To say I’ve kept my promise to get this blog going again would be like saying “Tiger Woods was a faithful husband” or “Tennessee has a winning streak going against Kentucky in football.” Those things are simply not true. I’ve gotten much busier at work and have been feverishly trying to catch up on “Arrested Development,” but those are not good excuses. Well, the “Arrested Development” one is kind of good. That show is brilliant. Basically, the bottom line is I have been lazy when it comes to getting my reps in on the keyboard. To avoid disappointing you further, I am not making any additional promises about writing. I’m just going to write when I write and when I write I’ll let you know when that writing occurs. Alwrite?
Tonight I am going back to the running diary format. You may recall the running diaries I wrote during the 4 days of the OVC conference tournament last year at collegebasketballtalk.com. The running diary is a great way to write about a game. Not only can you give thoughts about the happenings in the game, you can talk about it without knowing what the result will be. You can make fun of announcers, players, and most importantly yourself, which I will do in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….
7:52- I started writing this diary an hour before game time due to predicted difficulties I would incur in logging in, starting a new post, and inserting a picture into the top of the post. However, I’m 20 minutes in and I already have all that done. I’m way smarter than you think I am, yet less smart than the teacher who thought I was ready to take Algebra in 8th grade. We have time, so I’ll tell the story: I began the first week of 8th grade in Pre-Algebra. I was destroying assignments like America does those who terrorize us and making 100 on all the tests. Fine by me. But apparently not fine with my teacher. She decided that it was time to call me up from the D League of Pre-Algebra into the big show of Algebra I. I was okay with this at first. A lot of my friends were taking Algebra I so this would allow me to have a class with all of them. However, I was getting added to the class a week after school had started so they already had their seating chart situated and I got stuck in the back of the classroom. Not only did I have no one to talk to, I had no one to ask questions to concerning what I had already missed. The FIRST day I was in the class I was in the back minding my own business, trying to figure out what all these letters were doing with these numbers when the teacher called on me. Seriously? You’re going to call on me ON MY FIRST DAY IN THE FREAKING CLASS?!?! She asked me what I thought the answer to a question was. I paused for a few seconds, unsure of whether to say a number or a letter. Or both. I decided to go letter. I replied “Is it X?”
As grown people with 401K’s, we all know the answer I gave is completely ridiculous. Know who else knew it was completely ridiculous? ALL MY FRIENDS WHO HAD BEEN IN ALGEBRA 1 FOR OVER A WEEK! As the teacher looked at me with an “Is it too late to send him back?” look on her face, my friends decided to support and encourage me with unrelenting laughter and jokes. Now-a-days, that joke would be funny for a half hour. 60 minutes tops. In 8th grade, your sense of humor is limited. You don’t know much about much. Heck, we allowed people to wear jnco’s without making fun of them. You laugh at farts, people falling down, and your friends embarrassing themselves by giving dumb answers in class. That is all. A joke like “Is it X?” can bring down the house FOR MONTHS.
I say all this to say that I’m smarter than you would think I am, but less smart than sweet ole Ms. Downing thought I was in 8th grade. Ms. Downing, if you are reading this, thanks for ruining the first 6 months of my 8th grade year. Also, you were sneaky hot.
8:26- As I am watching the end of the Maryland-Illinois game, I get a text from a friend telling me he thinks Maryland’s players look like Bojangles’ employees. I agree. They play like them, too. I think Mark Turgeon will do well at Maryland, but I only thought that after I realized Gary Williams was gone. I bet his suits are glad. That man could SWEAT.
8:30- Illinois has beaten the chicken biscuit makers and it is time for the main event. The #2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #4 Duke Blue Devils. Dan Schulman and Dick Vitale are on the call. I’m as sure that Dick Vitale will say something stupid as I am that Seth Curry’s mom is smoking hot.
8:36- Lebron and Dwayne Wade in the house. Lebron would have been great in college. Not only do they not play a 4th quarter, they don’t even play a 3rd.
8:38- The first mention of Urban Meyer has been made before the tip has even gone up. Over/under on Urban Meyer mentions is set at 11.5.
8:40- The first two possessions result in a Jared Sullinger travel and an Austin Rivers timeout which was soon followed by a Ryan Kelly walking violation.
8:43- OSU out to a quick 9-0 lead. They are 7 point favorites. If the game ended now there would be a lot of happy OSU betters and a LOT of people pissed off that they didn’t play the entire game.
8:44- Coach K with the timeout. Seth Curry comes back out and misses a 3, much to my disappointment. When he makes 3’s they show his mom in the stands.
8:45- 11-0 OSU. Disastrous start for Duke. I haven’t seen anything start this bad since the TV show “Whitney.”
8:46- Duke FINALLY scores. 11-2 headed to the first TV timeout. My early reaction is that Ohio State is very ready to play and Duke looks a bit sluggish. It could be due to a Maui Invitational hangover or just due to the fact that Ohio State is better. Time will tell. If Duke is anything like “Whitney” they don’t have much hope.
8:51- Duke cuts it to 13-9 on an “And 1” from Rivers. ESPN gives the obligatory “Doc Rivers in the crowd” shot and Vitale mentions that the NBA lockout has ended. Thanks Dick. Dynamite drop in, but we all have twitter.
8:54- If you want to hate anyone in college basketball this year, hate Bernie Fine. But if you want to hate three people, hate Bernie Fine and the Plumlee brothers.
8:56- 16-14 OSU. ESPN comes back from commercial with the obligatory Coack K wins graphic followed by a verbal love fest. As much as I hate Duke, the man deserves it. He is the best college coach of all time.
