WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW! IT’S TOURNEY TIME BABY! Between this week and next week this is definitely the best two week stretch in all of sports, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. This week Championship Week next week rounds 1 and 2 of the Big Dance March Madness. You can’t tell me that you don’t get excited about this, if you don’t you either aren’t human or a sports fan. I believe that it should be a holiday no one should have to work during the first two days of March Madness. The conference tournaments are just as good, because teams can use that momentum and spring themselves forward into the tournament and make a deep run. The things that happen in March either make you a legend like Stephen Curry or a scapegoat like Darius Washington (if you don’t know who he is youtube him.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-cqlbqJFWM
The Big Ten Tournament kicked off last night, and outside of the Minnesota (20-12, 8-10 B1G) vs. Illinois (22-11, 8-10 B1G) game and the Nebraska (15-17, 5-13 B1G) vs. Purdue (15-17, 8-10 B1G) it was pretty un eventful with two blowouts in the other two games. The most exciting had to be the Minnesota/Illinois game with Gus Johnson calling the game as Brandon Paul hit the game winner with no time left. That is what March is all about buzzer beaters and heartbreaking losses.
On slate for today’s games you have Illinois taking on the Hoosiers at 12:00 PM, the Hoosiers looking to avenge their loss to the Fighting Illini earlier this year. Then at 2:00 PM you have TTUN vs. the Badgers, the Badgers haven’t played well as of late. So it will be interesting to see if Coach of The Year (he didn’t get my vote) Bo Ryan can get his team ready to play. Then at 6:30 the important game starts when Nebraska takes on our Buckeyes, but more on this later. At 9:00 PM the Hawkeyes take on the Spartans. All the action can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
Now the Buckeyes will take on the Cornhuskers for the third time this season. The Buckeyes swept the season series against the ‘Huskers so this should be a fairly easy game, but nothing come easy during tournament time. Teams are fighting for their tournament lives right now to punch a ticket to the Big Dance so you have to show up focused, and not beat yourself when you are the better team. As usual here are my keys for a Buckeye victory.
Mully’s Keys to VICTORY!
Crafty-Offense - the Buckeyes normally follow Aaron Craft’s on defense which needs to happen as well but they need to follow his example on offense and be aggressive. Drive to the hoop and pick up a foul or two, if they do this it will open up shots and get the ‘Huskers in foul trouble.
Rebound! – Clean up the glass and don’t give up easy second chance points by allowing them to get garbage rebounds around the rim.
Stay Focused – Play smart and take it to them, and when you have them down don’t take your foot off the gas pedal. Because you don’t want teams to hang around during tournament time because crazy things do happen. Like in the Charlotte-Richmond game yesterday where Charlotte shot 11 free throws in 4 seconds.
I see this being another Buckeye victory but it won’t be a huge blow out like it should be. Now if the Buckeyes win they will take on the winner of Iowa/MSU, and since this weekend happens to be the best holiday of the year St. Patrick’s Day, let’s hope the Hawkeyes pull off an upset so people can wear green and not be thought of as Spartan fans. If not then just drink green beer all day and still wear your scarlet and gray.
Until next week Buckeye Nation, stay safe this weekend. And remember Muck Fichigan!