Tag Archive: Wisconsin Badgers


Ohio State Makes the Cut


If you’ve been following my blog the past few days you’ll know that I’m on a streak of writing about an episode of College Basketball Final.  They ran through the 5 teams that have met the criteria of a championship caliber team.  These 5 teams are the Duke Blue Devils, Pittsburgh Panthers, Kansas Jayhawks, Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Purdue Boilermakers.  In this post you’ve probably already guessed that I’ll be writing about Ohio State given the title.  First I’ll review the criteria that has been met the past 10 Mens College Basketball National Champions.

  1. Teams have had win streaks of at least 10 games during the season
  2. Teams average MoV(margin of victory) is at least 10 points per game
  3. Teams must have been ranked in the preseason top 10

As you may also have guessed Ohio State met all three of these criteria making them 1 of 5 that have the best shot of winning the National Championship.

Ohio St.’s preseason ranking: 5 (As I mentioned before from the numbers I have Pittsburgh was also ranked 5th in the preseason)

Ohio St.’s MoV: 19.7

Ohio St.’s Record: 28-2 (15-2 Big Ten)

Ohio St.’s RPI: 2

I would be an idiot to say Ohio State isn’t a good team (although I did say that before they got into conference play. I was obviously wrong).  In fact I think they’ll get to the Championship Game.  One reason is the simple and undeniable fact that Jared Sullinger gets away with tons of fouls on the offensive end of the floor.  I haven’t watched a guy get away so many hooks (hooking your elbow around your defender giving you leverage as you push the defender clear of your desired path).  If for some reason the referees decide to start making that call I think Ohio State will face some bumps in the road.  Do I still think they’ll make it to the Championship game? Yes, I do.  That’s just my knock against the NCAA/Big Ten referees not making the right calls.  Sullinger is a very talented athlete and plays with an extremely gifted supporting cast.

The Buckeyes high five after a foul and a bucket

Thad Matta is also a very intelligent coach.  Ohio State only has 2 losses this season, #14 Wisconsin and #11 Purdue (All three of these teams are currently ranked in the top 10; OSU=1, Purdue=6, Wisconsin=10).  I do not blame either loss on Ohio State, both games were on the road.  Not many teams can go into the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin and pull off a win.  Playing Purdue in Mackey Arena is one of the toughest things to do as well, Purdue and Wisconsin both went undefeated at home this year too.

Ohio State currently ranks 20th in the nation in scoring (77.4ppg), 19th in assists/game (16.2), 3rd in Field Goal % (.495), and 216th in rebounds/game (34.1).  Some might look at the 216th in rebounds but look at how many they average.  34 boards a game isn’t too bad, it’s actually pretty good.  As of right now I have Ohio State losing to Kansas in the Title Game.

Purdue @ IU


Tomorrow’s match up between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Indiana Hoosiers should be a good one…for Purdue fans that is.  Fans of both teams anticipate the match up for weeks to come.  (I know I sure have).  Usually it’s a good game but I fear tomorrow may entail a different story.  I feel bad for the Hoosiers and even worse for their fans.  No matter how terrible either team has been in the past it could be counted on that both teams would bring their best to the court to give the fans an exciting game to watch, and the winning team bragging rights until the next math up.

However, tomorrow I think the Boilers will run the Hoosiers off the court and embarrass them in their home stadium.  I’ve made it clear in previous posts that I’m a huge Boilermaker fan.  It’s hard to stay unbiased when writing about either Purdue or the Hoosiers (given their rivalry, I have a natural born hate  {but respect} for IU).  But, in this case I think it’s hard to ignore the numbers and the facts that surround tomorrow nights upcoming game.

I’ll start with IU (so that I can end on a more positive note).  IU is currently on a 4 game skid.  Not only are they on a 4 game loosing streak but their losses have come to subpar, but improving, teams.  These teams include Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan and They lost to then ranked #12 Purdue last time they met on February 8th.  Three of these teams are in the bottom half of the Big Ten including two of those teams currently 9th and 11th in the conference.  IU had an impressive streak….. to start the season that is. Since then IU has slowly gone down hill and will be lucky to survive the rest of the season.  I think the only chance IU really has tomorrow night is riding their home court advantage……..for as long as they can.  Granted that this is a rivalry game the Hoosiers could possibly pull out a  heroic upset and stun the nation.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening for Hoosier fans.  And here’s why,

