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03.09.09 Fast Breaks

There were no Fast Breaks this weekend as I was in Atlanta all weekend and returned only to find a ridiculous amount of work still left to do in the real world. But all that means is that the limits of the phrase “link dump” will be put to the test today. I am even skipping out on last minute studying for a history midterm to bring you more links…because that is just the kind of guy I am.

NCAA Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State (#7, Midwest, Dayton pod)

vs. Siena (#9)
Mar. 19 @ 9:40pm

Vegas Line: Ohio St. -3

Thanks to Vegas Watch for providing these graphs that measure the moving average of a team’s spread (moving avg.) over time vs. the spread for each individual game (indiv).  If a team’s moving average is higher than zero, then Vegas currently has a higher opinion of them than Pomeroy, and vice versa.

General Profile
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Conference: Big Ten
Coach: Thad Matta, hired 2004.  Record at OSU = 127-45.
08-09 Record: 22-10 (10-8)
Last 12 Games: 7-5
Best Win: vs Michigan State 82-70, on 3/14/09
Worst Loss: at Northwestern, 69-72, on 2/18/09.
Off. Efficiency Rating: 114.0 (26th)
Def. Efficiency Rating:  95.9 (72nd)

Nuts n Bolts

Star Player(s): Evan Turner (6’7″ sophomore forward); 17.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.8 spg.
Unsung Hero: William Buford (6’5″ freshman forward); 11.3 ppg, shooting 45.2% FG and 89.6% FT.
Potential NBA Draft Pick: 7’0″ freshman center B.J. Mullens is currently projected as the 12th overall pick in the 2009 mock NBA draft at
Key Injuries: Would-be star player David Lighty (6’7″ junior F) injured his left 5th metatarsal against Jacksonville on 12/17/08 and was slated to miss 6-12 weeks.  No recent mention of possible return.
Depth:  26.6% mins (271st nationally)
Achilles Heel: The boards.  The Buckeyes pull down 28.2 rebounds/game, which is 301st nationally.
Will Make a Deep Run if…: …they shoot well, and the Buckeyes know how to do that.  9th nationally in FG% (48.9), and 7th nationally on shots inside the arc (54.5%).
Will Make an Early Exit if…: …they don’t take advantage of limited possessions; OSU only gets an average of 63.1 chances per game, which is 315th nationally.

NCAA History

Last Year Invited: 2007
Streak: 1
Best NCAA Finish: 1960 National Champions.
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): -0.12 wins per appearance

Six Degrees to Detroit: Freshman guard Anthony Crater is from Flint.  And the Buckeyes know the state of Michigan well, let’s just say.
Distance to First Round Site: 71 miles
School’s Claim to Fame: Largest single-campus university in the nation.  Oh, and they kind of like football.
School Wishes It Could Forget: Recent football shortcomings, along with that loss to Florida in the 2007 tournament final after the Gators had also beaten them for the football title earlier that year.
Prediction: Another Big Ten team that doesn’t jump off the page, and Siena would be a typical team that could surprise the Buckeyes if it were not for the fact that this will basically be a home game for OSU, playing in Dayton and all.  They’ll have the best chance to knock off a 1-seed if they get to play Louisville in Dayton in the 2nd round.
Preview written by: John Stevens, Rush The Court.