2:25 p.m. - Even though we are in the Easter time zone, I'll be blogging on Central time because that's what my computer says.
We got here yesterday, leaving Madison around noon and arriving in Columbus around 2 p.m. (after the time change). I managed to get a pretty good picture of downtown Madison and the lakes from the airplane window. You'll notice there's a little bit of snow on the ground.
We practiced at Value City Arena from about 5-7 p.m. (pictures below). Billy Packer and Verne Lundquist from CBS were there. Like Coach Ryan, Verne is fighting off the flu bug. Both were coughing and sniffling throughout practice. I kept my distance.
2:48 p.m. - Got a couple pictures up so you can see my vantage point. We're seated in the corner, right by where UW comes out. Not a horrible seat. The seats are not all white in the arena. They're giving away rally towels today and there is one on all 19,000+ seats.
2:58 p.m. - Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch just informed us that Jamar Butler is not starting for OSU because of the dreaded "coach's decision." We're about three minutes away from starting lineups so we'll see if that holds true.
3:03 p.m. - This is a really big arena. It holds a little more than 19,000 fans. The scoreboard is REALLY loud. They play a short video then Jamar Butler shows up o nthe screen and says, "Lights Out." And the lights go out. Starting linups introduced and no Butler. I'm 1-for-2 so far. Two freshmen in the backcourt for OSU, Diebler and Turner.
3:08 p.m. - There were some murmers on the crowd when Butler wasn't announced with the starters. The OSU fans love their towels. UW wins the tip and OSU starts off in zone. Marcus misses inside but OSU turns it over. Prertty drive by Michael results in an easy one for Marcus. Hunter answers inside and then Butch hits a 15-foot jumper. Butch knocks away a pass but UW with a shot-clock violation.
3:11 p.m. - Butch drains a three. Marcus called for a foul battling Koufos. Then Butch fouls Lighty, sending him to the line. He hits both. UW turns it over against the press but J-Bo steals it right back. J-Bo misses a three but Butch battles for the rebound and it goes out of bounds off OSU. UW ball, leading 7-4 with 15:56 left after the TV timeout.
3:17 p.m. - Jamar Butler has made his first appearance. Butch gets a feed down low from J-Bo and is fouled going up. He makes one. OSU with a couple misses then Butch called for a charge, his second. Butler off a screen good for three. Greg comes in for Brian. J-Bo stumbles and OSU ties him up. Ball goes over to the Buckeyes. Butler and Koufos miss threes.
3:20 p.m. - UW turns it over and Koufos hits a jumper for OSU's first lead. Marcus fouled down low but OSU picks off the inbounds pass. They turn it over on their end though. Good interior passing from Marcus to Greg to Mike results in a ly-up for Mike. Lighty answers on the other end. Lighty called for a foul, bringing us to the TV timeout. OSU leads 11-10 with 11:26 left.
3:25 p.m. - Butch needs two points to reach 1,000 for his career. Not gonna get it this half though, not with two fouls. Tim Jarmusz with his first appearance of the day. Three turnovers in a row and then OSU misses. Stiemsma misses a jump hook and Terwilliger splashes a three. Michael with a miss on the drive and Butler is fouled by Trevon.
3:29 p.m. - Lauderdale hits inside then Pop (Trevon) misses a three. Lauderdale fouled on an offensive rebound on the other end. He hits one FT then OSU is called for a lane violation. Marcus with a tough jumper to break a pretty long scoreless streak. Butler then hits a tough jumper of his own. Jarmusz is fouled down low after a good pump fake and he'll shoot two after the TV timeout. OSU leads 19-12 with 7:27 left.
3:35 p.m. - Tim makes one. OSU misses then Marcus gets it down low and is blocked. OSU throws it out of bounds. Trevon looks like he's body blocked out of bounds but no call. Turned over to OSU. Michael then picks up a steal and goes the length of the court. The shot is blocked but it's goaltending. Butler misses a long three. Joe drives the hoop and makes a floater. Hunter drives in and tips in his own miss.
