declare MSU to be our new rival. They simply aren’t.

Keep your eyes on the ball. Those bastards to the north are our rivals, and they always will be.

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Buckeye Fall To Spartans Despite Furious Comeback Attempt

Written January 7th, 2014 by Scott

Comeback kids?

Cardiac kids?

For most of the second half they were dead in the water. Fans were already looking forward to Sunday’s game against Iowa.

But somehow, the Ohio State Buckeyes almost found a way.

Almost.

Overcoming a 17-point deficit with seven minutes left, the Buckeyes forced overtime and nearly pulled off a stunning win over Michigan State on Tuesday, losing 72-68, at the Breslin Center.

Trailing 55-38 Ohio State turned up the pressure defensively and went on a 20-3 run, forcing turnover after turnover while finally getting hot offensively. One of the key plays was when Craft through an inbound pass off Payne’s backside and made an easy layup to cut the lead to one.

Ohio State actually had a chance to win at the end of regulation but a Shannon Scott layup rimmed out at the buzzer.

In the overtime Ohio State took it’s first lead since late in the first half when Sam “Slam” Thompson made two of three from the free-throw line, but Michigan State built a lead on 3-pointers from Kenny Kaminski and Payne. That lead quickly disappeared when Thompson hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:13 left.

But Keith Appling hit a 3-pointer a s the shot clock wound down with 34 seconds left and OSU could not complete an overtime comeback.

Amazingly enough, OSU made the furious finish with Lenzelle Smith Jr., on the bench and Coach Thad Matta riding the hot hands of Thompson and Marc Loving.

Thompson finished with a team-high 18 points while Loving added 13. Aaron Craft and Scott each scored 9 for OSU. Appling led the Spartans (14-1, 3-0) with 20 points while Payne added 18 and Gary Harris 13. Read More

BBN Basketball Liveblog: Michigan State

Written January 7th, 2014 by Eric

The Buckeye Shooty Hoopers get their toughest test of the season tonight playing in the frozen arctic tundra of East Lansing, MI. OSU will have their hands full with a very talented and game Sparty team.

Come join us as we chat away the battle of the heavyweights, tipping off at 9pm tonight on ESPN! Go Bucks!

The Buckeyes welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers to Columbus for the first OSU home game in the Big Ten this season. Through the first half, the Huskers gave as good as they got, sticking with the Buckeyes before falling apart late in the first half as the Buckeyes claimed a 84-53 victory. The Buckeyes were led in scoring by Amadeo Della Valle, who both scored 15 points on 5/5 shooting, 3/3 from beyond the arc. Joining him in double digits were Marc Loving and Shannon Scott with 13, LaQuinton Ross with 11, and Amir Williams with 10. For Nebraska, Terran Petteway tied ADV in scoring with 15, followed by Leslee Smith with 11.

The game started sluggishly for both squads in this early Saturday matchup. Neither team found much easy success against the opponents defense, except when a breakdown occured after a long rebound sequence. Ohio State’s issue, continuing from their game against Purdue, was the inability to buy a basket early, struggling with their shooting from all areas of the court, including free throws.

Despite Nebraska missing their big 7-1 boomer in the paint, Sergej Vucetic, due to the flu, the Huskers were not afraid of attacking the paint. They worked hard getting the ball low, and fought hard on the box-outs to earn themselves tough offensive rebounds. By being patient and taking what was available against the gritty OSU defense, Nebraska earned themselves a four point lead before the second TV timeout.

It helped Nebraska significantly that the Buckeyes seemed lethargic and uninterested in the game. While the defense was there, it didn’t have the same energy that they usually execute with. This reflected on the offensive end too, with sloppy shooting, and half-hearted motions. Finally, a little bit of intensity on the defensive end flipped Sam Thompson’s offensive switch, spurring him to score four unanswered points – his first in Big Ten play this season.
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