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Buckeye Fans Should Enjoy It
January 27, 2011 - Al Stephenson
If you are a college basketball fan in general (and an Ohio State fan in particular) you had to be impressed with the Buckeyes domination of Purdue on Tuesday night. The lopsided win over the 12th ranked team in the nation opened some eyes around the country as the top ranked Buckeyes ran their record to a perfect 21-0.
With the loss by San Diego State to the Jimmer and BYU last night, Ohio State is the only remaining unbeaten team in major college basketball. Most of the comments I heard had Buckeye fans gushing. "Nobody could have beat them on that night", was the common theme. The sentiment seemed to be that the Buckeyes have a great chance of being national champions.
I don't want to throw water on anyone's parade, but talk of a national title is a little premature. Can they win the crown? You bet. Are they a lock to do so? Of course not.
There are so many factors that determine whether a team will win a given game. The one that is most compelling to me is the fact that the best team does not always win. Ohio State is very talented and will be a factor come tournament time. The fact remains that anything can happen when it comes to college basketball. Personally I don't think Ohio State will go through the Big Ten season undefeated, though I would have no problem being wrong on that count.
Ohio State has three things going for it that will enable it to contend with any opponent on any given night. First and foremost in my mind is the fact that the Bucks play good defense. On nights when the proverbial lid is on the basket, good defense can keep a team in the game. Secondly is the number of scorers that OSU puts on the floor. They have six different guys that can score 20+ points on a given night. That prevents teams from taking away one or even two players and taking your chances on letting the others beat you. That will be tough to do against the Bucks because they hve so many offensive weapons. Last but not least is the chemistry this team seems to have. No one cares who scores, they all play defense - and that is fun to watch.
If there is an Achille's heel for the Buckeyes it might just be depth. A couple of key injuries could create a problem. That being said, it is sure fun watching them play. Having a couple of local kids (Diebler and Craft) makes it even better.
The view from my seat suggests that Ohio State fans should put buying Final Four tickets on hold. Don't put the cart before the horse. Instead just enjoy watching these guys play the game at a high level.
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