This Years Sweet 16 Is Downright Odd

Round of 32Buffalo1376 With two rounds of the NCAA men’s tournament in the books, it’s clear that there’s no overwhelming favorite to win the national title. No. 1 overall seed Virginia was gone less than 36 hours into the tourney,1Excluding the play-in games, because, come on. and defending champ North Carolina didn’t last a whole lot longer. Although most of the Cinderellas have cleared the dance floor (save for South region No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago2Yes, Syracuse is also a No. 11 seed, but sorry — nobody is considering the six-time Final Four entrant a Cinderella.), the next few weeks could belong to any of about a dozen teams.Here’s what jumped out to us during the tournament’s first weekend-plus of action:This is the Strange 16Glance at the seed numbers of the teams left standing, and you’ll notice an odd mix. Only two No.1 seeds survived the tournament’s first weekend — the fewest since 2004 — and as many teams seeded seventh or worse (six) advanced as teams seeded in the top three of their regions. The resulting Sweet 16 isn’t necessarily stocked with scrappy opening-weekend flukes, as many of the first-round giant killers — such as UMBC, Buffalo and Marshall — didn’t make it past their second opponent. As a result, plenty of other years had more double-digit seeds reach the tourney’s second week. So this year’s Sweet 16 is just … well, strange.To measure this, I compared the distribution of this year’s Sweet 16 teams by seed to the average from 19853When the NCAA tournament’s 64-team era began. to 2017. This year’s glut of 5-, 7-, 9- and 11-seeds stands out, as does the general dearth of top seeds:In fact, if we compute the squared difference between this year’s number of Sweet 16 teams at each seed and the historical average for every year since 1985, this is the most aberrant distribution of seeds in any modern tournament, surpassing even 2000 (when 12 of the 16 surviving teams were seeded between slots 4 and 10).Underdogs are winning bigPerhaps more surprising than the barrage of upsets that highlighted opening weekend was the sheer magnitude of those unexpected wins. As No. 16 seed UMBC personified with its historic 20-point thrashing of No. 1 Virginia, these weren’t games in which the underdog squeaked by on a last-second shot; no, the favorites tended to be mercilessly crushed when they lost.Including both the rounds of 64 and 32, games won by lower-seeded teams this year have come by an average of 10.6 points, only the third time in the 64-team era that the average upset at this stage of the tournament came by a margin of 10.5 points or more. The others were in 2000 (yes, that tournament again), when underdogs won their games by an average of 10.9 points per game, and 1997, when they won by 10.6 on average. But those years’ first two rounds saw only 12 and 13 total upsets, respectively, by teams with an average seed number of 8.9. This year’s tourney has featured 15 upsets, by teams with an average seed of 10.1, which makes this collection of underdog landslides even more impressive.Kentucky can cruiseBefore the tournament, we relegated Kentucky to “dark horse” status in the South region, if simply because its path to the Final Four was shaping up to be a daunting one: First, a tough Davidson team in the round of 64; then, most likely, Arizona, Virginia and Cincinnati, all in a row. For all of Kentucky’s talent, that seemed like a tall order.Then, Arizona lost. And Virginia. And now, Cincinnati. (Not to mention Tennessee, Miami and Texas, too.) Suddenly, Kentucky finds itself as the sole team seeded better than seventh in its region, with a relatively clear road ahead. Our model currently gives UK the best Final Four odds of any team remaining in the field, at 57 percent.According to the Basketball Power Index system developed by ESPN’s Stats and Information Group, Kentucky’s toughest game along its path to the Final Four will end up being its opening-round matchup against Davidson — which is an astounding testament to the ease of the Wildcats’ path if they do wind up winning the South: Sweet 16Kansas State968 Round of 64Davidson1261% RoundOpponentSeedWin Probability Elite EightLoyola-IL/Nevada11/766 Of course, given the underwhelming performances by favorites in the tournament so far, there’s no telling if Kentucky will be able to take advantage of its big opportunity here, either. But no team can potentially benefit from the opening weekend’s shake-ups as much as the Wildcats — and it’s not even close.There’s still no tournament favoriteFor all the wackiness of the tournament’s first weekend, a look at our model’s list of most likely tournament winners reveals plenty of tried-and-true programs at the top, from 2016 champion Villanova at No.1 to 2015 winner Duke in second place, 2012 champ Kentucky in third and ‘08 winner Kansas in fourth. Although some would-be inaugural champions — such as Gonzaga, West Virginia and Texas A&M — are lurking right below, the odds are pretty strong we’ll see a familiar team cutting down the nets in San Antonio a few weeks from now.However, it’s still anybody’s guess which team that will be. Even Nova, as the nominal favorite, has but a 22 percent probability of winning the championship, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Only four teams have double-digit title chances right now, which is just one more than there were before the tourney began. And remember, last year’s champ, North Carolina, was only at 9 percent at this stage of the NCAAs.It’s only fitting that a season as wide-open as this one continues to be clouded with uncertainty about who the best team is — and whether it will even be the last one standing in two weeks. After a wild, weird first two rounds of the tourney, we can only hope for more of the same when play resumes Thursday.CORRECTION (March 19, 2:45 p.m.): Because of an error in data collection, 38 games from the 2015, 2012, 2009, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1990 and 1987 tournaments were not accounted for in the original article, while 38 games were counted twice. This caused several factual errors in the distribution of seeds in the Sweet 16 and margin of victories for those years. All text and charts have been updated with correct numbers. Is Kentucky’s toughest South region game already behind it?Kentucky’s pregame chance to win by round, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index Kentucky’s Elite Eight win probability is based on a weighted average of its chances of facing each opponent.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group read more

