Jody Victor®: Buckeye Baseball Opener Wednesday

Jody Victor: After playing its first 20 games on the road, Ohio State opens its 2010 home slate Wednesday at 2:05 p.m. against in-state foe Toledo before traveling to Northwestern for the first Big Ten series of the season Friday through Sunday. The Rockets are 13-8 on the season and took two of three vs. Kent State last weekend to open MAC play.

After opening the spring break trip with three consecutive wins over Eastern Illinois, Bucknell and Army, the Buckeyes bats struggled to get much going offensively, dropping three of the last four games on the trip. Here's some stats.

* Senior outfielder Zach Hurley led the team offensively on the trip, batting .500 (15-for-30) with four doubles, two home runs and 15 runs scored. For his efforts, Hurley was named Big Ten player of the week March 22.

* Senior 1B/DH Ryan Dew batted .414 (12-for-29) with a home run and five runs scored.

* Senior 2B Cory Kovanda hit .409 with a long ball and five runs batted in.

* Junior right-hander Drew Rucinski made a successful transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation, picking up a pair of wins over Bucknell and Dartmouth. The Broken Arrow, Okla. native combined to pitch 11.0 innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out 10 batters in the two starts.

* Junior right-hander Alex Wimmers continued his strong start, moving to 5-0 with a win over Army. The preseason All-American went 7.0 innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out eight. Wimmers, who has struck out at least eight batters in four of five starts this season, also started 5-0 last season. Only two other Buckeye starters have begun the year 5-0 in the last five seasons: Cory Luebke (7-0 in 2007) and J.B. Shuck (5-0 in 2006).

* Junior right-hander Dean Wolosiansky put together a strong spring break trip after a couple of shaky starts. After picking up a save in 2.1 scoreless innings in two appearances to start the trip, Wolosiansky was the hard-luck loser against Rollins, tossing a career-high 9.1 innings, giving up three earned runs (two in the 10th inning) on nine hits while striking out six.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor®: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Tennessee

Jody Victor: After winning the 2010 Big Ten Tournament March 14 in Indianapolis, Ohio State enters NCAA the Midwest Regional Semifinal game vs. Tennessee with a 29-7 overall record and a 14-4 regular season mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Buckeyes finished tied atop the Big Ten with Purdue and Michigan State after the regular season slate. Thad Matta will lead the Buckeyes against No. 6 seed Tennessee (27-8) Friday (7:07 p.m. ET – televised on CBS) at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo. Ohio State is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and the Volunteers will take on the winner of the game between Michigan State (26-8), the No. 5 seed, and Northern Iowa (30-4), the No. 9 seed.

Ohio State has the overall edge in the all-time series with Tennessee with four wins in five meetings. The Buckeyes won both games in 2007, a 68-66 victory in Columbus and an 85-84 triumph in the 2007 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals in San Antonio which sent the Buckeyes to the regional title game against Memphis and eventually the national title game.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor®: Buckeyes Set to Open NCAA Tournment Friday

Jody Victor: After Winning the 2010 Big Ten Tournament last week in Indianapolis, Ohio State enters NCAA tournament play with a 27-7 overall record and a 14-4 regular season mark in Big Ten Conference play. The buckeyes finished tied atop the Big Ten with Purdue and Michigan State after the regular season slate. Thad Matta will lead the buckeyes against First Round opponent UC Santa Barbara  (20-9) Friday (9:45 p.m.) at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. Ohio State is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. UC Santa Barbara is the No. 15 seed. The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and the Gauchos will take on the winner of the game between Oklahoma State, the No. 7 seed, and Georgia Tech, the No. 10 seed.

* Ohio State has appeared in 22 NCAA Tournaments since 1939.

* The Buckeyes are 2-0 vs. UC Santa Barbara in the all-time series and 4-0 vs. current members of the Big West Conference.

* Ohio State last faced Oklahoma State Dec. 2, 1989, in the Tournament of champions in Charlotte. The Buckeyes, 0-2 all-time vs. the Cowboys, dropped that matchup 81-59.

* The Buckeyes are 10-3 all-time against Georgia Tech with the last matchup a 73-53 Tech win Dec. 3, 2003 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Columbus.

* Five Big Ten teams were selected to participate in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Minnesota all will compete. Ohio State was 5-3 vs. those teams in the regular season and league tournament. The Buckeyes faced six teams (7-5 rcd.) this season that qualified for the 2010 NCAA Tournament. In addition to the Big Ten foes, Ohio State played California (W, 76-70, 11/20/09), Florida State (W, 77-64, 12/2/09), at Butler (L, 74-66, 12/12/09) and at West Virginia (L, 71-65, 1/23/10).

* Ohio State has played 51 teams in the 2010 field of 65 in 110 seasons of Buckeye basketball. The Scarlet and Gray holds an all-time record of 474-383 against these teams. By 2010 regional assignment, the Buckeyes are 98-80 vs. the Midwest, 141-91 vs. the West, 128-105 vs. the East and 107-107 vs. the South.

This is UC Santa Barbara's first NCAA appearance since 2002. The Gauchos enter postseason play with a 20-9 overall record after knocking off Long Beach State, 69-64, in the Big West Tournament championship game. In their last NCAA tournament appearance in 2002, UC Santa Barbara fell to Arizona in the first round.

