Shooting For The Sweet Sixteen

The goal for the OSU men’s basketball team is simple:  win today’s game and advance to the Sweet 16.  They will be facing a difficult test in Georgia Tech, a tough, athletic, ACC-hardened team, so there should be no question of overconfidence or looking past a small-conference opponent.  Having seen Kansas shocked by Northern Iowa (a result which, incidentally, dealt a death blow to my Buck Back hopes) and Villanova shocked by St. Mary’s, the Buckeyes — and every higher seed — should be mentally focused and ready for the challenge.

Every team but one ends their season with a disappointing loss, and therefore college basketball fans have to define success in a reasonable way.  Everyone wants to win the Tournament, but only one team can.  I don’t think that means that every other team should be viewed as a failure.

In Ohio State’s case, it has been a very successful season to this point.  The Buckeyes overcame the adversity of the injury to Evan Turner and a resulting slow start in the Big Ten, recovered to reel off a series of wins and tie for the Big Ten regular season championship, won the Big Ten Tournament, and garnered enough national respect to receive a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament.  At this point, you just hope that the team continues the high quality of play that has characterized the team’s effort over the past few weeks, and achieves the positive results that should come from doing so.  Winning today and making it to the Sweet Sixteen would go a long way toward making that hope a reality.

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