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Who to Root for in the Final Four: Ohio State Buckeyes

The Final Four takes place a little over 28 hours from now. Cincinnati is not involved, duh. In the interest of, well, interest Bearcats Blog has been throwing out reasons why you should root for every team left. Some of them are good. Some of them are bad. Some of them only make sense to me. But there have been a lot of reasons thrown out. Check out the Kansas, Kentucky and Louisville pieces. This whole idea was based off a twitter conversation that exploded the other night. A conversation that focused around the following team, the Ohio State Buckeyes. 

Why we should root for Ohio State

– They are the only team left in the tournament from Ohio. If one of the reasons to root for Louisville this weekend was Big East pride, state pride should count as well. It’s not like people weren’t rooting for Ohio University to beat North Carolina or anything. You root for the Ohio. Of course, this would be easier said than done if there weren’t 3 local teams in the mix. 

– I like Thad Matta. I think he’s a good coach. I liked him at Xavier, I like him at Ohio State. Thad being the Xavier coach is something that went a way in soothing my Xavier hate and dislike. Skip Prosser went a very long way in that as well. Anyway, I like Thad and I would like to see him win. 

– They are a fun team to watch. Outside of the Cincinnati game, I’ve enjoyed watching OSU’s games this season. The Syracuse game almost doesn’t count because of the absolutely horrible officiating. They are a Big 10 team, but they play a higher tempo. They have guys who can beat you inside and outside. They have guys who can nail mid-range jumpers. They get out and defend. 

– I really like watching Jared Sullinger. He has a back to the basket game like you would expect, but Sullinger has an underrated mid-range game. He can step out and pop a 3 or two against you. I think this is a skill that’s going to translate to the NBA for him. He gets great positioning on the glass, as you would expect out of someone who pulls down 9 rebounds a game. Let’s be honest, Jared Sullinger is what we wish Yancy Gates would have been this season, if not his career. 

– I really like Deshaun Thomas. His game is very smooth. I only say smooth because he’s left handed. The amount of ways that he has to score make him an impossible matchup. He seems to take a lot of shots, but hit 53% on the season. He can play the 4 or the 3 and terrorize you either way. I really like his game. 

– It would keep up the string of teams beating Cincinnati and winning the national title. 

– Rooting for Ohio State doesn’t make you a bandwagon fan. If you grew up in Ohio, you grew up watching 1 football team every week. Cincinnati football was never on TV when I was growing up. I couldn’t tell you how good or bad they were. Before the bowl game in 1997, I don’t think UC had a winning season since, I actually don’t know. Almost by default, many kids in the 90s took their college football rooting interests to other schools. I rooted for the Florida schools, Florida and Florida State. Tons of people in my grade school rooted for Notre Dame and Michigan. The Cincinnati media did not talk about Cincinnati football ever. ABC always showed Ohio State. Even if you didn’t root for Ohio State, you always saw Ohio State. I rooted for Ohio State to win the national title when they played Miami. Does that make me any less of a Cincinnati fan? No.

College is different than the pros. There are over 300 schools in division 1 basketball. The pros have 30. Unlike the pros, many people you love and care about didn’t play for any of those teams. But peope you know went to many of these colleges. I know a handful of people who went to OSU. I know more people who went to OSU than who went to UC. That’s also why my first 2 weeks at UC involved me eating lunch by myself while people took all the chairs from the table. That sounds much more sad than it is. It was sad at the time too. Anyway, Ohio State could get the ‘my wife went there, I’m pulling for them,’ or the ‘my friends go there,’ affiliation. I don’t necessarily root for Ohio State, but I don’t root against them. You should feel free to do the same. 

Why we should root against Ohio State

– It would keep up the string of teams beating Cincinnati and winning the national title. I don’t know about you guys, but the realization that Cincinnati could have possibly made a run to the Final Four last year if they beat UConn and that they could have done it this year if they beat Ohio State kind of sucks. Sure, UConn had a lot of tough games to go through and Syracuse is no joke, but we’ve seen it where the team from our bracket wins. That’s a bit disheartening. I tend to always root for the team that beats UC in the tournament to lose. And most of the time they have because UC didn’t lose to great teams. This reason is kind of depressing. That it’s depressing should be driving you away from Ohio State. 

– I’m still not over hating Aaron Craft yet. I had no ill will towards the Buckeye point guard before the UC game. People told me that would change. Damn did it change. Now all I can see is someone who fouls as much as he can every possession without getting called for a foul. That’s part of what makes him a great defender. It’s part of why I wouldn’t mind if someone punched him in the face. Craft seems like the guy who should have gone to Dayton or Xavier or something and been one of those guys you just hate. Instead, he’s at Ohio State and the shoe fits. When he and Greg Paulus were on screen together, I nearly punched my tv. 

– Yeah, Greg Paulus is an Ohio State coach. Douche. 

– William Buford has been playing at Ohio State since roughly 1983. This has to be illegal. First David Lighty played there forever, now Buford. This has to stop. We need an NCAA investigation about this. 

– People will call you a bandwagon fan if you root for Ohio State despite what I said in the previous section. You kind of are being a bandwagon fan though, so just kick them in the balls and end the problem.