Wisconsin vs. Ohio State Live-Blog
Posted by Eric Angevine on February 25, 2007
Eric from The Extrapolater here
Some writers aren’t as excited for this matchup as they should be. The Badgers’ loss to Michigan State earlier in the week has tarnished the luster, they say. I say horsefeathers. Until the new polls come out on Monday, this is still a 1 vs 2 matchup, and we’ll be seeing two of the best college basketball players in the country, as well as two of the best teams.
And they are teams. Let’s not forget that. Greg Oden missed several games early in Ohio State’s season, and they played pretty well without him. He is the Buckeyes’ best player, averaging nearly a double-double on the season, but he is far from being the only player of note. Four Buckeyes are averaging double figures over the course of the season, and Mike Conley is an assist machine.
Wisconsin is getting big numbers from Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor, but there’s a significant dropoff after that. There’s no doubt that a superior player can take over a game, but Wisconsin will have to play amazing defense to keep Ohio State in check.
The raw numbers tell me that Ohio State has to be the favorite. They have more scoring options, a rebounding edge, and seem to know what to expect out of their rotation at this point in the season. I happen to agree with Bob Knight that one-and-out players are not really good for college basketball in the long run, but if I get a season to watch one of the best play in front of students, I’m just going to have to grit my teeth and bear it.
See you at 4!
4:00-4:10 Always nice to have to watch Duke shoot free throws in a blowout of an inferior opponent instead of the game all of America actually wants to see.
4:15 When the commercials are over and the game finally comes on, it’s OSU 3, Wisconsin 5 with roughly 16 minutes left in the game.
Taylor misses a jumper, and Flowers feeds Oden, who scores over two Badgers.
Taylor comes back with a three for Wisconsin, so they lead 8-5
4:18 Conley fakes the hell out of his man and takes it in the lane to bring OSU within one point. He is QUICK! Krabbenhoff fouls and we go to a commercial break at 8-7 for Wisconsin.
4:20 The 300 looks like it could be an interesting enough movie, but that bearded guy just shouts the whole time! They could call it the Dick Vitale story.
4:25 Wisconsin is outrebounding OSU – that belies my early prediction that OSU had a huge advantage in that stat category.
4:22 A badly missed three by Cook for OSU. it’s 12-9 for Wisconsin.
Wow, what a babe cheerleader. BUCKEYE!!!
4:25 Ohio State is missing a lot of shots, and not feeding Oden like they should. I’m seeing lots of midrange jumpers, which seems absurd from a team with a dominant center. The ball at least has to go into his hands, even if he just passes out again.
Wisconsin has 10 rebounds, and we’re just going under 10:00 in the first half.
4:30 Butch for Wisconsin is hurt. It looks like a hyperextended funny bone. Sorry, bad joke, but he did smack his elbow on the court pretty hard. He’s leaving the court, so it must be more serious than I thought.
Oden hits the jumper – nice shooting touch for a big man. He has 4 points on 2/3 shooting. Look for that to change!
4:35 OSU forces a shot clock violation in a nice defensive effort.
Krabbenhoff loses a contact. Why is it that Wisconsin players always LOOK like Vikings? I assume they recruit nationally.
Ron Lewis scores to cut the lead to 15-13 for the Badgers. Time for a commercial.
4:37 The Badgers are outrebounding the buckeyes 13-5. And they’re only up by two. If Oden gets in gear, there could be trouble, but right now Wisconsin is doing what they must.
4:42 Oden gets a huge block, and doesn’t even look like he had to try. He scores it on the other end, now has 6. Score is 23-19 for OSU.
Oden is getting untracked, he altered another shot and even saved the ball before it went out of bounds.
Oden dongs a right-handed hook, it’s 15-14. Harris from OSU hits a three and the lead is gone, it’s now OSU 17-Wisconsin 15.
4:45 Oden is starting to get untracked. He’s had two big blocks (didn’t even look like it cost him any effort) and scored after one defensive play to give himself 6 points.
4:48 Butch comes back in a sling, and he’s obviously done. He’s crying on the bench, which tells me he knows it’s serious.
We’re under 3 minutes left in the first half. It’s 23-19 for the Buckeyes. They’re packing the middle to keep Tucker out of his comfort zone, and it’s working. Tucker just got an offensive foul trying to get inside.
4:50 OSU defense is keeping them on top with Oden on the bench. That seems huge, to know you can put your best player on the bench for a rest and know you can hold the lead.
Oden back in with 41 seconds left. It’s 25-20 for the Buckeyes, and they have the ball and can hold for the last shot.
This game has been pretty close, but I wouldn’t say it’s been a thriller. The crowd doesn’t seem to be as hyped as I’d expect.
Oden gets triple-teamed and dribbles the ball off an opponent’s foot and out of bounds. Oden misses a final-shot attempt and gets a seat on the bench.
Wisconsin’s freshman guard Bohannon gets inside quick and drops a reverse layup at the buzzer to make it a respectable margin of 25-22 going into the locker room.
And that’s halftime! I’m hoping for a few runs and a vocal crowd in the second half.
Wisconsin – Tucker has 8pts, 3 rebounds, so he’s still getting his looks against that D.
OSU – Ivan Harris has 8 pts (two 3 pointers get you there pretty quickly), and Oden has 6 with 2 blocks.