9:01- 26-17 OSU, 7:54 left in the 1st half. I’m very impressed with Sullinger’s physical appearance this year. He is thinner, stronger, and appears to be quicker. You combine that with his soft touch around the rim and his knack for rebounding and you have one of the elite players in the game. This is the first time I have watched Ohio State this year and I am very impressed. I’m as impressed with Ohio State as you will be with me the first time you get to see me hit my “Cat Daddy“. I go to work.
9:10- I spent the last 5 minutes searching for that Cat Daddy video. You’re welcome. While I was doing that Ohio State jumped out to a 36-23 lead. That 7 point spread isn’t looking quite as ridiculous as I thought.
9:11- Rivers is putting Duke on his back so far. He is a GREAT player. My only concern when watching him if I’m a Duke fan is that he goes 1 on 2 A LOT. He’s college basketball’s version of the parent-teacher conference.
9:13- Aaron Craft is a TENACIOUS defender for Ohio State. If you gave me the ball in the backcourt 50 times against him I think the only way I could get it across half court is by throwing it. I honestly think he could frustrate me to tears in a pick up game. I wouldn’t even ask for the ball.
9:16- Greg Oden is in the crowd. A much more famous body part of his also in the building. It’s sitting in the row in front of him. It’s not his surgically repaired knee.
9:18- 43-26 OSU, 1:35 left in the first half. They are in complete control. They are playing incredibly aggressive on the defensive end and cleaning up all misses on the offensive end. Even Thad Matta is sweating. You know what else Thad Matta is doing? Looking like the guy from “Third Rock from the Sun”.
9:23- HALFTIME. OSU- 47 DUKE- 28. OSU has been dominant in this half on both ends of the floor. Rivers is the only player on Duke’s team who can get where he wants to on the floor. Every ball is bouncing the Buckeyes way and when they miss shots they seem to be getting a large amount of easy put back buckets. Duke has got to find a way to limit them to one shot and to find some open looks for Dawkins and Curry from the outside.
9:26- They are showing the Jim Boehiem press conference during halftime. I don’t know much about this Bernie Fine situation. I got burnt out on the Sandusky stuff so I haven’t been following this extremely close. I also don’t know much about public relations and/or what one should say in Boehiem’s situation. I feel like saying anything is saying too much. I think I’d just pass on answering questions about anything besides basketball.
9:35- I just spent the rest of halftime assisting my father. He and my other roommate (my mother) returned home and decided right now was the time that we finally get rid of the Halloween pumpkins. All eight of them. A pumpkin in and of itself is not extremely heavy. Eight pumpkins in a garbage can are tough to drag up the hill to the top of a driveway in slip on loafers. I’m not complaining though. If they are going to pay for the toilet paper the least I can do is take the pumpkins out to the street.
9:48- The second half is five minutes old and has been much of the same. OSU leads in second chance points 12-0 and OSU has extended its lead in the game to 58-34. Rivers is the only player who has come to play for Duke.
9:53- Urban Meyer references at approximately 5. The under on 11.5 mentions is a lock. I’m a terrible handicapper.
9:55- The Golden Corral commercial advertising their chocolate fountain just came on.
9:57- I’m back from getting the spit up out of my mouth and subsequently brushing my teeth. I would never go to Golden Corral, but even if I did I WOULDN”T EVEN CONSIDER eating chocolate out of that fountain. Can you imagine how many little kids have had their hands in there or how many of them have sneezed into it? I love chocolate and I love fountains. But chocolate, fountains, and Golden Corral don’t mix.
10:00- It’s 64-43 with 10:30 left. I couldn’t be less interested in this game. Neither could Dickie V. He has recently spent time talking about Lebron James and Dwayne Wade throwing out t-shirts, Billy Donovan getting 400 wins, Bradley Beal being a diaper dandy at Florida, and Austin Rivers having as many moves as Baskin Robbins has flavors (31).
10:03- Rivers goes 1 on 1 for the 30th time tonight and turns the ball over. He’s had a good game but when he does this his teammates stand around watching like boys at a middle school dance.
10:08 The game clock is broken. At this point, just let it run. The kids watching will understand. They get trophies for everything. They understand the mercy rule. Well, come to think of it, its after 10:00 p.m. Today’s children have been in bed for 2 hours. In the next 30 years our world is going to turn into one big pillow where everyone is the CEO of the company they work for and there are 10 presidents because voters don’t want anyone to have to be the loser.
10:13- 73-48 OSU. Sullinger just tried the move he learned from Josh Harrellson last year. The only problem was that there was no Duke player anywhere near the loose ball for him to throw it at.
10:20- 75-56 OSU. This game is all over except for the NBA guys in the crowd having their groupie situation for the night all squared up.
10:22- This is what I take away from the game. Duke will have major problems this year with teams that are more athletic than them. While Curry and Dawkins are great players and great shooters, they are not super athletic and have trouble creating their own shots. Rivers is a great individual player but he tries to do too much on his own. He will figure it out as the year goes along, but right now he is still in his adjustment phase to the college game. Regardless of tonight, Duke is a good basketball team and will be ranked in the top 10 the entire year. If they come together and get their normal “Duke draw” in the NCAA I think they can make a deep run this year.
10:25- Ohio State has been tenacious on defense and is in a class with Kentucky and North Carolina at the top of college basketball this season. Aaron Craft is the best on ball defender in college basketball. The Buckeyes have athletic role players who understand their role. They get the ball into Sullinger at every opportunity and they all play tough defense. Ohio State defends, rebounds, and turns their defense into offense as well as any team in the nation. Kentucky, who plays St. John’s Thursday night, also does this very well.
10:33- 81-61 OSU. Ohio State has four starters (Sullinger 21, Craft 17, Buford 20, Thomas 18) who have combined for 76 points tonight.
10:35- 85-63. Final. I’m glad the return of the running diary could happen during such an exciting game. 2,375 words later, I can say without reservation that it feels good to be back. Thanks for reading.