The following isn’t quite the “holy cow” list of coincidences as the urban legend that compares Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy, but it will likely grab your attention.
While the Buckeyes’ NCAA Tournament run isn’t over yet, to this point it is shaping up an awful lot like the one Ohio State went on in 2007.
“Submitted for your approval”, Twilight Zone style:
Winning Streaks: In 2007, the Buckeyes finished the regular season with a 14 game winning streak that ended up reaching 22. This year’s squad won its 11th in a row on Thursday, although it was at a modest five to end the regular season.
Big Ten Tournament: It returned this year to the United Center in Chicago for the first time in 2007. That year, OSU beat Wisconsin in the tourney championship game, just as it did a few weeks ago.
“Controversial” Calls/Buzzer Beaters: Without arguing the merits of either of these, last week in the round of 32, Aaron Craft drew a charge that if it went the other way, could have led to a four-point Iowa State lead late. Instead, the Buckeyes drew even, eventually allowing Craft to hit the game-winning three with less than a second to play. Back in 2007, it was a hard shove by Greg Oden on his fifth foul that was not called intentional or flagrant in the round of 32 against Xavier. The Musketeers missed the second free throw, keeping it a three-point game, and setting the stage for Ron Lewis’ game-tying triple that forced overtime, where OSU prevailed.
Sean Miller: A former assistant with Thad Matta at Miami University, and later his top assistant at Xavier, the Buckeyes went up against Miller in both tournaments (Xavier in 2007, Arizona this year).
Double-Digit Deficit: In the Sweet 16 against Miller’s Wildcats, Ohio State fell behind by as many as 11 before rallying for the win. Six years ago, it was a 17-point gulf against Tennessee, also in the Sweet 16, before the Buckeyes worked their way back into it, and got the win. Oh yeah…Oden’s block at the horn preserved that win, while Lenzelle Smith Jr.’s steal sealed the deal as time expired Thursday against Arizona.
Now if that doesn’t have you freaked out, let me leave you with this.
The Final Four this year is in Atlanta…just as it was in 2007.