Tuesday, March 04, 2008
THE Ohio State University takes down Purdue
I don't know whether it was my pledge to indulge the Buckeyes' love affair with the definite article or simply the promise of a sweet, sweet chaw, but I'm going to go ahead and take responsibility for the Ohio State Univeristy's basketball triumph over former conference leader Purdue in Columbus tonight. The Buckeyes won 80-77 in overtime.
To be perfectly honest it's amazing that the Bucks managed to pull this one out, especially considering that for much of the second half their gameplan consisted of fouling Boilermaker players who had picked up their dribble in completely senseless places and allowing slightly-contested threes to go in. But Jamar Butler decided that the Thad Matta express needed some steam heading into the NIT (let's face it, that win wasn't nearly enough to get the Buckeyes off the bubble) and exploded for 23 points in the second half and overtime and picked his team up when they were way, way down.
A lot of sound and fury winds up signifying nothing in the end, and unless the Badgers do the improbable and drop a home game to Penn State or somehow all get arrested or deathly ill before the Northwestern trip, an outright Big Ten title and a #1 seed in the conference tournament should come pretty easily to this team.
Hats off to the Buckeyes for doing what Wisconsin couldn't all year and allowing this team to back its way into the Big Ten title by itself. Toward the end of the game, Brent Musburger stated that "the celebration is starting in Madison!" I don't see it or hear it or taste it so I'd better go out and find it. Musburger's never been wrong about that kind of thing, right?