Purdue, opposite of IU, is on a 4 game winning streak.  Which began with a win against IU on the 8th of February.  Purdue’s last two victories have come against two top 10 teams, #10 Wisconsin and most recently #3 Ohio State. Purdue is right in contention for the Big Ten Conference Championship, as co-champs, if Ohio State looses one of its next 4 games and Purdue wins out.  Purdue is hot, in contention for the conference championship, and it’s a rivalry game.  Purdue will be looking to continue their hot streak and their hopes for another share of the Big Ten Title. Some more high notes for Purdue are these; During their 4 game streak PU is averaging 73.5 points per game, Purdue is holding their opponents to only 62 ppg, and E’Twaun Moore is averaging 25.5 ppg and during their two wins against Wisconsin and Ohio State E’Twaun is averaging 33.5 points per game.

I think it’s pretty hard to ignore the HOT streak that Purdue is on and the downward spiral IU is on.  I hope that for the sake of basketball and the respect and enjoyment of a good basketball game Indiana somehow plays a great game.  I’m two for two in previous projections of scores (Purdue over Minnesota by 12, wrong the exact score, and Purdue by 8 over Wisconsin. Both games were in West Lafayette). So here is where I most likely get it wrong but I really don’t care as long as Purdue wins.  My prediction, Purdue over IU by 14.  It’ll probably be closer than that and we can only hope! Good luck to both teams…

Michigan State vs. Ohio State


I would be lying if I said I expected Tom Izzo and the Michigan St. Spartans to walk into Columbus and win against Ohio St.  However, after a very strong first half against the Buckeyes I thought I was watching the Spartan team everybody expected to see this season.  While watching the game on my lagging laptop in the middle of my night class I was able to notice a few things, mainly during the second half.

One thing I noticed very early was the calling of the refs.  I’m not going to blame the Spartans loss on the referee’s but when a team shoots 6 free throws compared to the home teams 29 free throw attempts one has reason to question the calls made during this game.  Michigan State made 5 of their 6 attempts (83.3%) while Ohio State made 23 of their 29 attempts (79.3%).  For all you non-math majors out there that’s 18 more points basically given to the Buckeyes.  Like I said I don’t think the refs cost the Spartans this game but personally I thought there were some pretty one sided calls all night.  When one team shoots 23 more free throws than another team, especially the home team, my “homered” meter sky rockets! However, I will speak my pleasure of the referee who FINALLY called Sullinger for a hooking call with his elbow.  Touche sir, somebody finally got it.

Another thing I noticed was Michigan State turning the ball over in crucial moments.  Not only were the Spartans turning the ball over when they really needed a bucket they were turning the ball over constantly.  The Spartans had 19 turnovers! Compare that to OSU’s 7 and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.  When you have close to 20 turnovers in a game your chances of winning are cut dramatically.  Michigan State averages 14 turnovers per game, this problem could be given credit to MSU’s sub par season thus far.

The last thing I noticed about MSU’s performance tonight was their inability to make shots when they needed to.  This was due in part to turning the ball over and Ohio State’s defense forcing the Spartans offense out of rhythm.  The Spartans simply choked the last 8-10 minutes of the game when making shots really counted.  Granted, Ohio State played really good defense and didn’t let the Spartans get very many good looks.

As mentioned above I didn’t expect to watch MSU beat Ohio State at home tonight.  After Ohio State’s loss in Madison this weekend I had the feeling they would be playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder.  Coming home after a loss is always a good thing too.  I admit that my predictions on Ohio State earlier this season were far from right.  Even after Ohio State lost to Wisconsin I think they deserve the #1 ranking.  Yeah, many people want to argue for a 3 loss team in Texas but even with Texas’s RPI and Strength of Schedule Ohio State still is the best team in college basketball as of right now.  There was no argument for either Kansas or Texas before Ohio State’s loss and after losing in the Kohl Center, where Wisconsin and Bo Ryan are basically unbeatable, and there still shouldn’t be.  Make no mistake, I am not jumping on the OSU bandwagon. I hate Ohio State just as much as any non-Ohio State fan.  I was born to despise Ohio State and I always will.  But, being a college basketball fan you have to be unbiased and realistic (which some may argue I was not earlier and rightfully so).

Just a side note: I can’t wait until the Badgers at Purdue rematch tomorrow night! I was in Madison when Purdue visited the Kohl Center (I was in the student section decked out in all my Purdue gear) and it was awesome.  I was very surprised by the Boilers early second half surge to take a 9 point lead halfway through the second half.  Even though I knew a win at the Kohl Center was damn near impossible I was a little upset that my Boilers lost.  After the game I realized I snowed in for the Night and had to call up one of my buddies who knows Jordan Taylor, who I actually got to meet and had a brief conversation with.  It was awesome.  But, I look forward to my Boilermakers to reclaim some pride by defeating the Badgers in Mackey Arena tomorrow night! I look for the Boilermakers to reclaim sole position of 2nd place in the Big Ten with a victory of 8 points.


