Road to the Final Four: Game #3 vs. Tennessee

The time has come. Zeke is over and we are ready for this game to get underway.

15:10, 1st half
#1 Ohio State 10
#5 Tennessee 14

I think everyone was hoping OSU would come out shooting better than they did against Xavier, and they are, but so is Tennessee. Sheesh, no one can miss on either end! This could be a high scoring game if everyone stays hot like this. Just work the ball into Oden more!

11:40, 1st half
#1 Ohio State 14
#5 Tennessee 20

Cook and Lighty are a little trigger happy right now, not letting the offense get set or for Oden to get position underneath. It’s great when those shots are dropping but not so much when they’re not. Of course it doesn’t help that Tennessee can’t seem to miss. They can’t keep this up
forever, right?

3:40, 1st half
#1 Ohio State 22
#5 Tennessee 39

Right now there is absolutely no fire out of any guy in a scarlet and gray uniform. No emotion. Butler is playing like he’s on the playground, no one is fighting for rebounds and with Conley missing time with foul trouble, everyone looks lost. No one wants to take over, no one wants to lead. Right now the Buckeyes are on the edge. Extremely close. I really want to see Lewis take the lead, show some senior leadership. Where’s the press after a made shot?

Halftime
#1 Ohio State 32
#5 Tennessee 49

It’s not fair to place the blame on one player, but right now all of my ire is aimed directly at Jamar Butler. His passes are lazy, his defense is non-existent, he’s handling the ball like he doesn’t care. I watched him on more than one offensive set where he planted his feet out on the left wing and stood there. He didn’t move more than one step in any direction. It’s infuriating. If the Buckeyes make any kind of run at the Vols in the second half, I really hope Butler isn’t out on the floor.

Not having Oden out there is huge. That cannot be understated. If he picks up his fourth foul in the first few minutes of the second half, it’s pretty much over. I imagine they’ll go to zone defense to protect Oden. Tennessee doesn’t have any bigs to worry about, so defensive adjustments have to be made. And we need some hands in some shooters faces.

On a side note, what is the deal with the announcer? Every once in a while, he’ll make some weird guttural shriek of mostly unintelligible sounds. It’s driving me crazy.

15:43, 2nd half
#1 Ohio State 44
#5 Tennessee 51

Okay, I’ve been talked down off the ledge. It’s been a perfect storm for the first few minutes — Tennessee has gone cold, Harris is still hitting his shots and Lewis is playing very well. I’ll even take a little bit of what I said about Butler back, he’s playing solid defense on Lofton. Zeke and I were discussing why this has been the typical performance of OSU against good opponents — they don’t turn the juice on until their backs are up against the wall. I think they lack a little bit of a killer instinct. Oden hasn’t done much offensively, but his presence has made a difference on D. Let’s go Bucks!

11:43, 2nd half
#1 Ohio State 53
#5 Tennessee 57

Keep chopping that wood, Buckeyes. CHOP THAT WOOD.

7:26, 2nd half
#1 Ohio State 68
#5 Tennessee 68

That three by Lofton was painful. If the Buckeyes keep the D going, they’re golden. Tewilliger is playing very well.

I’m convinced that commentator has some form of sports Tourette’s or something. I’m sure whatever he’s saying makes perfect sense to himself, but he’s leaving us out of the party.

Final
#1 Ohio State 85
#5 Tennessee 84

Wow. Just wow. What a finish. We were good Buckeye fans and never lost hope, but man, oh man, were there doubts. Down by 20? Are you kidding me. The Buckeyes outscored Tennesse 53-35 in the second half. We just witnessed something great here tonight. And it was teamwork that got it done. No matter how cliche that sounds, it’s true. They clamped down on defense, weathered some runs by Tennessee and simply fought back time and again.

Was there any doubt that “THE GREAT NEGATOR” was going to be a part of the last defensive stand? No doubt about it.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a Volunteer fan right now. I imagine it’s a mix between seething rage and complete and utter stupor. That’s got to hurt.

The Buckeyes cannot let this happen against Memphis. Watching the Memphis/A&M game, I think Memphis is very beatable. There simply cannot be a ten or fifteen minute mental breakdown and allow Memphis to build up any kind of lead or momentum. The Buckeyes have to go for the throat.

Comments

  1. That gutteral scream of primal insistance is Bill Rafferty. He’s “f”ing crazy. Bucks are only down two now and I’m finally drunk, so this night is getting infinitely better.

  2. dave – I know I’ve heard games done by Rafferty before, but I never really noticed that little quirk. Maybe I just never noticed.

  3. I just started breathing again.

    Holy cow. How can you have OSU on your schedule and not be afraid now? No lead is safe against this team, even when all of its big men are sitting on the bench in foul trouble.

    When this team clicks, it is unbeatable. The only way OSU doesn’t make it to the championship now is if it beats itself.

  4. I fricking hate living in Connecticut.

    First I miss sitting in my Lucky spot on El Kaiser’s couch and talking sports with my Boys.

    Second, They showed the UCLA vs Pitt game here……..aaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh all I got to see of the Buckeye game was them being down 20 lol.

    Zeke I expect you to keep my lucky seat warm and keep reminiscing about prior OSU teams during the elite 8….

  5. what a game

    and Rafferty is the most annoying announcer ever. I prayed to God that he wouldn’t be doing our game since he was on the Texas A&M/Memphis game, but there he was 30 minutes later with his retarted shreak “and thats the big fella”

  6. sportsmonkey, I blogged about that very topic earlier this week….the Buckeyes just flat-out like to turn it on in the second half.

    Not only was last night a good example, but so was the Xavier game. Prior to that, here’s more of the Buckeyes’ amazing play in the final handful of minutes…..

    – Against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament, the Buckeyes led by 5 points with a little over 8 minutes to play. Ohio State went on a 23-11 run to close out the game in grand fashion.
    – The day before against Purdue, it was a tight game with 8 minutes to play. Ohio State led by 1 at 46-45, but used the rest of the game to go on a 17-7 run.
    – The day before that game, the Buckeyes led Michigan by a mere 3 points with 7 minutes left. a 20-13 run to close the game gave us the 10-point margin of victory.
    – Against Wisconsin (#1 vs #2), the Badgers led 46-42 with 3:42 to play. Ohio State put the clamps down on defense and hit a mini-run of 7-2 to win the game.
    – Sleepwalking against Penn State, led Lions led 43-40 with 8 minutes to play. The giant woke up, rattled off 28 points, gave up 17, and sent Penn State home an 8-point loser.
    – With 8 minutes to play at home, Purdue led the Bucks 51-46. Turn on the heat, and Ohio State goes on a 17-5 run to post another big win.
    – 10 minutes left, Ohio State clings to a 4-point lead at home against Iowa, 54-50. Guess what happened…Ohio State goes on a 28-13 run to finish with a 19-point victory.

    If you’re going to beat this team, you’d better have us down BIG with 7 minutes to play. They just know how to win at the end.

Trackbacks

  1. […] to this year’s seniors, Jamar Butler, Othello Hunter and Matt Terwilliger. I’ve had a rocky relationship with Butler but he has really shown me something this year. I’ve got a soft spot for Othello […]

  2. […] football season, the hits kept coming with the Thad 5. What a ride that was. The Xavier and Tennessee games were easily some of the greatest Buckeye basketball games I have ever witnessed. Holy smokes, […]

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