Time to Give Ohio Some Props

 

It is time to give a salute to the college basketball neighbors to our west  in the state of Ohio. 

The USA’s 17th state, Ohio, is the first state in the history of college basketball to have four teams in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

Think about that. 

This week, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Ohio University Bobcats, the Xavier Musketeers and the Cincinnati Bearcats will all be in action.

In fact, Cincinnati and Ohio State will play each other. That, in itself is significant. Historically, Ohio State has dodged Cincinnati in the regular season. It was very frustrating to Bob Huggins when he was the coach of the Bearcats, that he could not get the Buckeyes to play.  You have to think that Cincinnati is licking their chops in anticipation of this week’s game.  The Bearcat fans are anyway.

This is a reminder of an era when Ohio dominated college basketball. In 1960, Ohio State and Jerry Lucas defeated California to win the national championship. In 1961 and 1962, Cincinnati won the title. In both of those games they defeated Ohio State in the title game. 

The round of the Sweet 16 is usually the best round of the tournament for great games. 

This year this Sweet 16 will be incredibly special in the state of Ohio. 

All four schools have excellent young coaches: Thad Matta at Ohio State, John Groce at Ohio, Mick Cronin at Cincinnati and Chris Mack at Xavier.   A young man who coached in our state, Jeff Boals, is a former player at Ohio, but a former graduate assistant coach at both Marshall and the University of Charleston.  After this week, don’t be surprised if a Nebraska or an Illinois doesn’t place a phone call to Groce about their coaching opening. 

So to our neighbors to the west, this salute is for you. This week, Ohio is the basketball capital of the country. 





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