3:38 p.m. - Mike called for a push-off on the offensive end. Butler turns it over out of bounds. Michael throws it away but then steps in front of Diebler to take the charge. Hughes dribbles through OSU to break the press and gets fouled. He makes both. Hunter scores down low. Pop misses a three but J-Bo tracks down the rebound. He's trapped on the sideline so he calls TO. OSU leads 23-19 with 3:39 left.
3:40 p.m. - J-Bo scores off the inbounds pass from Flowers. OSU with a couple misses but the ball goes out of bounds off UW. OSU ball, leading 23-21 with 3:20 left, after the TV timeout.
3:42 p.m. - The two teams have combined for 21 turnovers thus far. With the game on CBS today, we've seen a dramatic decrease in the number of Courtside Blog followers. I know who the true fans are though.
3:48 p.m. - Hunter with another offensive rebound and a put back. Joe with a pretty find to J-Bo underneath for a lay-up. Butler drives the lane and banks one in. Flowers drains a three. Hunter fouled by Marcus as he drives the hoop. Hunter banks the second one in. Michael splashes another three and UW leads. Koufus answers on the baseline to put OSU back up one. J-Bo rims a three in and OSU calls TO. UW leads 32-30 with 31.1 seconds left. OSU will have the final shot. Buckeyes find Koufos underneath for a dunk to close the half. Score is tied 32-32.
3:57 p.m. - Halftime stats: Michael has 10, J-Bo has seven and Brian has six. Badgers are shooting 54.5 percent from the field but they have 12 turnovers. OSU is shooting 46.4 percent from the field and also has 10 TOs but they have eight offensive rebounds. These two teams entered the game 1-2 in the Big Ten in FG percentage defense.
4:09 p.m. - Macus blocked but gets his own rebound. Out to Pop for three but he misses. OSU misses and Mike goes off the glass for two. Brian picks up his third foul hedging out on Butler. Butler then does like Mike and goes glass for two. Brian misses a jumper and Marcus knocks it out of bounds. J-Bo comes in for Brian. Koufos fouled by Hughes and he'll go to the line. He makes both. Joe bangs in a short jumper. Koufos again down low for two. Good ball movement and J-Bo splashes a three.
4:12 p.m. - Turner hits a short jumper then J-Bo misses a three. OSU with a couple misses but they get the offensive rebound. UW ties it up so it will be OSU ball after the TV timeout. OSU leads 40-39 with 15:52 left.
4:20 p.m. - Hunter called for an illegal screen as Michael tries to fight around it. Marcus misses a three. Lighty hits a three as the shot clock is winding down. Marcus fights down low and hits a tough jump hook. OSU turns it over. Some up and down action reults in no points either way until J-Bo splashes a three to give UW the lead. Koufos then misses down low and fouls Michael on the other end. Butch misses and OSU runs out but misses the layup. OSU knocks the ball out of bounds, leading to a TV timeout. UW leads 44-43 with 11:37 left.
4:30 p.m. - Tim J with the baseline jumper. Butler answers with a three. Pop blocked on the baseline but OSU turns it over. Butch fouled down low. He makes one. Butler misses a three and so does Mike. Lighty called for a travel. J-Bo turns it over then fouls Diebler. Diebler then strokes a three. Michael misses a three then Butch misses inside but Michael with a steal and lay-in that stayed on the rim for about five seconds before dropping. J-Bo then splashes a three. And Butch goes over 1,000 points with a jumper. OSU calls TO with UW leading 54-49 with 6:18 left.
4:34 p.m. - Butler misses a three and Marcus grabs the rebound. He was really battling Koufos down low. Michael misses and Marcus comes up with it. It makes its way back to Marcus who gets fouled down low. He'll shoot two after the TV timeout. UW leads 54-49 with 5:08 left.
