After an eventful weekend for Buckeye sports, it is nice to have a little midweek calm. Ohio State basketball fans were thrilled this past Saturday as the OSU men’s basketball team beat a tough Gonzaga team to advance to the Sweet 16. The excitement for many OSU fans, myself included, was tempered on Sunday as the Ohio State women’s team lost a hard fought game to Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Before starting undergrad at OSU I wasn’t really a big women’s basketball fan, occasionally watching a UConn-Tennessee game but that was about it. My freshman at OSU I was in the athletic band and got to go to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament and while the team was not that good that year, something about that tournament environment caused flipped a switch in me and I fell in love with that team, maybe it has to do with a big a common bond forming when you are in the tournament band thus your ‘season’ also goes on as long as the team’s does. The following year Ohio State hired Jim Foster as the new women’s coach and I once again found myself in the women’s basketball tournament band as the team made an unexpected run to the Big Ten tournament title game and made the NCAA tournament. Spending almost a week with the team in Louisiana for the opening weekend of the tournament solidified my love for the team and sport and I officially became a die hard women’s basketball fan. Over the years I have followed the team intently, thrilling in their Big Ten titles and feeling frustrated and saddened by their NCAA tournament struggles. I think the fact that the team has less fans than other big sports at Ohio State makes me want success for them even more, so that they can get the attention that they deserve. Oh well, enough with thinking about that painful loss, lets look at some other good news for Ohio State sports that happened over the past week.
A National Title on the Mat
Ohio State redshirt freshman Logan Stiebler won the 133-pound NCAA wrestling National Championship on Saturday. Stiebler was the number 2 seed and in the championship match he defeated the top seeded, and defending national champion, Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State by a score of 4-3. Check out the great recap of the title winning match written by Joe Dexter over at www.thebuckeyebattlecry.com. Other Buckeye wrestlers also had good performances at the national championships as freshman Cam Tessari came in fourth place in the 149-pound class, redshirt sophomore Nick Heflin came in sixth in the 174-pound class, and freshman Hunter Stiebler came in sixth in the 141-pound class. The strong performance by these underclassman wrestler is very promising for the future of Ohio State wrestling.
Another National Title in the Pool
Ohio State was not satisfied with just one national title this weekend as the synchronized swimming team won the US Collegiate National Title on Saturday. The title is the fourth straight title for the Buckeyes and their 28th overall. As impressive as 28 titles is, that number becomes absolutely mind blowing when you realize that this was only the 36th year that of the synchronized swimming tournament! Considering how much Ohio State dominates the sports maybe we should be considered a synchronized swimming school.
Buckeye Athletes Succeed in the Classroom Too
As easy as it is to get caught up in the on the field success of Ohio State teams we need to remember that these teams are comprised of student-athletes and that student comes first for a reason. These Buckeyes compete for their school and in return are given the chance at a world class education. While some athletes garner media attention for not taking their studies as seriously as they should, most are in school to get a degree and they work very hard to do so. This past Sunday Ohio State held its winter commencement and 25 Buckeye student-athletes joined more than 1,000 of their classmates in receiving their degree and officially becoming OSU alumni. Congratulations to all of the graduates and continue to make us proud with what you do off of the playing surface.
Tennis Buckeyes Keep Rolling
As spring starts the Ohio State men’s tennis team keeps rolling along. The Buckeyes are ranked second in the country and defeated LSU 6-1 in Baton Rouge, marking the seventh straight victory for the team. OSU is 18-1 on the season with their only loss coming to top ranked Southern Cal in the National Indoor Championships. The Buckeyes also earned an individual honro as senior, and team leader, Chase Buchanan was named Big Ten athlete of the week for the second straight week last week.