Archive for March, 2008

Columbus Destroyers Lose and Other Interesting Information

Monday, March 31st, 2008

The Orlando Predators defeated the Columbus Destroyers 47-44 on a last-second field goal as time expired Saturday night in front of 13,035 fans in Columbus, Ohio on Huntington Field at Nationwide Arena. 

This is the Columbus Destroyers 5th season as a franchise since relocating to Columbus and having their inaugural season in 2004.  Originally, the franchise was located in Buffalo, New York and the team was called the Buffalo Destroyers.  This is a timetable of significant points of the team history. The Destroyers are owned by Jim Rennaci, John H. McConnell, majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Steve Germain, and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver and former Ohio State football player Joey Galloway. 

Here are some other famous Ohio State football players and coaches that are involved with the Columbus Destroyers.  Legendary Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce was named the first head coach and general manager of the Columbus Destroyers.  NFL great and former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman first joined the Destroyers as the team’s Director of Football Operations.  Two former Ohio State football players are on the team roster of the Columbus Destroyers.  Quarterback Justin Zwick is the backup quarterback and defensive back EJ Underwood, who played with Ohio State for a few seasons, before transferring to Pikeville College both play for the Destroyers.

Those that aren’t familar with Arena football, the rules are different than college football and NFL.  Check out the AFL rules and see the difference.

The Columbus Destroyers dropped to 1-4 on the season.   The Columbus Destroyer’s next game is at home on Saturday April 5th at 7PM against Tampa Bay.

Ohio State Defeats Dayton in NIT Quarterfinal

Friday, March 28th, 2008

The game setting seemed surreal.  After going to 6 Ohio State games and 6 Dayton Flyer basketball games this season, I couldn’t believe the 2 teams would be playing each other in an NIT Quartefinal Matchup in front of a 19,000 plus sold out crowd at Value City Arena in Columbus Wednesday night.

None of the opposing teams that Ohio State played at home this season and in recent years had as big of fanbase and as much noise from an away team in the arena as the Dayton Flyers did Wednesday night. The Dayton Flyer Faithful made up a good amount in the crowd and you could even hear the Dayton Flyer Pep Band and Dayton Flyer fans chanting D-A-Y-T-O-N! , Lets Go Flyers!, and other types of chants Dayton does at home games as loud as Ohio State chants around the arena.  It was amazing to see how many UD fans were in the crowd and it was almost as if the 2 bands and noise of both fan bases were competing with each other.

 ud-at-osu.jpg

Dayton played Ohio State tough in the first half and went into the half leading 31-30. In the second half, Dayton had some defensive lapses and fell apart as Ohio State began the second half on a 13-4 run and would get hot in the second half with Jon Diebler and Jamar Butler hitting a few threes to pull away clearly and have the game won by the 5 minute mark from Dayton. The final score Ohio State 74 Dayton 63.

Kosta Koufous was too much for the smaller Dayton squad as he could make moves and take it inside and shoot from the outside as well to lead Ohio State with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and 5 rebounds.  The interesting stat was Dayton outrebounded Ohio State 35-25. 

Jamar Butler added 12 points, Evan Turner contributed 11 points, and Jon Diebeler scored 10 points off the bench for the Buckeyes.

Brian Roberts finished his last game wearing a Flyer uniform with 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.  Brian Roberts finished 4th on Dayton’s all time career scoring and will go down as one of the greatest Dayton Flyer players ever to wear a uniform.  Unforutanetly Roberts never go to play in the NCAA tournament, but at least he finished 1 season in his 4 year career with a post-season appearance. 

Chris Wright scored 12 points and Charles Little added 10 points and 7 rebounds for Dayton.

The Dayton Flyers finished the season with a 23-11 overall record. 

As the Yahoo sports article says, Ohio State will end the season right where the season started – A trip back to Madison Square Garden.  Ohio State played in the pre-season NIT and made it all the way to the championship before losing to Texas A&M in the title game.  Hopefully, this time in the post-season NIT, Ohio State will make it all the way to the title game and not lose in the title game like they have in football and basketball.

