Jody Victor : Buckeyes Head to Final Four in Atlanta

Jody Victor: Ohio State, the outright Big Ten regular season and tournament champion, enters the 2007 NCAA Final Four with a 34-3 overall record after a 15-1 regular season mark in Big Ten Conference play.

This Saturday the Ohio State vs. Georgetown game promises to be big. The game with the Hoyas is a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Tournament game in Dayton, Ohio, in which Georgetown eliminated the Buckeyes in the Second Round (70-52). The teams have split four all-time meetings. Ohio State and Georgetown first played in 1981. Ohio State won the first game played between the schools 47-46 at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage. Georgetown was ranked No. 5 nationally in that Nov 29, 1981 contest. The teams met for the second time March 15, 1987 in the Second Round of NCAA tournament play in Atlanta. The Hoyas, ranked No. 4, won 82-79. Prior to last year, the teams battled Dec. 22, 1990 in Las Vegas. The No. 7-ranked Buckeyes defeated No. 12 Georgetown 71-60.

To top it all off, the Buckeyes are setting OSU records right and left. Ron Lewis has scored 108 career points in NCAA tournament play, including a team-high 87 points in the four games so far this year. His NCAA tournament scoring total is the sixth-most in Ohio State history. Freshman Mike Conley Jr. has made 24 of 30 foul shots in NCAA tournament play, including a 9 of 10 effort vs. Memphis and a 9 of 14 outing against Tennessee.

The game to watch is this Saturday and cheer the Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Georgetown at the Georgia Dome 6:07 p.m. ET on CBS.

Go Bucks! Go Bucks! Go Bucks! Go Bucks! Go Bucks!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor : Buckeyes Head to San Antonio

Jody Victor: Ohio State trailed 55-44 with 7 1/2 minutes left, and was still down 61-52 with 2:54 left in Saturday's game. When Oden fouled out with a hard shove after Xavier's Justin Cage rebounded an errant Buckeye shot in the final 10 seconds, they looked lost. Near me a voice whispered, “Wait, it isn't over yet.” Maybe it was my own voice or I just heard my unconcious wish – whatever it was I held my breath.

Cage then made one of two foul shots with 9.3 seconds left for a 62-59 lead, giving Ohio State its last chance – still holding my breath. Lewis came down and, with two defenders flying at him, swished the tying 3-pointer from several feet beyond the arc. I could breathe again.

With Oden on the bench, fellow freshman – and high school teammate – Conley took over. He scored 11 points in overtime and the Buckeyes (32-3) were never threatened again in winning their 19th straight game.

“That's what I love about this team,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “They give you, as a coach, a lot of confidence. I kept telling them, keep your confidence and make plays, and they did.”

This Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBS, the No. 1 seed Buckeyes (outright 2007 Big Ten regular season and tournament champions), enter the NCAA South Regional semifinals against No. 5 seed, Tennessee. The winner will take on No. 2 Memphis or No. 3 Texas A&M Saturday with a chance to advance to the 2007 Final Four March 31 and April 2 in Atlanta.

Ohio State and Tennessee met earlier this season in Columbus for the first of a two-game series. The Buckeyes won 68-66 to start a streak of 19-consecutive victories since that January 13 game in Columbus.

Ohio State is making its 20th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 34-18 all-time record in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in eight Final Fours, have finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968), runner up three times (1939, 1961, 1962), and own one title (1960).

Go Bucks!!

Jody Victor

 

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor : New Coach to Join Buckeye Football Staff

Jody Victor: Personally, I like to see a coach who's played the game himself – and probably most of them have – but sometimes you can get a guy who really makes a difference. As a case in point, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has added Taver Johnson to his staff. Johnson, who has spent the past two seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Miami of Ohio, will coach the Buckeyes' cornerbacks. He replaces Tim Beckman, who recently accepted the position of defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State University.

Johnson is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and a graduate of Wittenberg University, where he was a two-time All-American pick and a two-time choice as the North Coast Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993.

“We are excited to have Taver as the newest member of the Ohio State football family,” said Tressel. “He is a very talented coach. One of the things that impressed me most about him during the interview process was his passion to be a Buckeye.”

Johnson began his coaching career at Wittenberg, spending two years there (1994 and 1995) as the Tigers' defensive line coach. He then spent three seasons (1996-98) at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. and one year (1999) as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame before joining the Miami staff in 2000. He spent four seasons with the RedHawks before joining the staff of the Cleveland Browns in 2004.

He returned to Miami following the 2004 season and was the architect of one of the Mid America Conference's most successful defenses in 2005 and 2006. At the conclusion of the 2006 football season, Johnson, who prepped at CAPE High School, accepted a position with the Oakland Raiders. But after being contacted by Ohio State, he eagerly accepted his new position with the Buckeyes.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Ohio State staff and have the opportunity to work with Jim tressel,” said Johnson. “I was truly excited about the position with the Oakland Raiders organization, but when this chance came along I just could not pass it up. As an Ohio guy, this is a dream come true for me.”

Go Bucks!

Jody Victor

 

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor : Big Buckeye Year In Basketball

Jody Victor: The Buckeye basketball team and coaches worked hard this year to make it all happen. Ohio State returned just one starter and four letterwinners from its 2006 Big Ten title team but has put together a record-breaking campaign in 2007 with a school-record tying 27 victories, including a 15-1 record in league play. After consecutive outright league titles, the Big Ten coaches and media selected Thad Matta as the league's coach of the year in 2006-07, his second in as many seasons.

Matta now has four coach-of-the-year honors to his credit in three NCAA Division I conferences. He also has five league titles in his seven years as a head coach. Ohio State coaches have won the award seven times. Matta joins Randy Ayers as back-to-back honorees. Ayers did so in 1990 and 1991. Matta's three-year record of 73-21 (.777) gives him the most wins of the 12 previous Ohio State head coaches in program history over the first three years of their tenures. His three-year winning percentage is second only to legendary mentor Fred Taylor's .808 mean over his first three seasons (63-15 from 1959-62).

Big Ten coaches and media voted several Buckeyes to the all-league teams in 2006-07. The coaches chose freshman Greg Oden as the conference Freshman of the Year and the league's defensive Player of the Year. He landed a spot on the First Team All-Big Ten and All-Defensive teams. Classmate Daequan Cook was voted the Sixth Man of the Year. Another OSU rookie, Mike Conley Jr., joined Oden on the All-Freshman Team as well as earning a spot on the Second Team All-Big Ten squad. Junior Jamar Butler and senior Ron Lewis were honorable mention All-Big Ten selections as well.

The league media picked Oden and Conley on the first team with Butler, Cook and Lewis earning spots on the honorable mention squad. Oden was the media selection for Freshman of the Year. He also was the Ohio State's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU