Support Our Advertisers


Entries in Purdue (3)


Tournament Takeaways: What The First Weekend Taught Us

Ali Farokhmanesh

One Great Season

One of the best opening weekends in recent NCAA Tournament history drew to a close shortly before 8 p.m. ET Sunday, and if you're anything like me, you've already begun counting down every tenth of a second for Thursday's Sweet 16 round to get here.

What did the first two rounds show us? Besides the fact that I can't fill out a bracket with even the slightest bit of success, plenty:

+ No one is invincible. Kansas, not just a No. 1 seed, but the tournament's top overall seed and heavy favorite to win its second national championship in three years, learned that the hard way. The Jayhawks had a star or a budding star at every spot on the floor, but they might not have taken seriously enough the one thing Northern Iowa seemed to have more of: heart.

+ The Big Ten is back. Isn't that what we said in the first week of January, after the college football bowl season? It is, and the same is true on the hardwood. With No. 1 Kansas and No. 3 Georgetown out of the way, Ohio State is the logical pick to rule the Midwest, though it might need to knock off league foe Michigan State -- gimpy guards and all -- in the Elite Eight. And not enough can be said about Purdue's gutsy overtime defeat of Texas A&M, making the Big Ten the only conference to send three teams into the next round. Gritty Chris Kramer doesn't want his career to end just yet. The Purdue senior is straight ballin'.

+ Cornell is legitimate. So is Xavier. Those are two fine basketball teams. That Cornell-Kentucky matchup will be one of the most interesting Sweet 16 games in recent memory. And the Muskies are no longer a precious little mid-major. The Muskies can beat anybody. I loved that rookie coach and hometown fave Chris Mack jabbed a Minneapolis writer after XU took it to the Golden Gophers Friday.

+ Despite the Big Ten props, I do agree with most analysts -- Len Elmore and Seth Davis, in particular -- who say the best-conference debate is a waste of time. Conferences aren't playing conferences. Individual teams are playing other teams in high-pressure, single-elimination games where personnel matchups are critical. That said, what up with the Big East?

+ Looking ahead, if Kentucky and West Virginia win their third-round games in the East, they'd meet in what would no doubt be the best regional final of the tournament. If those teams do make the Elite Eight, that could very well be a de facto national championship game.

+ On the TV front, CBS once again did an outstanding job showing 48 games over 80 hours, and switching to late-game situations. One complaint I did hear came from a colleague in the Bay Area who was disappointed to have to watch the last minute of Sunday's Duke-Cal yawner instead of being switched to the thrilling Xavier-Pittsburgh and Purdue-Texas A&M finishes that unfolded simultaneously at other locations. But overall, I thought CBS got it right again and I hope The Eye continues to broadcast America's greatest sporting event for as long as I'm alive.

+ The Miller Lite commercials are still awful, the Capital One viking ads have never once been funny, the new Dos Equis spots are just as strong as last year's successes, the girl in the Palm commercial is beautiful, Rhys Darby has already jumped the shark with those bad HP ads and Southwest Airlines appears poised to annoy us with their shirt-lifting baggage handlers for two more weeks. More on that from OGS contributor Steve Susi soon.


Ohio State Star Evan Turner Hates Purdue's Chris Kramer

Evan Turner

One Great Season

Just a few days after four-year starter Chris Kramer helped Purdue hand Ohio State its first home loss of the season, Buckeyes National Player of the Year candidate Evan Turner called Kramer out on Twitter.

Follow | Subscribe | Donate

At about 1 a.m. Monday, Turner, whose handle is @thekidet, dropped some Twash Talk on the popular, short-form social networking site that read: "reason why chris kramer doesnt guard the other team's best player anymore is because he cant lol."

One Great Season found the jab first and replied to Turner, but got no response from the OSU star, who earlier Sunday had led his Bucks to a gritty win at Michigan State to stay near the top of the Big Ten standings.

YOUR THOUGHTS: Is Evan Turner The Best Player In The Country?

Over the next hour or two, at least a couple other Twitter users picked up on the late-night dig and directed some of their own trash talk toward Turner:

@gbo82: "used to like you honestly...but its clear being a very good player has gone to your head and you are in a dick."

@zwpeterson: "your a college kid calling another player out on twitter just leave it on the court."

Turner then replied to the above Tweeters:

"@gbo82 I was watchin tv and they said he doesn't guard the other team's best player til the end of the game and that's what made me say it."

"@zwpeterson I said this to his face plenty of times. I wasn't trying to call him out. I was responding to somethin I saw on tv."

And then:

"say one thing and everyone acts like I stole their dog lol. Take it easyyyyy."

Sure Twitter can be a light-hearted, sometimes fun, way to communicate with the mini-masses, but for a high-profile athlete to call out another on Twitter is just ridiculous. Can't we act like grown-ups, like Shaq and Dwight Howard, who are fighting over more important things, like who deserves the "Superman" nickname?


Lack Of Depth Could Be Ohio State's Undoing

Evan Turner

One Great Season

In the fickle world of high-profile sports, the Purdue Boilermakers are now my favorite college basketball team.

Just kidding. As you know, I've been crushing on Ohio State for a while and since the Buckeyes (20-7, 10-4 Big Ten) lost a game they should have won at West Virginia last month, they've bounced back so impressively that I thought there was no team in the country playing better than them.

Until Wednesday night.

Purdue avenged a January loss to OSU by earning a hard-fought, 60-57 win in Columbus and in the process, exposing the Buckeyes at least a little bit.

Follow | Subscribe | Donate

Ohio State's lack of depth is hardly a news bulletin, but it hadn't really caught up with the Bucks until Wednesday's first home loss of the season. The West Virginia setback was more a case of playing poorly after halftime than it was playing fatigued.

But if you paid attention to the way Purdue defended OSU's National Player of the Year candidate, Evan Turner, you'll agree he earned every one of his 29 points. He and three teammates played all 40 minutes, and while rallying late in front of the home crowd will certainly get the adrenaline pumping, I'm curious how just a six- or seven-man rotation will work on the back end of a two-games-in-three-days stretch on a neutral floor in next month's tournament. Sheesh, the Big Ten tournament will be even more difficult playing on consecutive days.

And in the case of Purdue (22-3, 10-3), I must admit, that three-game losing streak that followed its 14-0 start made me think perhaps the Boilermakers were more suited for a third-place finish in the Big Ten. But with home games against Illinois on Saturday and Michigan State eight days later, I think we'll see a team more than capable of winning the league.

It's hard not to be impressed with a road win in Columbus by a Purdue team that didn't get its first points from Robbie Hummel until eight minutes remained in the game. JaJuan Johnson stole the show for the visitors, connecting early and often from all over the floor. He finished with 24 points and seven rebounds, and committed only two fouls and one turnover in 39 minutes. He owned OSU bigs Dallas Lauderdale and Kyle Madsen.

Many bloggers like to sound the alarm after one loss, and while that's not my style, I will go far enough to suggest that maybe Thad Matta should give his boys Thursday off to soak in a tub and maybe not think about basketball for a day. It's mid-February, the team did just win nine straight Big Ten games and I'm sure they're exhausted. That's the advantage of playing so many Sunday games; if you want to rest your guys in a case like this, you can do it and still have a tough practice on Friday.

But it doesn't get much easier. OSU visits league bully Michigan State (21-6, 11-3) on Sunday (noon ET, CBS) to try to keep pace near the top of the Big Ten.