Ohio State to Square Off with Dayton in the NIT Quarterfinals

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

jamar-butler.jpg                                  brian-roberts.jpg

The #1 seed Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the #3 seed Dayton Flyers in the NIT quarterfinals Wednesday night in Columbus at 9 PM at Value City Arena. 

The Buckeyes have had no trouble at all winning in the NIT tournament so far.  Ohio State crushed UNC-Asheville 84-66  in the first round at home and came off a cruising win against California 73-56 at the old St John Arena Monday night.

Dayton won the first round of the NIT at home against Cleveland State 66-57 and won the second round on the road Monday night at Illinois State 55-48

The winner of the game goes on to play in the NIT semi-finals at Madison Square Garden against the winner of the Mississippi/Virgina Tech game.  

Ohio State definitely has the home court advantage going in their favor, although there will be a decent amount of Dayton Flyer fans in the crowd.  If the game was at UD Arena, I would pick UD to win.  My prediction of the game will be Dayton stays with Ohio State the whole ball game and keeps it close, but Ohio State wraps up the game by making free throws at the end to win 68-59 to move on to Madison Square Garden.                                      

Pryor Commits to Ohio State

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Terelle Pryor, the #1 high school quarterback football recruit in the 2008 class finally announced his decision and signed a letter of intent last week on March 19th to play football in 2008 for the Ohio State Buckeyes. 

Pryor’s final 4 choices were Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, and Penn State.  This is bad news for new Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan football team.  Since Pryor chose not to sign with arch-rival Michigan, Michigan has no advantage over Ohio State nor anything going for them like how Ohio State has this upcoming season.

ESPN provides an intriguing timetable of Terelle Pryor through the recruiting process and other significant points playing high school football.

Ohio State’s 2008 football recruiting class is currently ranked 4th in the nation. The recruiting class is made up of 20 commitments, which include four 5 star recruits – tieing Florida for the most 5 star recruits.  The other three 5 star recruits include wide receiver DeVier Posey, and Rivals #1 offensive linemen Mike Adams and offensive linemen Michael Brewster.   The remainder of the recruiting class is nine 4 star players and seven 3 star players.

It should be exciting to see these players in action during the spring game in April and expect Ohio State to be a pre-season top 10 football team when the pre-season polls are released in August.

Buckeyes Lose to Michigan State in Big 10 Quarterfinals

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The Michigan State Spartans beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 67-60 in the Big 10 Quarterfinals in Indianapolis in the Conseco Fieldhouse Friday afternoon.

Kosta Koufos lead the Buckeyes shooting 8-of-13 from the field with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks.  Kosta Koufos shot the best from beyond the arc, shooting 2-of-3 and tied for making the most three pointers beyond the arc for the Buckeyes in the game.  David Lighty scored 12 points, Jamar Butler added 11 points, and Othello Hunter scored 10 points and 7 rebounds. 

However, the 4 Ohio State players scoring in double digits was not enough to beat Drew Neitzel and Michigan State.    Drew Neitzel shot lights out shooting 9-of-17 from the field, 6-of-12 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line for a game-high 28 points.

Ohio State went into the half tied with Michigan State 30-30.  The Buckeyes only lead in the game would be the first basket in the second half on a David Lighty layup to make it 32-30.  Michigan State regained the lead for the rest of the game after a Drew Neitzel 3 pointer to make it 33-32.  The Buckeyes kept it close the rest of the game, but couldn’t take the lead and capitalize.

Ohio State finished the regular season with a 19-13 (10-8) record. Ohio State will have to wait for Selection Sunday and hope they hear their name called for the NCAA tournament. 

Let me tell you why Ohio State will be in the NCAA tournament.  The Ohio State Buckeyes have AD Gene Smith as 1 of the 10 people on the NCAA Selection Committee.  Of course, any school’s athletic director is going to put their own school as 1 of the teams in the NCAA tournament.  I have more confidence and faith that even after losing to Michigan State today, that the Ohio State Buckeyes will still be playing in the NCAA tournament than I do in the Dayton Flyers playing in the NCAA tournament.