4:40 p.m. - Marcus hits both. Diebler misses a three and Marcus rebounds. Pop misses a LONG three and the rebound results in a held ball, OSU possession. Turner with a tough short jumper. Joe misses a short one and Butler is fouled going to the hoop. He'll shoot two following the TV timeout. UW leads 56-51 with 3:15 left.
4:45 p.m. - Butler makes both. Flowers forced to take a tough one and he misses. Butler misses a three and Mike rebounds. OSU called for a kick. UW calls a timeout leading 56-53 with 2:09 left.
4:47 p.m. - UW turns it over and then knocks the ball out of bounds. Butch with a BIG block on Terwilliger going for a dunk. Pop misses a fallaway and Butch with another good defesnive play. Butch misses down low and OSU calls TO. UW leads 56-53 with 42.5 left.
4:50 p.m. - Diebler catches but falls down so OSU calls TO with 31.5 left.
4:52 p.m. - Butler misses a long three that goes out of bounds. Hughes finds Marcus for a dunk. OSU turns it over and UW wins 58-53.
8:55 p.m. - On the road in conference play you just have to find a way to win. And now we’ve done that seven times in eight tries. The seven conference wins on the road is school record, breaking a 94-year old mark. They’ve come in all fashions so far. Games we’ve controlled start to finish (Michigan, Penn State and Minnesota), games that went back and forth early and we eventually pulled away (Illinois), dogfights where every possession was a battle (Iowa and Ohio State) and late-game thrillers in which a number of different guys made big plays late (Indiana).
Now it’s back home for two games in the next 10 days. But before we jump ahead, let’s savor this one for a bit. It was very ironic that Brian got his 1,000th point on OSU’s floor. After last year with his elbow and two years ago with his ankle it had been kind of a house of horrors for him. Then he picks up two quick fouls today and spends 14 minutes on the bench in the first half. Safe to say he’s happy not to be going back there again.
Marcus Landry played very big today. He finished with 10 points and nine boards and battled Ohio State’s big guys for 30 minutes. There was one possession in particular, and I alluded to it in the blog, where he fought Koufos for a full 30 seconds and just refused to give him any type of position in the lane. And so everyone knows, Koufos is listed at 7-0, 265 pounds while Marcus is 6-7, 222.
Michael Flowers again was the steadying force for the Badgers. He logged 35 minutes, had 14 points, six assists and two steals, including one of the biggest plays of the game when he stole the ball then drove in for the layup that tied the game at 49-49 with 7:33 to play. That ignited a 9-0 run that gave UW the breathing room it needed down the stretch.
And what can you say about Jason Bohannon. He scored 16 points in 34 minutes off the bench, making 4-of-6 3-pointers. It’s fun to watch him find open spots because everyone in the league now knows he can knock it down from long range but he still managed to gets six good looks from outside today. And his teammates are definitely looking for him because a lot of his open shots are coming from people making the extra pass.
We’re in the air right now and hopefully should be on the ground by 7:30 p.m. The guys are lifting tomorrow but no practice. We’ll hit the court Tuesday and Wednesday in order to prepare for Thursday’s game vs. Michigan State. After today’s win, I said to someone, “Big game Thursday.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized as you keep winning , the next one keeps getting bigger. Because we said the same thing before the Illinois game and then again before this game. Hopefully they keep getting bigger.
After I got off the plane (back at the house by 8:15 p.m.) I remembered that I forgot (huh?) to include a quick story on assistant coach Howard Moore. He was in the Detroit area on a recruiting trip and was to fly into Columbus this morning. His plane took off on time but when they reached Columbus, the fog was so thick they couldn’t land. So they had to fly back to Detroit. Back where he started, Howard rented a car and drove from Detroit to Columbus. Luckily he made it to the game in plenty of time, literally running onto the court about 30 seconds before tip time. After the game, he said he was a little tired. The glamorous life of a Division I assistant coach.