Ohio State sits perennially amongst the top teams in the country, especially in the Big Ten. In 2014, they sit as a #6 seed, set to face off against in-state rival (lol @ rival) Dayton. That's lower than some preseason expectations for the Buckeyes, especially since they spent part of the season in the top 3. Let's go on a little history lesson about the Ohio State Buckeyes, and see what we can learn about this year's team.
Ohio State has one championship, in 1960, thanks to Jerry "the Based God" Lucas. Jerbear Lucas went onto have a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. The wacky thing about 1960 is that the year before, Ohio State kinda sucked. They only went 11-11, but the next year, they won it all. Whadda ya know.
The coach of that team with Fred Taylor (no, not this guy) who officially put the Buckeyes on the map as a basketball powerhouse. During Taylor's 18 year run as head coach, Ohio State made the tournament 5 times, and finished second in the tournament twice. But after Taylor's tenure ended, a dark period descended upon Columbus. Ohio State was pretty crappy at shootyhoops for about 20 years, in the 1980s and 1990s.
Things started to look up once Ohio State hired Jim O'Brien as coach, but immediately took a turn for the worse when they had to give up all their success under O'Brien because of assorted violations and misconduct. Boban Savovic had some trouble with the academic big wigs, and the team got busted because of it. Thus, they had to sweep their success away, especially a 1999 Final Four run.
Finally, Ohio State found a coach to grow old with. Thaddeus Michael Matta. He joined the staff in 2004, and immediately changed the direction of Ohio State basketball. The 2006-2007 Ohio State squad was one of the best in team history, led by Mike Conley, Greg Oden, Daequan Cook, and Mark Titus. They earned a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament that year, and made it all the way to the championship game, beating teams like Georgetown and Memphis in the process. But the combo of Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, and Al Horford was too strong. Damn, that team was good. So the championship drought lived on.
Matta had plenty of other legendary teams, most notably led by Evan Turner, ex-Sixer legend. But that year, the on-court talent didn't translate to tournament success. They got upset in the Sweet Sixteen by #6 seed Tennessee, which let down all fans' expectations. It also didn't help that Turner left for the draft following that game, forcing the Buckeyes to start from scratch.
The past two seasons have included a Final Four trip and an Elite 8 trip. Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas, and some young gun named Aaron Craft took that team past Syracuse in the Elite 8, but lost to Kansas in the National Semifinal. The next year, Aaron Craft did this, moving the Buckeyes past Iowa State and into the National Quarterfinal. But Wichita State was a team of destiny that year, and scooted past Ohio State.
Which brings us to today. Ohio State has a super hard region this year. Florida, Kansas, Syracuse, VCU, and UCLA are all above them. Part of me wants to pick the Dayton upset because it would be silly. But part of me knows that this Ohio State team can go on a run.
Whatever you think you should pick, do the opposite.