Xavier Beats Dayton in A-10 Quarterfinals

Friday, March 14th, 2008

My prediction was right about how the Dayton Flyers would do in the A-10 Tournament.  After pulling out an overtime win against the Saint Louis Billikens Wednesday afternoon, the Dayton Flyers advanced to play Xavier Thursday afternoon. 

It was deja vou for me and the Dayton Flyers again.  Just like last year, I listened to the Dayton Flyers lose to the Xavier Musketeers on my computer before I took my last final before Spring Break.  Last year, Dayton lost to Xavier 72-51 in the A-10 quarterfinals.  This year they did a little better and  gave a good effort, but came up short and lost 74-65 Thursday afternoon in the A-10 Quarterfinals.  Xavier has now beat Dayton the last 6 times in a row.

Dayton finished the regular season 21-10 (8-8) and will have to wait for Selection Sunday to see if they get the bid or not to the NCAA tournament.  Dayton has about a 15% chance of making the NCAA tournament. 

The A-10 seems to be a 2 bid league. Good news for Flyer fans, UMass who is projected to be the other A-10 team to make the NCAA tournament lost in the quarterfinals today to Charlotte. UMass finished the season 21-10 as well, but RPI has dropped. Dayton has a solid RPI and SOS as of now and the second best RPI in the A-10. If Xaiver wins the tournament, ironically it might help Dayton’s chances of making the NCAA tournament because the A-10 seems like at least 2 teams will go.  However, if Xavier loses and some other team wins the tournament just like last year, Dayton will not go.  All Dayton can do now is cross its fingers and hope it hears its name called on Selection Sunday.

Ohio State Beats #18 Michigan State

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Ohio State increased its chances of making the NCAA tournament as an at large team after upsetting #18 Michigan State Spartans 63-54 Sunday afternoon to close out the regular season.

Ohio State was down 31-23 at half.  Michigan State outrebounded Ohio State 30-18 and 11-5 on offensive rebounds and got a lot of easy 2nd chance points from Ohio State doing a poor job of boxing out.   The game seemed like it was going to be one of those close games where Ohio State would make a good effort and come close, but fall short and lose to ranked teams like they had been doing all season.    However, the Buckeyes didn’t let that happen and found a way to comeback and played tough to defeat Michigan State on senior day.

Jamar Butler, Matt Terwilliger, and Othello Hunter were seniors playing their last home games as Buckeyes.  Matt Terwilliger got to start and scored 4 points in 22 minutes.  Othello Hunter played 31 minutes, scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and grabbed 4 rebounds, all rebounds were offensive rebounds.  Jamar Butler had another good game leading the team with a game-high 20 points and 4 assists playing the whole game. 

The #5 seed Ohio State Buckeyes will play the # 4 seed Michigan State Spartans in the quarterfinals on Friday at 2:30 PM in the Big 10 Tournament.  It will be part 3 of the teams playing each other this season.  Michigan State won at home 66-60 back on Janurary 15th and Ohio State got revenge and beat Michigan State on Sunday to close out the regular season.  The winner of Friday’s game will play in the semi-finals on Saturday at 1:40 PM against the winner of the #1 seed Wisconsin vs #8 seed Iowa/#9 seed Michigan game.

If selection Sunday was today, the Buckeyes would have about a 70% chance of being selected to play in the NCAA tournament.  A win against Michigan State on Friday will put the Buckeyes at 20 wins and definitely mark them down as an at-large team given their recent success in March.

Flyers Win On Senior Day

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

The Dayton Flyers closed out the regular season at home on senior day with a 79-67 win over St Josephs Saturday afternoon.  The 3 seniors playing their last game at home – unless Dayton happens to make the NIT and play at home – were Jimmie Binnie, Andres Sandoval, and Brian Roberts. 