Hey Everyone,

It’s been a few days since I last posted.  Since my last post I attended the Minnesota vs Purdue game in West Lafayette.  I had a blast.  Purdue came out a little slow but you could tell Purdue was getting back to their old ways, playing solid tough defense and making shots to keep a slim lead.  At halftime the Boilers were up by 3 but I had confidence that they would open it up in the second half and send the gophers back to there little dams disappointed.

I was very pleased with the Boilermakers and had a great time watching them win the game.  However, tonight is the game I’m really excited for. I had a gut feeling that Purdue was going to win easy at home against Minnesota.  I was kind of right, they won but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.  Tonight, however, will be a tough one. The Boiler senior class is currently 2-1 at the Kohl Center.  The Boilers seem to know how to win in Madison and I’m hoping they do the same.  Oh and have I mentioned that I will be decked out in my Purdue gear in the Wisconsin student section for tonight’s game? Well I will be and I hope I don’t get killed after Purdue pulls off the win.

I have much confidence after seeing my Purdue Boilermakers in person on Saturday and was able to see how they responded to Coach Painter during timeouts.  Being at the game gives so much more information about teams than watching on TV and I saw a lot of things that I really liked.  Purdue knows whats on the line tonight.  They need this win to maintain any chance of staying up with Ohio State.  They’ve had success in Madison at the Kohl Center and I look for it to be a much closer game than the rest of Wisconsin and America thinks it’s going to be.  I have much faith in Coach Painter and the senior class to get this team fired up and ready to go tonight.  JaJuan Johnson has already said they let one go against Ohio State in Columbus and they don’t want to let any other games go.  They understand the importance of this game and I think America will be in for a treat tonight.

Prediction: Purdue in a close game given the circumstances and importance of the game. Purdue 69 Scotty 67

Minnesota @ Purdue Round 2


This Saturday the Boilermakers host the Gophers.  Purdue almost came away with a win at Minnesota on January 13th.  However, Purdue couldn’t quite pull out the win and fell short 70-67.  I look for Purdue to redeem itself this weekend as they host the Gophers.  The Big Ten is a very tough conference to win on the road and teams play really well and are tough to beat at home.

I will actually be at the Purdue game. I’m making the 5 hour drive from southern Wisconsin to visit my sister and to cheer on the Boilermakers as they take down the Gophers.  I’m also bringing my best friend who coincidentally is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We’ll be sitting in the student section and in my spare time I’ll be making sure he’s not being killed for wearing Gopher apparel.

But this game is very important for Purdue.  Yeah, it would be awesome going to see this game live just after a win in Columbus against the #1 ranked Buckeyes but that didn’t happen.  For me I’ll be looking to see how the Boilers react after such a blowout loss on Tuesday night.  This is only my second Purdue game that I’ll catch in person and I’m really looking forward to it.  But, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit nervous to see how Purdue plays.

Don’t be mistaken.  I still have confidence in my Boilermakers and still think with a little help from the rest of the conference (mainly Minnesota and Wisconsin) and winning out I think the Boilers still have a chance to be co-conference champs…again.  I think coming back home will be good for the Boilers and a good game is in store.  I look for Purdue to put on a defensive show and shut down the Gophers.  I think it will be a slightly low scoring game unless both teams decide not to play defense.  I predict the Boilermakers to walk away with a 65-53 win.

I “CAN’T WAIT!” to get to West Lafayette to watch my Purdue Boilermakers get back on the right track!

Wisconsin @ Michigan State


It certainly was a cold night in Michigan Tuesday night.  As the Wisconsin Badgers traveled to neighboring state Michigan to face the Michigan State Spartans in a Big Ten battle.

Michigan State started off rather slow and the Badgers jumped out and took an early lead that lasted up until the final remaining minutes of the game.  It looked as if Bo Ryan and his Badgers were going to accomplish their sixth straight win over the Spartans.  Suddenly the Spartans made some huge baskets and tied the score as the final seconds came to a close sending the game into overtime.

