It's tough to play an NBA-ready team when you don't get paid to play...Purdue demonstrated that tonight, as aOSU showed how much better they are than Purdue. The end result was an easy 20 point win. Purdue fought, clawed and scratched for about 30 minutes...and would make runs at the Buckeyes, but couldn't get over the hump. Then, the floodgates opened and Purdue couldn't do much to stop it.
I watched this game on mute as I can't stand to hear Gus Johnson kiss Jared Sullinger's ass for two hours...on top of that, I get angrier and angrier as I watch Purdue players getting elbowed high, cleared out and held just to have the whistle blown on the guys in black and gold. Turns out, Matty feels the same way I do...and tonight, he earned a rare technical foul after watching Smith get dragged down by Sullinger followed by 0 putting his hands in Smith's face. Good for Coach Painter...but probably bad for the team at the end of the day.
Back when Keady would get a tech, it seemed to light a fire beneath the team...this team isn't used to this type of demonstrative behavior...so it seemed to kind of freak them out. But I'll repeat, I'm happy to see Painter showing that type of emotion...and dammit I can't stand the way officials protect Sullinger. And speaking of techs, one of aOSU's 4 6'9" PFs got called for a foul...bumped into an official, yelled at the official and received nothing for his poor behavior. Oh well. None of this would have changed the outcome of the game...but all of it pisses me off. I've said it before, I don't root for Matta's squad in the tournament...in fact, I don't root for aOSU very often...it'll be no different this year when they receive their two seed. Here's to watching them bow out prematurely again. Since the rules won't let them lose in Columbus, perhaps they can get knocked out in Pittsburgh in the round of 32 by somebody like Drexel...one can dream.
But back to tonight's shellacking. There were some good things- Byrd shot well again- had 20 points...and did an OK job at times defending Sullinger and his forcefield. TJohn played well yet again, scoring 15 and played very good, high energy defense. LewJack was fearless as usual, driving into the tall trees...playing through pain and scoring 10 points...but more importantly dishing out 10 assists. Hummel struggled offensively with aOSU's length, couldn't get into much of a flow and finished with 6 points, but a team high 10 rebounds. Smith had a couple big threes that looked like they might be important...but didn't matter as aOSU squashed Purdue.
Purdue was out-rebounded by 12...the Buckeyes blocked 6 Purdue shots and simply man-handled Purdue. I didn't think Purdue would win as I knew aOSU would give Purdue their best effort; something they don't do each game. But for the first half, Purdue staved off the inevitable beat down by doing the little things...in the last ten minutes of the game, none of it seemed to matter as the high percentage shots were unstoppable and Purdue seemed physically and mentally beaten.
Honestly, I don't know if I care too much about the loss...other than the fact that I wasted two hours watching Sullinger's entitled whining at the officials. Purdue was an 8 or 9 seed coming in...Wishful thinking said they could play themselves into a 6 with a win. But as Purdue fans, we should all know better- the committee cares little about Purdue's B1G tourney successes or failure for that matter...I'm just hoping that LewJack's wrist isn't hurt too badly that it'll hamper him at all on Thursday or Friday.
Now, we await what the committee has to say...I do hear Portland and Albuquerque are beautiful this time of year; we'll see if Matty and co. get to take a familiar trip out West in the next week...regardless, I'm glad this team will be in the dance at all- I wasn't so sure about their chances just weeks ago. I hope these Seniors fight like they always have and make some noise where ever they land; that's all I can ask.
Also, I hope all four teams remaining in the B1G tournament lose next round...and since that's not possible, I guess I'll be pulling for Michigan...kinda.
The selection show is at 6:00 on Sunday afternoon- Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony and some no-talent asshat will be hosting the festivities. Make sure to participate in the BS Bracket Challenge starting shortly after the pairings are set.