Five Dayton Flyer players scored in double digits, including all 3 seniors.  Marcus Johnson lead the team in scoring with 17 points and 7 rebounds.   Brian Roberts scored 15 points and had 6 assists and Jimmie Binnie scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high 8 rebounds.  Andres Sandoval scored 12 points and Charles Little added 11 points and 7 rebounds as well. 

All 3 seniors had good games and can be proud of their final performance at home in the regular season.  Dayton shot well in the game shooting 26-of-53 (49%) from the field for and 9-of-18 (50%) from the 3 point line.  Dayton also outrebounded St Joseph’s 39-23.

This game was defnitiely a must-win game for both teams because they are both on the bubble of making the NCAA Tournament.  If the Flyers would have loss to St Joseph’s, their at-large hopes of making the NCAA tournament would have been eliminated. 

The win helps Dayton’s at-large chances as they finished the regular season 20-9 (8-8) as they head into the A-10 Tournament play in Atlantic City Wednesday afternoon.  The Dayton Flyers take on St Louis Billikens Wednesday at noon.  If they win, they face Xavier in the quarterfinals on Thursday. 

My prediction is the Flyers will beat St Louis, but lose to Xavier in the quarterfinals just like last year and end up playing in the NIT tournament.  Dayton needs two more wins to make the NCAA tournament, and a win against Xavier will defnitely put the Flyers in the at-large category because of their RPI and wins against quality teams.  Hopefully the Flyers will suprise me and my prediction will be wrong and Dayton will make the NCAA tournament.

Raiders Lose in Horizon League Tourney

Monday, March 10th, 2008

The Wright State Raiders lost to Valporaiso 72-67 in a close game in the Horizon League Quarterfinals on Friday night.

It was the 3rd meeting of the season between the 2 teams and Wright State loss all 3 times. Valporaiso played Wright State in the regular season twice. Valporaiso defeated Wright State 71-66 at home back on December 6th and then Wright State played at Valporaiso on March 1st and lost in overtime on a last second shot 75-73.

Wright State’s season may or may not continue depending on if they get invited to the NIT or not. Wright State has a solid criteria by having at least a 20 win season and an overall 21-10 record and a 12-6 second place tie with Cleveland State in the conference. The only thing holding Wright State back from playing in the NIT maybe there RPI. Wright State is 84 in the RPI and they have a SOS record of 148. However, they do have some quality wins over good teams such as Butler, Miami, CSU Fullerton, Belmont, and Cleveland State.

I think the Wright State Raiders are a little underrated and they deserve to play in the NIT.  We shall wait and find out soon.

Buckeyes Win Must-Win Game in OT

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

full-size-gray-out-vs-purdue.jpg                               

The gray out worked at home Tuesday night as the Ohio State Buckeyes kept their NCAA hopes alive by defeating first place Big 10 conference leader nationally ranked #15 Purdue 80-77 in an overtime thriller .   My friend and I made predictions on who would win and by how much before the game started.  My friend predicted exactly right on how much the Buckeyes would win by, saying Ohio State would win by 3, while I predicted the Buckeyes would win by 1.  (If you look close enough at the gray out picture, you can see me at the top of the picture).

full-size-osu-vs-purdue-butler.jpg

Senior point guard Jamar Butler lead Ohio State with a game-high 25 points.  Butler scored only 2 points in the first half, but really stepped up in the second half scoring 23 points including some crucial shots during crunch time.  Butler shot 6-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, as well as 8-of-8 from the foul line.  It was about time the senior leader step up and help lead the Buckeyes.  Senior forward Othello Hunter had 15 points and freshman guard Evan Turner had some nice drives and had 15 points and 8 rebounds. 

The Buckeyes have 1 game remaining in the season as they take on another nationally ranked opponent #18 Michigan State at home Sunday afternoon.  A win on Sunday will definitely put them back on the bubble of making the NCAA tournament, a loss will mean winning the whole Big 10 Tournament.   Lets hope the Buckeyes can finish the season out at home on a positive note and send the seniors out smiling with a victory over #18 Michigan State on Sunday.