Most Of UConns Games This Season Were Over At Halftime

Mike Pesca knows just how dominant Connecticut’s women’s basketball team has been this year. He lamented recently on Slate’s “Hang Up and Listen” podcast (around 49 minutes in) that every time he tuned in to a UConn game while working out at the gym this season, usually with 10 minutes left on the clock, the game was already effectively over.By just how much have the Huskies been draining the drama out of Pesca’s workouts? A lot, and by a whole lot more than their predecessors did.At halftime of the average UConn game this year, the Huskies were winning by 25 points. That’s staggering — so staggering that it blows away four of the best teams in recent history: the last four UConn teams, which all reached the Final Four. The last two won the title. Those two championship teams averaged halftime leads of a mere 20 points; the Huskies’ average halftime lead was even lower in the two years before that.By five and a half minutes into the second half, this year’s UConn team averaged a lead of more than 32 points, compared to less than 26 points last year and 24 points or less in the prior three seasons. (Just four teams other than UConn this year beat opponents by more than 20 points per game. And that was their margin at the end of games, not soon after halftime.)But at that 5:30 mark we begin to see a dip. At that point, the ultracompetitive Huskies showed a tiny fraction of mercy. If they’d carried on at the same rate for the whole game, they’d have won by an average of 51 points. Instead they won by only 42 points per game. By the time Pesca was tuning in, UConn led by an average of 35 points. (This is all based on data provided by ESPN Stats & Information, supplemented with play-by-plays from the UConn website.)We also looked at the data another way: How often this season was UConn, say, trailing? Or winning by 40 points?The Huskies established dominance early: By six and a half minutes into their games this year, they were tied or trailing just once. And they led for the entire second half in most games, though Stanford tied things up in regulation and then dealt UConn its only loss, back in November. More than half the time, UConn led by at least 30 points two minutes into the second half. That all adds up to lots of minutes of Mike Pesca doing bicep curls with dull basketball on in the background.This doesn’t necessarily mean this year’s UConn team is the best UConn team of the last five years. The school shifted to the American Athletic Conference two seasons ago from the Big East, which has made for easier conference games and more blowouts. And the previous seasons’ stats include NCAA tournament games, some of which were close — though many were also blowouts.Even so, it’d take a whole lot of NCAA tournament drama to undo all the meaningless second halves the Huskies have played so far this year. Our forecast currently gives them a 74 percent chance of winning the title, before they’ve played their first game. That doesn’t leave much room for nail-biters.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

Commentary Buckeyes in NBA playoffs a testament to Thad Matta

The NBA playoffs are in full swing and Ohio State fans looking for a reason to watch the games need look no further than the four former Buckeyes playing in them. Former OSU basketball players Evan Turner, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook and Kosta Koufos are all playing in this season’s NBA playoffs. Turner plays in the Eastern Conference as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, while Conley, Cook and Koufos are in the Western Conference playing for the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, respectively. All four players were recruited by and played for OSU basketball coach Thad Matta. The fact that they’re all vying for the NBA title in the same season speaks loudly of Matta and the OSU basketball program. Conley and Cook were members of the “Thad Five” 2007 NCAA runner-up team. Koufos was named the National Invitation Tournament MVP when the Buckeyes won the tournament in 2008, and Turner became the first OSU player to win the John R. Wooden Award in 2010. Since taking over the basketball program for the 2004-2005 season, Matta has turned the Buckeyes into perennial NCAA championship contenders and brought some of the best basketball talent to Columbus that the program has ever seen. Taking OSU to two Final Fours (2007, 2012), Matta has won five Big Ten championships (2006, 2007 and 2010-2012) and seen seven of his players drafted into the NBA: Greg Oden (2007), Conley (2007), Cook (2007), Koufos (2008), B.J. Mullens (2009), Turner (2010) and Jon Diebler (2011). That number will likely grow to nine after this season’s NBA draft where it’s expected that former Buckeyes Jared Sullinger and William Buford will be selected. Not including Sullinger, projected as a first-rounder in the 2012 Draft, Matta has produced six first-round draft picks, including the only top two picks in program history with Oden (No. 1 overall) and Turner (No. 2 overall) in their respective drafts. Matta has produced more NBA draft talent in a five-year span from 2007-2011 than Duke’s NCAA men’s all-time winningest coach Mike Krzyzewski (five draft picks), Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (five), Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun (four), Michigan State’s Tom Izzo (one) and as much as North Carolina’s Roy Williams (seven). The skill level of the players that Matta has recruited to OSU to play basketball should not be taken lightly and the NBA playoffs are simply a microcosm of the talent Matta is responsible for. In each of the last four NBA seasons, at least two of Matta’s former Buckeyes have played on basketball’s biggest stage, and lately they’ve been making their presence felt. In 2011, Conley helped Memphis upset the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, becoming only the fourth No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the NBA playoffs. He averaged 15.2 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game and 6.4 assists per game in the 2011 playoffs with the Grizzlies. This season, Conley and Memphis are back in postseason play and as of Tuesday night, he’s averaging 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists through four games in a series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Turner is attempting to match Conley’s and the Grizzlies’ feat from a season ago. Through the first four games of the series between the Sixers and the Chicago Bulls the former OSU Wooden Award winner is averaging 14.0 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists per game. From 1996 to 2005, there were just four Buckeyes to play in an NBA playoff game, Jim Jackson, Lawrence Funderburke, Herb Williams, and Michael Redd. OSU has four former players, all products of Matta, in this season’s playoffs alone. If Sullinger and Buford are selected in the 2012 NBA Draft, nine Buckeyes under Matta will have been drafted in the span of six seasons. To put that into perspective, the previous nine OSU basketball players selected into the NBA draft span across the course of 19 drafts from 1983-2001, with only four first-round selections. As long as Matta continues to roam the sidelines in Columbus, Buckeye fans should expect to have a rooting interest in May and June when the NBA playoffs come around. read more

The Torg I have paid the price and I want to be

Scott “The Torg” Torgerson apologized and tried to show remorse, but it was too little, too late. Torgerson, former co-host of “The Common Man & The Torg” radio show on Columbus’ WBNS 97.1 The Fan, was fired Wednesday as a result of an Oct. 13 tweet in which he wished death on ESPN college football analyst and former Michigan football star Desmond Howard. Torgerson and his laywer, Columbus attorney Joe Edwards, said they believe the firing was unlawful and will consider legal action as well as an investigation into ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit’s potential role in the firing. From 97.1 The Fan’s Twitter account, @971thefan, the station announced the firing, tweeting: “Scott Torgerson is no longer employed by our company as of today. We appreciate his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.” In an email interview with The Lantern, Torgerson said he did not initially expect to be terminated but eventually started to “hear a few things” and began to suspect it. On Friday, The Fan offered Torgerson the opportunity to resign “with a small severance,” but he declined, opting instead to request to be allowed back on the air at a Monday meeting. “I would have had to sign an agreement not to ever talk about this and could not take legal action,” Torgerson said. “The other option was termination with no severance or insurance. They gave me that option Friday and gave me the weekend to think it over. I showed up Monday for our meeting and told them I want to go back on the air. They told me that wasn’t an option. I received a termination letter (Wednesday).” From his Twitter account, @myguythetorg, Torgerson tweeted on Oct. 13: “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch ‘GameDay’ again.” Torgerson later issued an apology via Twitter, tweeting: “My Desmond Howard tweet was a joke.” He said he maintains the position that the tweet was a joke, and added that he reached out to Herbstreit and ESPN college football analysts and former OSU football player Chris Spielman to apologize. “(Herbstreit and Spielman) work for ESPN and I am sure it wasn’t a good situation for them. I think everyone who listens or knows me knows it was a joke,” Torgerson said. “Now I have to deal with the (punishment) for my actions. I just don’t feel firing me is a way to handle it. I was employee of the quarter the Friday before. I would think being the sports director, strong ratings, and the income I have made for the station, that deserves a second chance.” The Fan did not respond to The Lantern‘s multiple requests for comment on Wednesday. Josh Krulewitz, vice president of communications for ESPN, declined to immediately respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment. Edwards, who knew Torgerson prior to the Oct. 13 tweet and was hired as counsel for the firing, agreed, saying he feels it was an unjust firing. Edwards told The Lantern he didn’t think 97.1, which is owned by the Dispatch Media Group, “had just cause in discharging” Torgerson. “He’s now fired. He had a job where he was doing very well, had very high ratings, was very well-liked in the Central Ohio market and now all of the sudden he doesn’t have a job. So we’re going to explore filing a lawsuit against the station and anybody else that was involved in his discharge.” Torgerson had between a year and a year-and-a-half remaining on his agreement with The Fan, Edwards said, and part of a potential investigation of his client’s firing could involve Herbstreit. Edwards, who emphasized that he can’t be sure if Herbstreit played any role in his client’s firing, said he could choose to investigate Herbstreit for “tortious interference,” or interfering with Torgerson’s contract. “At some point in time, we would like to know how Scott ended up getting fired and, at some point in time, what Mr. Herbstreit said, who did he say it to and why did he say it,” Edwards said. “That’s our interest – why did 97.1 The Fan fire Scott? And I know that Kirk Herbstreit did a radio show – his radio show on 97.1 – on Oct. 15 where he went off on Scott Torgerson. And we’d like to know, you know, did he talk to anybody else at the station? Did he call any people in management? What did he say? Why did he say that?” Torgerson said his wife, Lauren Torgerson, has been crying for days, but the couple has maintained some semblance of a sense of humor – in a nod to one of Scott Torgerson’s familiar jokes about firings, she suggested he work at a Citgo gas station for a couple of weeks. “I may do it,” Scott Torgerson said. In the mean time, Scott Torgerson said he appreciates the support he’s received from fans. “Just to the listeners … Their support has been unreal. Someone created a ‘Save The Torg’ Facebook page and in 10 days it has more “likes” than the 97.1 site,” he said. “The ‘Save the Torg’ has over (8,000), (97.1 has) under 5,400. I would have to say the listeners have spoken. They want me back and I want to be back. “I am sorry for what I did. I feel I have paid a huge price and I want to be back on air.” read more

Sunday Morning Quarterback Evaluating Ohio States win against Wisconsin

Columbus, it’s time to party like it’s 2002. Well, almost time at least. Your Buckeyes still have to beat Michigan next weekend to cap off the program’s first undefeated season since 2002, when the Scarlet and Gray won 14 games and the national championship.  The 2002 squad was notorious for squeaking out wins in close games, and Ohio State seems intent on honoring that team’s 10-year anniversary with an eerily similar season. In 2002 and 2012 OSU entered the season ranked outside the top 10 and was largely an afterthought when talking about the nation’s top teams. Yet week after week they won, sometimes convincingly, but more often by prevailing in nail biters. Such was the case again on Saturday, as OSU overcame Wisconsin in overtime, 21-14. The Buckeyes almost took its connection with the 2002 season too far on Saturday, as the coaching staff channeled its inner “Tressel ball.” It was surprising to see first-year coach Urban Meyer’s staff call such a conservative game. And it was even more shocking how it went about doing it. Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller never got it going as a runner, but the staff seemed intent on making it happen for the Heisman hopeful. Miller averaged just 2.1 yards while receiving a team-high 23 carries. Meanwhile, junior running back Carlos Hyde averaged 5.8 yards per touch, yet only carried the ball 15 times. Hyde received eight carries on first down, and averaged 6.5 yards on those attempts. Miller averaged less than three yards on his 12 first-down carries. It was as if the coaching staff was trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, with a circular block lying right beside it. OSU’s inability to move the ball forward on first down set up many third-and-long situations. As a result, it punted a season-high nine times. Had Hyde received just a few more first-down touches, that number could have dropped dramatically. But thanks to some superb defense, clutch special teams, timely offensive production and a little bit of luck, OSU was still able to come away with the win. Just like in 2002. Put a fork in it OSU’s undefeated season is still intact, but the same can’t be said for Miller’s Heisman candidacy. Though he’s had a spectacular season, it was always unlikely that Miller would walk away with college football’s most coveted individual award. There was simply too much working against the sophomore. He plays on a team ineligible for postseason play, in a weak conference against a weaker schedule. Still, there was an outside chance that Miller could receive a late surge with statement performances against Wisconsin and Michigan. He effectively ended that hope with a clunker on Saturday, throwing for a season-low 97 yards while looking lost running the football. Surprisingly enough OSU still has a chance to win the Associated Press national title, which not long ago seemed more of a long shot than Miller winning the Heisman. The Buckeyes still need plenty of help to be chosen as the AP’s top team. Without a bowl game it will be out of sight, out of mind after next weekend, and that will hurt its cause. Not to mention there will be a definitive winner in a game designed to crown a national champion. Yes, OSU has to hope for chaos. But chaos is the name of the game in college football, especially in November. Last night alone the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams, Kansas State and Oregon, lost when they were heavily favored to win. There’s still plenty of November football to be played, with the possibility of more contenders falling at the hands of underdogs. Is it likely to happen? No, but it’s certainly possible. And just the fact that we are mentioning OSU and national championship in the same breath this season is fairly remarkable. Give an extra helmet sticker to… The entire OSU defense. Yes, it allowed more than 200 yards rushing. Yes, it surrendered the game-tying score in the final seconds of regulation. And yes, its play redefined the term “bend but don’t break.” The Buckeye defense had plenty of shortcomings on Saturday. You can blame just about every one of the members of the Buckeye offense. OSU’s offense managed a meager 36 yards in the second half, while never sustaining a drive of more than 3 minutes. By the end of the fourth quarter the defense was absolutely gassed. It was unfortunate that they conceded a score to send the game to overtime, but it could have been much worse for the Buckeyes. Senior defensive end John Simon terrorized the Wisconsin offensive line, matching a career-high with four sacks. Sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier made the play of the season, forcing a fumble on the goal line and preserving a late OSU lead. Junior safety Christian Bryant recovered that fumble, and also broke up a pass in overtime to win the game. There were some great individual efforts from OSU’s defense on Saturday. But as a whole, the unit played its most complete game of the season, in a contest in which it was needed the most. read more

6 Ohio State womens track team members hospitalized released

A member of the Ohio State women’s track team was hospitalized on Friday, but has been released, an OSU athletics spokesman told The Lantern. He said others on the team were also treated after being evaluated.Spokesman Dan Wallenberg sent a statement that said one member of the team reported not feeling well Friday and was evaluated. After that, medical staff looked at the rest of the team for similar symptoms, and an additional five members were referred to the hospital for testing. They have since been released, though the statement also noted “one student-athlete was admitted and is responding well to treatment.”The Columbus Dispatch reported Monday the track athlete was diagnosed with muscular condition exertional rhabdomyolysis.Rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo, is the breakdown of muscle tissues that can lead to muscle fibers being released into the bloodstream. The fibers releasing into the blood can break down into substances that can damage kidney cells. The disease can occur when the muscles are overworked.Wallenberg said the issue did not arise from workouts outside the NCAA-permitted eight hours of practice time per week in an offseason.“It’s important to note this incident was not related to strength and conditioning activities. Student-athletes were taking part in allowable team practices under the supervision of the coaching staff,” Wallenberg’s statement said.Wallenberg did not say whether the school had been in contact with the families of the student-athletes involved.A source with knowledge of the team told The Lantern that OSU was downplaying the importance of the issue.“I think it was just a misjudgment of how tough practice would be,” the source said. “I don’t think they’re reacting enough.”Six members of the OSU women’s lacrosse team were hospitalized with rhabdo in 2012. According to a Lantern article from March 2012, none of those six players suffered kidney damage. A report  at the time cleared coaches, players, physicians and trainers from wrongdoing but recommended that the strenuous workout that contributed to the hospitalizations be dropped from training.Clinton Hartz, a team physician for the OSU athletic department, declined to comment on the matter. read more

Baseball Three Ohio State players selected in MLB draft two recruits also

Ohio State redshirt senior outfielder Shea Murray stands in the box against Purdue on April 1, 2017 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterIt was a down year for the Ohio State baseball team, but three players managed to find success this season as graduates starting pitcher Shea Murray and catcher Jalen Washington, along with junior Tre’ Gantt were selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.The Buckeyes also heard the name of their top two recruits — left-handed starting pitcher Seth Lonsway and right-handed starting pitcher Xavier Moore — called on Wednesday.Though Murray had made the transition from the mound to the outfield this past season, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 18th round, 538th overall as a pitcher. This marks the second time Murray has been drafted by a MLB team, as he was drafted as a pitcher in the 39th round (1,158th overall) by the Texas Rangers in 2015.On the mound, Murray owns a career 10.95 ERA over 12.1 innings of work. He struck out 17 batters, though 12 walks and overall control issues led to the decision for him to switch to the outfield. In his only season as a hitter, Murray posted a .252/.329/.449 slash line with three home runs and a pair of stolen bases. His three triples on the season were tied for the most on the team, and his .449 slugging percentage was the fourth-best on the team. Ohio State’s starting shortstop this past season, Washington, was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the 29th round with the 858th overall pick. But like Murray, it was not for the position he played in 2017.Washington was drafted by the Padres as a catcher, the position he manned in the 2016 season during the Buckeyes’ Big Ten tournament title run. That year, he caught 59 games and was placed on the Johnny Bench Award watch list on May 18, 2016. However, the team opted to shift him over to shortstop for the 2017 season, in an effort to make the most of his athleticism.Over his career, he has a .254/.357/.393 slash line with 10 home runs and 32 stolen bases. At the plate, 2017 was a career year for Washington as he posted career-highs in doubles (14), triples (five), home runs (seven), batting average (.266) and slugging percentage (.468), while tying a career-high in stolen bases (14).Gantt was the third and final Buckeye drafted on Wednesday after he was selected in the 29th round, 882nd by the Cleveland Indians. He still has one remaining year of eligibility, and could return to the team if he and the Indians do not agree to terms on a contract.In his first year as a regular starter, Gantt maximized every opportunity and spent the bulk of the season batting atop the Buckeyes’ lineup and playing center field.Though he did start in 38 games and appear in 47 games two seasons ago, it was not until the second half of the year when now-Colorado Rockies’ minor league first baseman Jacob Bosiokovic made the switch from right field to first base to free up the position for Gantt to play.Gantt enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2017, posting career-highs in every major statistical category, including a team-leading .426 on-base percentage. He was also tied for the team lead with 14 stolen bases with Washington. His overall slash line of .314/.426/.426 proved valuable for the Buckeye offense as he served as the catalyst for the team’s offense batting out of the leadoff spot in 41 of the team’s 56 games.The Buckeyes also saw a pair of recruits drafted on Wednesday.The first pitcher selected was Xavier Moore, a recruit from Lorain, Ohio, who was drafted in the 16th round with the 494th overall selection by the Texas Rangers. The graduate of Amherst High School is expected to sign with the Rangers.Ohio State’s top recruit, Seth Lonsway, was selected in the 19th round with the 557th overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds.The southpaw out of Celina High School in Celina, Ohio, was ranked as the 148th best draft prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was projected to be a third-round pick in the draft by MLB.com and Baseball America. Prior to the draft, he told The Daily Standard’s Colin Foster that he would determine the strength of his commitment based on where he was selected in the draft. The amount of days he has remaining until he can reach an agreement with the Reds is still unknown. read more

Football Ohio State stays at No 10 in College Football Playoff rankings

The Ohio State Buckeyes walk onto the field before the game against Nebraska on Nov. 3. Ohio State won 36-31. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorComing off of a 36-31 win over Nebraska on Saturday, Ohio State remained at No. 10 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday. The Buckeyes are the lowest one-loss Power 5 team in the Top 25.The Buckeyes were ranked as the No. 10 team in the country last week when the playoff rankings were first released.Ohio State is one of five Big Ten teams represented in the playoff rankings along with No. 4 Michigan, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 20 Penn State and No. 21 Iowa.On Sunday, Ohio State was ranked as the No. 8 team in the country in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, staying in the same spot as the previous week. The Buckeyes were also ranked No. 7 in the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll, moving up one spot after their five-point win over the Cornhuskers.Ohio State will face No. 18 Michigan State in East Lansing at noon on Saturday.1.) Alabama 2.) Clemson 3.) Notre Dame 4.) Michigan 5.) Georgia 6.) Oklahoma 7.) LSU8.) Washington State 9.) West Virginia 10.) Ohio State 11.) Kentucky12.) UCF13.) Syracuse 14.) NC State 15.) Florida 16.) Mississippi State 17.) Boston College 18.) Michigan State 19.) Texas 20.) Penn State 21.) Iowa 22.) Iowa State 23.) Fresno State 24.) Auburn25.) Washington read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State plays in survival mode during win streak

Ohio State sophomore forward Kyle Young (25) questions the referees after he was called for a foul in the second half of the game against Indiana on Feb. 10. Ohio State won 55-52. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorBLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana had already made its comeback against Ohio State. After trailing by nine points with 6:29 left in the game, the Hoosiers managed to tie the game, hitting three 3s in the next three possessions. Trading baskets with Ohio State with the game tied at 49, Indiana junior guard Devonte Green hit a deep 3, a supposed dagger, causing an eruption from the 17,000-plus in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. With the arena buzzing with an excitement, creating a momentum that seemed impossible for the Buckeyes to overcome, redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods passed the ball to senior guard C.J. Jackson, who, after holding it for three seconds, threw up and made what head coach Chris Holtmann called “a prayer.” “How many times has he done that in his career?” Holtmann said. But this shot, this prayer that secured an eventual three-point victory for Ohio State, tied the game the Buckeyes had in its grasp for the majority of the contest, first losing the lead with Green’s 3 with 1:46 left in the game. Throughout the contest, it was prototypical Ohio State basketball: inconsistency ruled in Bloomington. In the first half, the Buckeyes struggled offensively, making 10-of-26 attempts from the field, and struggled to keep possession, recording nine turnovers and allowing 11 points off those mistakes. Jackson said these are the kind of games that unite teams: to be able to beat a team on the road, but do so with things to work and improve on, knowing there is still a lot of work to be done. But the senior guard said there is momentum on Ohio State’s side after a win like this. “It feels like we are kind of getting our stride back that we had earlier in the season,” he said. But this stride, according to Holtmann, is a different kind of stride than the one the Buckeyes were on in nonconference play. This is a stride in which, he said, players and coaches can take time to appreciate the process of team building and going through trials as a group. “When you live in the valley a little bit, you tend to appreciate the climb to the mountaintop,” Holtmann said. “Maybe it’s just going through what we went through in that stretch that kind of forces you to appreciate this journey we are on and appreciate winning a game and enjoying the moment because that can get lost a little bit when you are 12-1.” The head coach said it takes a group of players that have been through rough stretches and tough times to set the tone on what the process should look like. He looked to junior forward Andre Wesson, who, scoring a team-leading 15 points, put down a dunk with 20 seconds left to secure the victory, setting up the play solely for the veteran. But this process is something Holtmann has tried to ingrain within his coaching from Day 1. “I don’t know if that’s just something you can turn on in the middle of February, this idea of just playing to the next play and staying with it,” Holtmann said. “You know you get so frustrated, coaches get frustrated, players get frustrated, but it’s a fast game, and if you let it get the best of you, then you got no chance.” That’s an improvement Ohio State saw in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the field, making 5-of-9 from 3 and recording six turnovers. Ohio State is focused on what’s next. But it’s what is immediately next: the next play, the next game, not the Big Ten tournament or whether the team will earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Because Holtmann knows how this game could have gone, mentioning what could have been the game-winner for Indiana — a 3-point attempt by freshman guard Romeo Langford that rimmed out late in the second half. “It was a fight to the finish,” Holtmann said. And it’s the immediate fight that he and Ohio State are focused on. read more

Parents had weekold baby taken away by social services after father heard

first_imgA local council has been ordered to pay damages after taking a week-old baby into care because the father expressed “unorthodox” views about the need to sterilise feeding bottles.A family court judge awarded the couple and their son, who is now 15 months old, a total of £11,250 after ruling that Kirklees Council had breached their human rights and misled a judge in a bid to remove the child from their care.The case, which has cost the taxpayer around £120,000, centred on a couple in their mid-twenties, who cannot be identified. They both suffer from mild learning difficulties and have received assistance from adult social care workers for around a decade. The separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family lifeMr Justice Cobb Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In a ruling published yesterday, Mr Justice Cobb said that the couple had not been referred to social services ahead of the baby’s birth, in November 2015, despite the fact that the mother suffers from minor mental health problems and the father had “displayed aggressive behaviour”.Four days after the child was born, however, hospital staff called the council to raise concerns about “the long-term parenting capacity of this mother and father”.Mr Justice Cobb said: “It was suggested that the mother had no family support, and that the father was expressing unorthodox views about the need for sterilisation of bottles, and the benefits of formula milk.”Social workers then sought an emergency hearing to place the child under the care of its paternal grandmother, however they did not tell the parents that the hearing was taking place, wrongly told the judge that they had been informed, and also “forgot to notify” Cafcass, the agency that represents children’s interests in court.center_img The judge said: “The failure of the local authority to notify the Claimants that the hearing was taking place on the afternoon of 13 November was particularly egregious; misleading the district judge no fewer than three times that the parents knew of the hearing aggravates the culpability yet further.”The judge said that the baby boy was returned to his mother and father after three months and “has continued to thrive in his parents’ care”.He added: “There is no doubt in my mind, indeed it is admitted, that Kirklees Council breached the human rights of a baby boy and his parents.”I am satisfied that the breaches were serious…the separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family life.” The judge criticised “unwarranted expenditure” of the law firms involved in the case, after cost schedules supplied to the court showed that the family had racked up legal aid bills of nearly £80,000, while Kirklees Council had costs of around £40,000.The judge awarded the mother, father and baby £3,750 each, but said that as they did “not conscientiously attempt to settle” the claim, they were “unlikely to receive these sums” because the funds were likely to be recouped by the Legal Aid Agency.A Kirklees Council spokesman pointed to a section of the judgment in which the judge noted that the council was “entitled on the information available to them” to bring the proceedings.A spokesman said: “Mistakes were made which resulted in the court awarding the family compensation.  “The local authority has been ordered to pay a contribution of the publicly funded costs of the claimants, which cover specific periods of the case.  This is due to the way the claimants’ litigation was conducted.”last_img read more