Michigan State ended up winning 64-61 in impressive fashion. The Spartans so far have been a team of huge confusion.  Now their record sits at 11-5, not bad, but they dropped what should have been a rather easy game against Penn State earlier this week.  I’m not taking anything away from the Nittany Lions, as I’ve said they’re a team that can make things interesting in the Big Ten.  And, I continue to respect and have high regards for the Spartans. Tom Izzo always has a tough team and they know how to win big games.  And boy did they need a big win tonight against Wisconsin.

The Spartans did an excellent job on the defensive side of the ball all game long and held Jon Leuer to only 10 points the entire game.  I think this was their key to success tonight.  As a Purdue fan I wasn’t quite sure which team I wanted to win tonight and decided that seeing a good game is what I wanted to see.  I got what I wanted and was also able to do a bit of scouting for some upcoming games against the Boilers.  I think both teams could give Purdue some trouble with their big men and lack of depth at the big man position.  However, I think match-ups at the 1-3 positions are going to be fun to watch.  I still think Michigan State will finish second (Possibly tie for first) in the Big Ten and Wisconsin in the top 3.  Overall I saw really good things from both teams tonight. Yes, they both have much room to grow and improve but by Big Ten tourney time I think Wisconsin will still take that title and I look for both teams to make deep runs in March!

Big Ten Brutes


It’s no lie that the Big Ten is a tough conference.  The Big Ten currently has 5 teams ranked in the top 25 (ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll) and 1 team receiving votes.  To me this is impressive.  Only the  Big East has more ranked teams with 8, and that’s out of a 16 team conference.   I would be surprised to see the Big Ten  pick up any more ranked teams starting conference play.  The Big Ten is going to beat the crap out of each other…literally.  As for the Big East, I see them losing ranked teams as conference play continues.

When I look at the Big Ten a few teams stick out to me.  Of course Purdue, Michigan State, and Ohio State.  Some might be questioning my mentioning of Michigan St.  Yes, it’s true that they’ve only posted a sub par 9-4 record but remember their strength of schedule.  Tom Izzo even said that he was concerned with the amount of miles he was putting on his team traveling wise earlier this season, let alone the opponents they were playing (Duke, Uconn, Syracuse, and Texas who are all ranked).  Michigan State is and will continue to be a tough team to beat.  A lot of people seem to be selling Purdue short still.  That’s fine, I like flying under the radar.  Flying under the radar with a #10 rank isn’t heard of very often.

Ohio State.  Here’s where I’ll probably upset some readers but it’s my blog and this is how I roll.  I don’t see Ohio State holding on to their #2 ranking or even maintaining a top ten rank.  I think Sullinger is relied upon too much by the Buckeyes and this will hurt them come conference play.  The Big Ten is full of top notch big men and I think this will get to Sullinger and frustrate him.  Let me not fail to mention that Ohio State hasn’t played anybody! I see the Buckeyes flopping like a fish out of water once they get into conference play.

I also want to mention some teams to keep an eye out for in the Big Ten.  Illinois(#20), Wisconsin, Michigan, and Northwestern.  Illinois and Wisconsin always find themselves at the top of the conference making runs at the conference title.  Bo Ryan will have his Badgers ready to go every Big Ten game especially at home.  Illinois, let’s face it.  They figure out ways to win better than any other team in the Big Ten.  That’s what they do.  Michigan and Northwestern, well they make me nervous every time my Boilermakers play them. They have players and the ability to upset any team any night.  These two teams are no push over wins for anybody.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of these teams finish in the top 5 of the conference.

And…let’s not forget the ferocious Minnesota Gophers.  Currently ranked 21st I see them not winning the conference but making things interesting.  I think the Gophers, led by Coach Tubby Smith, have the potential to beat just about anybody.  They too make me nervous when they play Purdue.  After all, it was at Minnesota where Robbie Hummel tore his ACL! The Boilers ended up winning that game but it was ugly.  Penn State also has the potential to stir things up and make things interesting in the Big Ten.

Due to the tough schedule of the Big Ten I think this year your conference champion will have anywhere from 3 to 4 losses.  Plus, basketball (like all sports) is a funny game and anything can happen.  Here’s how I think the Big Ten will play out:

1-Purdue, 2-Michigan State, 3-Wisconsin, 4-Illinois, 5-Northwestern, 6-Ohio State, 7-Minnesota, 8-Indiana, 9-Michigan, 10-Penn State, 11-Iowa

I also see the Big Ten sending 7, if not 8 teams to the big dance.  Because of how this conference will pan out I think the seeds that these teams earn won’t represent how good they actually are.  And going on a gut feeling I see Wisconsin winning the Big Ten Tournament.