The Buckeyes and Gauchos have squared off just twice before with Ohio State winning both matchups, and 82-75 win Dec 18, 1991, and a 79-56 victory Dec. 14, 1993.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor®: Ohio State No. 1 Seed In Big Ten Tournament

Jody Victor: The field is set for the 2010 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament that will take place Thursday-Sunday, March 11-14, at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. Ohio State (24-7, 14-4) claimed the No. 1 seed after capturing the Big Ten title for the third time under Thad Matta's tutelage and 18th overall. Although OSU, Michigan State and Purdue completed the regular season with identical conference records at 14-4, the Buckeyes earned the top seed by virtue of their higher win percentage versus the group. The tiebreaking procedures also made Purdue (26-4, 14-4) the No. 2 seed, while Michigan State (24-7, 14-4) clinched the No. 3 spot. Wisconsin (23-7, 13-5) claimed the No. 4 seed with Illinois (18-13, 10-8) earning the No. 5 seed. Each of the top five teams receives a first-round bye and will start tournament play on Friday, March 12.
 
The 13th annual Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will tip off on Thursday, March 11, with No. 8 Michigan (14-16, 7-11) taking on No. 9 Iowa (10-21, 4-14) at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The second game of the tournament will feature No. 7 Northwestern (19-12, 7-11) against No. 10 Indiana (10-20, 4-14) on ESPN2. The final game on Thursday will include No. 6 Minnesota (18-12, 9-9) and No. 11 Penn State (11-19, 3-15), with the Big Ten Network providing live coverage.

Day two will begin with top-seeded Ohio State facing the winner of the Michigan-Iowa game at Noon ET on ESPN. The Buckeyes are the No. 1 seed for the fourth time in tournament history as OSU claimed the No. 1 seed in 2000 and in back-to-back Big Ten Tournaments in 2006 and 2007. Ohio State will look to capture its first tournament title since 2007 and better its performance from last year after falling just short of the tourney crown in the final. The No. 1 seed has won the tournament only four times with Wisconsin claiming the title in 2008, Ohio State in 2007, Illinois in 2005 and Michigan State in 1999.

Illinois and Wisconsin will meet in the second game of the day on ESPN.  The Badgers earned a No. 4 seed for the second straight year after posting a 13-5 record in Big Ten play. The Illini captured the fifth remaining first-round bye with a 10-8 ledger in conference action.

With Purdue and Michigan State tied at 14-4 in the conference standings, the Boilermakers merited a No. 2 seed in the tournament by virtue of their 2-2 record against OSU and MSU. Both the Boilermakers and Spartans will make their second appearance in the Big Ten Tournament as a No. 2 and No. 3 seed, respectively, and earn a first-round bye. Purdue will open Friday's second session in a meeting with the winner of the Northwestern-Indiana contest on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET. Michigan State will hit the hardwood in the final game of the evening against the winner of the Minnesota-Penn State matchup. Both evening contests will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

The Big Ten Tournament semifinals and championship will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14, and all three games will air on CBS Sports. The first game on Saturday begins at 1:40 p.m. ET while the tournament will conclude with the championship game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
 
Since the first Big Ten Tournament in 1998, six teams have captured postseason titles with Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin each owning a pair of tournament crowns to lead the conference. Ohio State and Purdue also have one tournament title to their name. The No. 2 seed remains the event's leader, boasting a 16-6 overall record while claiming four titles (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2006) and five berths in the tournament final. The sixth seed is the lowest to ever win a Big Ten Tournament crown with Iowa accomplishing the feat in 2001.
All-session ($165 or $220) and single-session tickets ($30-60) to the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament can be purchased through the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU

Jody Victor®: Buckeyes Big Ten Swim Champs

Jody Victor: Hold on to your seats! Ohio State is the 2010 Big Ten swimming and diving champion! Saturday (Feb 27th), before a raucous and packed McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion crowd, the Buckeyes of swimming coach Bill Wadley and diving coach Vince Panzano captured their first Big Ten Championship in 54 years with a stunning and winning total of 860.50 points. Two-time defending champion Michigan was runner-up with 715.50 points with Minnesota third with 497.

“I wanted the team to have an open mind about this championship because it is possible to surpass what others think,” Wadley, named the 2010 Big Ten Coach of the Year, said at the beginning of the meet. “I told the guys to have a better day than they ever dreamed is possible.”

The year was 1956 and the great Mike Peppe was Ohio State's coach when the Scarlet and Gray last hoisted a Big Ten championship trophy in swimming and diving. That win ended a glorious run of Big Ten – 12 total – and NCAA championships – 11 – for the Peppe-coached Buckeyes and the team has been fighting for a crown since. Not any more.

The marvelous – and now magical – McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion gave the Ohio State coaches an incredible foundation for recruiting. And since the facility opened five years ago, the two have brought in not only talented athletes, but remarkable students – the team GPA last year was the best in the nation among all public schools – and selfless young men who this week swam and dove for something much greater than themselves. They competed for their teammates. They competed for their coaches and their parents. They competed with desire and they competed with warrior spirit. and, they competed for the pride of Ohio State University.

Ohio State led all schools Saturday and for the meet with 16 more individuals in either a finals or consolation finals, increasing the number to 47 individual event scorers with 33 of those scorers competing in a final. Saturday Ohio State placed 10 in the finals. Fueled by adrenalin and their teammates and the rush of being on the cusp of a championship – because they didn't get much sleep the night before – how can one sleep when living a dream anyway? – the team performed magnificently…again.

Congratulations! Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Posted in OSU