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Glad we didn’t have to use a ‘shocker’ pun. “With 12:27 to play, Ohio State found themselves facing a 51-31 deficit. While losses of this magnitude seem to transpire in March roughly once every decade, going into this one, it didn’t seem that without a total off night there’d be any way this Buckeye team would find themselves on the receiving end of history’s cruel joke. And yet everything seemed to fall into place for WSU.
But not without Ohio State getting one last word in edgewise first. LaQuinton Ross would being to assert himself as the de-facto “Deshaun Thomas of the second half” and a few careless (e.g. fearful) turnovers on the part of the Shockers would help to key off the Buckeyes on a 7-0 run. OSU would continue to add to it, helped in part by being in the double bonus so relatively early.
Thomas and Ross would keep trading opportunities and with Craft adding some free throws in the process, suddenly that 20 digit lead was down to 60-52 with just under four minutes to play. A huge Ross make would get the Buckeyes down to 5 with OSU’s come from behind run peaking at 23-6.
Tekele Cotton would hit a huge 3 to get the lead back up to 65-59 for Wichita State, and though Deshaun Thomas would answer with a make, four would be as close as Ohio State would ever be able to get again. The Buckeyes stopped being able to get the offense they’d benefitted from during an almost historic comeback, and the Shockers continued to both rebound their misses and hit their free throws when needed. The Bucks would get the margin superficially closer than it was, but it was Wichita State’s night. George Mason-2006 had company.” [Luke Zimmerman/Land-Grant Holy Land]
“The Buckeyes only led twice, 8-7 and 9-7. They trailed by 13 at the half, and it wasn’t largely to do with Wichita State playing well. The Shockers only shot 35.5 percent in the half, though they were buoyed by five 3s. Missing one of nine free throws also helped.
“You shoot 24 percent in the first half in the Elite Eight and you’re probably going to be down double-digits at halftime,” Matta. “Geez, we never had a feel-good moment in the first half.”
But Ohio State’s lack of forced turnovers and transition points was the main culprit in its defeat. The Buckeyes finished with zero fast break points. The aggressive, athletic and physical style Wichita State employed seemed to catch Ohio State off guard.
“We didn’t score in transition at all today, and that’s been our calling card throughout this run, getting stops and scoring in transition,” said Craft, who finished 2-of-12 shooting. “We didn’t score at all. We really didn’t get very many easy buckets tonight and it shows.”
For the fourth consecutive season, one bad half of basketball has ended a potential national championship for the Buckeyes.
“I’ve lost my three tournament games now by eight points combined,” Craft said. “It’s tough. It’s crazy tough. It’s very tough to grasp how important a possession is in the first half and how that can come back to haunt you in the second.” [Kyle Rowland/Eleven Warriors]
This makes sense to me. “4. Asdrubal Cabrera is traded to the St. Louis Cardinals or Tigers at the trade deadline
One of the best shortstop prospects I saw all spring was Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians. With range and speed to both sides, a strong arm and a terrific swing, he reminded me of a young Barry Larkin. It’s only a matter of time before he’s ready. So while the Indians continue to rebuild, their best time to trade Cabrera is now, before he becomes a free agent after the 2014 season.
The Cardinals and Tigers would be the best trade fits for the Indians. St. Louis might offer one of its top young arms, such as Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez or Joe Kelly in the right deal. Detroit could package Rondon and Drew Smyly, especially if it getsChris Perez back in the deal to solve its closer problem.” [Jim Bowden/ESPN]
Missing out on Brent Grimes may not be the worst thing ever. “The Grimes signing highlights a bigger lesson, however, mainly that there is no one player that the Browns “have to get.”
Think back to 2011 when many believed the Browns “had to get” quarterback Kevin Kolb from Philadelphia. Or to last year, when many claimed the Browns “had to get”quarterback Matt Flynn, the one-game wonder from Green Bay.
Well, where are Kolb and Flynn now? The Cardinals couldn’t wait to get rid of the Kolb after two disappointing seasons and Seattle liked the Flynn signing so much that they went out a month later and drafted Russell Wilson.
Now, Flynn may be heading to Oakland, unless the Raiders decide to go after Kolb, who may also go to Buffalo.
Boy, it would have been all kinds of fun if the Browns would have pulled the trigger on those “must have” players. [Tom Moore/Red Right 88].
March Madness from the press box. “I was feeling rather confident before that moment, however, and went about introducing myself to Ohio State Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith, as he was standing by himself and made eye contact with me. I explained to him that I was a student at Ohio State covering the tournament for a radio show in Indiana. He was very kind and supportive, chatting for a couple of minutes about Ohio State, the Cleveland area, and the game at hand. I couldn’t believe what a nice guy he was, and offered me help if I was in need of anything. It was a highlight, for sure, of the weekend.
The rest of the evening, however, wasn’t all that exciting. Ohio State dominated Iona, but nothing really exciting happened in the world of the media. I guess it’s because I was more used to it. More professional and less star struck. The one thing that was incredibly interesting during the Ohio State game was the amount of attention being paid to the Georgetown, Florida Gulf Coast game. We’re sitting there watching a basketball game right in front of us, but all of our screens were on the CBS.com streaming video of the Florida Gulf Coast game. It was unbelievable. Even the crowd, as they were informed, was cheering as they saw the scores of the game. It was really an amazing thing to witness, especially as we were at another NCAA Tournament venue.
The Notre Dame game was a laugher, and it was a little bit sad to watch. The Notre Dame faithful that had stuck it out through the Ohio State game must have been entirely let down by their team. The man sitting next to me, Wes Morgan from BlueandGoldInsider.com, said that Notre Dame played the ugliest game he has seen in his four years of covering them. I haven’t watched all that much Notre Dame basketball, but I would tend to agree.” [Hayden Grove/More Than a Fan].
If you missed Jason Lloyd’s piece on Byron Scott, this a must read.