Gunning For The Gators

Tonight the Ohio State Buckeyes, ranked no. 3 in the polls, take on the Florida Gators, ranked no. 8, at Value City Arena.

Such early games make college basketball a lot of fun.  It’s great to see the powerhouses play each other, and unlike college football, an early season loss isn’t fatal to your chances to win it all.  In the meantime, you get a rough sense of how your team matches up and how far they have to go.  Ohio State and Florida have developed a pretty good basketball rivalry recently, and last year’s game, in which the Buckeyes beat the Gators at Florida, helped to show that the 2010-2011 team was going to be special.

This year, the Buckeyes have a lot of unanswered questions.  Last year’s team featured three great seniors — David Lighty, Jon Diebler, and Dallas Lauderdale — and this year’s team has only one in William Buford.  This year’s nucleus is strong, with Buford, Jared Sullinger, and Aaron Craft, but we don’t know whether the other pieces of the puzzle will fit well together.  It appears that Coach Thad Matta has tons of talent, but chemistry and playing defense count for a lot, too.  Florida, on the other hand, has a great team that will light up the scoreboards this season.  The Gators are led by guard Kenny Boynton — one of the best in the country — as well as point guard Erving Walker and forward Patric Young.

This is a game with many intriguing story lines.  Can Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes’ defensive whiz, harass and shut down Boynton?  Who’s going to guard Jared Sullinger?  And which heretofore unheralded player is going to step up and make a name for himself in this nationally televised clash?

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Inching Along

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I saw this story on Yahoo and thought it was worth a post with the NCAA final four coming up this weekend. Diana Inch, a librarian from Salem, Oregon was the only one out of 3 million entrants to correctly pick the Final Four teams in this years tournament.

Hard to believe considering VCU had to win one of the play in games to even make it into the tournament. If you read the article there was a method to her madness.

She used the Cats & Dogs mascot approach to fill out her brackets, along with her favorite numbers 7 & 11 (I bet she is a craps player) and she favored some states over others based on the people she has met in her lifetime. You can see her bracket at the bottom of the article which includes some of the other upsets she picked.

This reminded me so much of our neighborhood football pool years ago when our sister Cathy would pick the NFL football games based on what city she would rather go shopping in and she would win more often then not.

So keep this in mind next year when you fill out your brackets and enjoy the games this weekend – by the way Diana picked Connecticut to win it all !