If yesterday was any indication, it’s going to be a loooooooong two days before Cincinnati and Ohio State tip off late Thursday night. Thurdsay will be a tremendously long day as well. That’s 3 long days before the Bearcats get the opportunity to put boots to asses against the team that refuses to play them.
The prospect of Cincinnati and Ohio St playing in basketball has been something I never understood why it wouldn’t work. You look at every other state, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa, Utah, Pennsylvania, and those all have historic rivals who play each other every year. Sure, some of those are because the teams play in conference like UNC-Duke, Michigan-Sparty, Indiana-Purdue, but I think they would all figure out a way to play despite that. We do live in a world where Oklahoma and Nebraska don’t play each other every year in football and Missouri and Kansas won’t play each other anymore. That’s the point I’m getting at. It doesn’t have to be like that. Cincinnati and Ohio State were 2 of the elite programs in the nation in the 60s. They should have started playing every year back then. Yet, they didn’t. And they continued not playing. Cincinnati and Ohio State both had big runs in the early 90s. Jimmy Jackson’s time at OSU was the same as Nick Van Exel’s time at UC. You’re telling me we couldn’t have seen that once? Despite an off year or two, both programs have been top 25 programs in college basketball the last 20 years.
The fact the have been top 25 programs the past 20 years could have lead to a meeting in the NCAA tournament. In 2002, it was supposed to go down that way. Cincinnati was the 1 seed, OSU the 4. It didn’t turn out like that. The same goes for 2000, Cincinnati was the 2 seed, OSU the 3. Even back in 1992 the teams could have played, but OSU lost to Michigan in the Elite 8. It’s not for the lack of the tournament committee pairing them in the same region. The only times the teams played was in the Wooden Classic in 06, which was probably set up by the Wooden Classic. Oh, and it was signed when Huggins left and UC was in turmoil, so yeah. I thought Thad Matta would want to play Cincinnati every year. I thought he would feel the yearning of a game and do something about it. Instead, he says he doesn’t make the schedule and other garbage like that.
It’s easy for a person to say, why are you complaining about this? Cincinnati and Ohio State aren’t rivals in anything who cares? My point is Cincinnati and Ohio State, 2 of the best programs in the state, AREN’T RIVALS IN ANYTHING! Why not? Why don’t they play each other? I don’t buy the act that Ohio St is afraid to lose. Look at their non-conference schedule and say that with a straight face. I don’t buy the big brother, little brother non-sense. I honestly don’t know why they don’t play. Guess we’ll just have to beat Ohio State.
Here are some other notes for this week.
Spead: Ohio State -7.5
Mo Egger, someone I don’t think I’ve ever heard on the radio (which is ok because he’s definitely never seen or read this blog, that smug son of a bitch), wrote this great piece yesterday morning about his euphoria after the game. His headline immediately reminds me of Vanilla Sky. You know, the sweet wouldn’t be as sweet without the sour.
Johnny Ginter from Eleven Warriors wrote this piece that sums up what I wrote about up top.
He asked me to be on their podcast the one god damn day of the week where I actually have to do things. This has happened both times I have been asked to be on podcasts. I’ll just have to go back to talking to myself for 45 minutes in front of my computer for my daily podcast now. Read the piece. Spoiler alert, there is gonna be more from Eleven Warriors this week on the site probably.
Steve Megargee at Yahoo has a good piece on Yancy Gates. It’s definitely worth your 5 minutes.
Here is Bearcat Nation Chris’ reaction from the Florida State game.
By the way, I think there is one cool picture of Titus Rubles and Chris, Matt from DtD and I all used it. Or, we are all just awesome. I’m going to bet on the latter.
Reuters has a semi-generic Sweet 16 preview between UC and OSU. They do use KenPom stats, which makes it more than generic. That’s why I plopped semi on it. This is why I make the gigantic bucks running this blog, peeps.
Scarlet and Game has gone position by position for their preview. Worth a look.
Greg at College Hoops Net has a UC-OSU preview. It has something in common with the Scarlet and Game preview.
I don’t mean to intentionally slam Koch, but writing a piece where you say the current players don’t know the history between UC and Ohio State like the fans do is really stupid because of course the players don’t know the history between UC and Ohio State like the fans do. Do you really think Cashmere Wright hung out in Savannah wondering why UC and OSU never played? None of the players on Ohio State care about playing Cincinnati either. It’s a fan thing. Every single year you see things about the fucking Crosstown Shootout, which happens every year, where players say they didn’t realize how intense it was. Well how are they going to realize how much the fans care when they probably weren’t UC fans? This is just dumb. I’m sure there are UC fans out there who don’t know anything about 61-62 besides UC beat OSU. I bet a lot of them think Oscar was on those teams. No one knows the scores. I don’t. I have one championship game score memorized because there was a picture of it in my house for years. Louisville 72 Duke 69.
This piece on Boston.com is about Jared Sullinger. Yancy Gates needs to watch out for Sullinger’s best friend, his ass.
“I have one trick [in the paint], and that’s my butt,’’ Sullinger said. “As long as I’ve got my best friend on my back side, I’m good.’’
Myron Medcalf at ESPN made some bold Sweet 16 predictions. One of them was this.
Ohio won’t be represented in New Orleans — One of the best storylines of the tournament unfolded over the weekend. Four Ohio schools (Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio State and Ohio) reached the Sweet 16. But I don’t think we’ll see any of them in New Orleans. Even if Marshall can’t go, the Tar Heels have far too much athleticism and size for Ohio. I’m picking Cincinnati over Ohio State. I like the Yancy Gates -Jared Sullinger battle and the Bearcats’ athleticism on the perimeter. But I don’t think Cincy gets past Wisconsin, the team I’m picking to beat Syracuse. I think the Musketeers can defeat Baylor in the Sweet 16, but they’re not going to beat Kentucky. It’s a great accomplishment for one state to send four schools to the Sweet 16. But it won’t have any reps in New Orleans even though the numbers favor it right now. Sorry, Ohio.
Boo this man.
Jeff Goodman at CBS runs through the East region.
The Washington Post runs down all 4 Ohio team matchups in the Sweet 16. Yeah, Ohio has 4 teams in the Sweet 16. You hadn’t heard that?
Last note, the UC women were bounced from the NIT last night, 72-51 by Toledo. Dayeesha Hollins scored 17 points. The UC women finished the year at 16-16. Nice season, ladies.