A Season to Remember or Not?

By Kenny Roda

A 34-3 record, the Big Ten regular season title, the Big Ten conference tournament championship, being ranked #1 in the country, the freshman of the year and an all-american 1st team selection should make fans feel good about their basketball team’s season. Most fans would love that, but why don’t I feel that way about the 2010-11 Ohio State Buckeyes?

Is it because for the 2nd straight year they lost in the Sweet Sixteen? Or maybe because for the 2nd year in a row they were bounced by an SEC team?  Or could it be that “The Ohio State University” out of the “Big Bad – Big Ten” can’t even make it to the Final 4, but Virginia Commonwealth out of the Colonial League can and for the 2nd year in a row Butler out of the Horizon League is one of the final 4 teams standing?  Such high expectations for O.S.U. and just like that, it’s over, after a failed 3-pointer clanks off the rim in a 62-60 loss to Kentucky.

It’s hard to accept that one game or that one decision (Thad Matta not calling a time out at the end of the Kentucky game) can ruin a season, but it did.

This was supposed to be the year for the Buckeyes to establish themselves as a basketball school as well as a football school.  This was Thad Matta’s time to shine and be known as a great coach, as well as a great recruiter. This was a team that had all the pieces to the championship puzzle. 3 seniors for leadership. 3 freshmen that would bring talent and energy to the team. A marksman who set the Big Ten’s all-time record for 3-pointers made. A defensive stopper. A developing wing player with great athleticism. A low post presence on offense and defense. An experienced coach ready to take that next step. It had all the pieces and yet it still came up short once again in the tournament just like it has for the 3rd straight year and 4th time in 5 years under Thad Matta, losing to the lower seed. And, unlike 2007, it didn’t even make it to the Final 4, let alone the title game.

So when I look back on the 2010-11 Buckeyes, what will I remember? I’ll remember a very good team who brought us a lot of excitement, especially with 2 tournament wins at The Q in Cleveland, Ohio to go along with the Big Ten regular season and tournament crowns. But unfortunately, even with all of the accomplishments that we talked about earlier in this blog, what I’ll remember more, is a team that underachieved and missed a great opportunity to bring home a National Title to Columbus and Buckeye fans everywhere.

So yes, even though this may not seem fair, I’ll remember this season for it’s failure to not reach it’s ultimate goal, more so, than the all the other accomplishments that they did achieve.

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