August 21, 2014

LaQuintessential! Ross Sends Bucks To Elite 8 on Second Straight GW Shot

rossgwzonaTwo straight games. Two shot clocks turned off with a tie game and the ball in the Buckeyes’ hands. Sean Miller’s Arizona Wildcats weren’t going to give Aaron Craft another clean look at a game-winning jumpshot, and Deshaun Thomas had a defender glued on him in the corner. Without calling a timeout, Thad Matta called a Craft-LaQuinton Ross pick and roll from the sideline. When both defenders collapsed on Craft, the Buckeye point made the right read once again, kicking it to Ross, who buried a NBA-range three ball to give the Buckeyes the lead with two seconds remaining and eventually the win.

It capped off a 14-point second half for Ross, and the sophomore who got a late start  as a freshman and next to nothing in terms of playing time last year saved his team for the second straight game. The Buckeyes won 76-73, and they’re going to their second straight Elite 8 after the win in Los Angeles last night. For the second straight game, however, they faced plenty of adversity.

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Animated: Ohio State Buckeyes game winner by LaQuinton Ross

The title says it all. It was a close game. It was a poorly officiated game both ways. In the end, all that matters is that the Ohio State Buckeyes advance. And they do so in spectacular fashion once again. This time Aaron Craft dished to LaQuinton Ross who nailed a long three to secure the victory over Arizona. Elite Eight coming right up.

LaQuinton Ross Game Winner

[Related: Animated: Aaron Craft sends Ohio State to the Sweet 16]

WFNY Stats & Info: Elite 8 of NCAA tournament facts

There truly is no better time of the year than March Madness, right? Exactly. And that’s why today, after my spree of statistical #tournyhistory tweets @udjrosen last night, I’m here today at WFNY to share some notable facts as we enter the Sweet 16. Here you go with my Elite 8 of neat facts:


No. 1: The 2 Ohio State-6 Arizona matchup will be the 27th between a 2-seed and a 6-seed since the tournament expanded to the 64-team format in 1985. In the previous 26 matchups, 2-seeds have a 20-6 record. This includes Ohio State’s victory over 6-seed Cincinnati in 2012.

No. 2: The 2013 tournament is the first ever with three 12-or-lower seeds to make the Sweet 16. (h/t @SportsCenter) In fact, a total of 15 teams seeded 9 or lower have made the Sweet 16 in the last four seasons. In the previous six, only 13 such teams had made the Sweet 16. Parity, eh?

No. 3: With three sub-12 seeds making the Sweet 16, I thought it’d be appropriate to rehash how these teams have done in this round: 1-25 (4%) all-time. Yikes. (More on this one win in a moment) It’s then significantly better for 10-11 seeds: 12-48 (20%). Logically, this would be because 12′s or 13′s historically are faced with a more daunting schedule in the regional semifinals.

No. 4: Now, the story of the tournament: the amazing 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. They’re obviously the first-ever 15-seed to make the Sweet 16. All-time, since 1985, 15-seeds now have a 7-109 (6%) record in the first round. They’re now 1-6 (14%) in the second round.

No. 5: Keeping with FGCU: Surprisingly, per ESPN, 0.95% of brackets submitted to their website had the Eagles in the Sweet 16. As crazy high as that may seem, it might actually be about right. Out of 116 regions, this is the first 15-seed to make the Sweet 16. So 1/100 is approximately about right. Good job, America.

No. 6: Also a first in 2013: Our first ever matchup between a 9-13. The 9-seed Wichita State Shockers will play the 13-seed La Salle Explorers in Los Angeles for an Elite 8 berth. Lowest-ever seed to make an Elite 8? That would be a 12-seed, once: 2002 Missouri. With an easier than normal matchup, La Salle could break that record.

No. 7: Speaking of La Salle, they became the second First Four team to advance all the way to the Sweet 16. Of course, 11-seed VCU also accomplished that feat in 2011 all the way to the Final Four. Also including 12-seed South Florida’s first-round upset in 2012, that makes First Four winners a combined 7-5 in three seasons (thus far).

No. 8: Finally, a nod to the only 1-seed that bowed out over the weekend: Gonzaga. The ‘Zags have actually made it to 15 consecutive NCAA tournaments, but only appeared in one Elite 8. Their record by round: 13-2 in Round of 64; 5-8 in Round of 32; 1-4 in Sweet 16; 0-1 in Elite 8. As my friend Nate pointed out too, that lone Elite 8 was actually the first of these 15 years as a 10-seed in 1999.


[Related: The Diff: Ohio State’s March Madness odds]

While We’re Waiting… A conversation with Mark Shapiro

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

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Our friends at The DiaTribe had a neat opportunity of a sit-down with Mark Shapiro. Here is Shapiro’s first quote: “‘Yeah, if you define active by spending money. This is my 22nd season with the team, and there’s never been anything of this magnitude. It’s clearly both a statement and effort by ownership. This isn’t just a front office effort. We identify players, make recommendations and provide alternative plans and they ultimately make the decisions. With both Swisher and Bourn, Paul Dolan was extremely involved and assertive in our efforts to get those players.’” [Al Ciammaichella] [Read more...]

OSU Beats Iowa in OT: Rose Bowl Scenarios

Ohio State Iowa Rose Bowl

The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes yesterday afternoon in a “winner gets the BCS bid” game.  It is a near certainty that the BCS game will be the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.  Jim Tressel was criticized by a great number of fans and media for being too conservative with QB Terrelle Pryor and playing for overtime on the Bucks’ last possession in regulation.  It seems to be the dominant story most people are talking about this morning.  Tressel relied on his defense in OT and they came through holding the Hawkeyes scoreless.  Ohio State responded on its ensuing possession with a game winning 39 yard field goal.  It’s a little crazy  to come down hard on the coach after a game in which you win your 5th straight Big Ten championship and are headed to your 6th BCS bowl in 7 years. 

While the Buckeyes have been regulars in the BCS this decade, they have usually found themselves in Tempe or the National Championship game.  This will be their first Rose Bowl since that classic game in 1996 against Jake Plummer’s Arizona State Sun Devils.  While this week will be devoted to coverage of The Game, in thinking about the immediate implications of yesterday afternoon I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the potential Rose Bowl scenarios for OSU.

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