Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
With Ohio State’s basketball season coming to an unexpected end Saturday night in the Elite Eight matchup against Wichita State at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, many Buckeyes are still trying to get over it.
Junior guard Aaron Craft said he’s going into the offseason with big expectations for next year.
“It’s tough right now. It’s crazy to think I’m down to one year left,” Craft said after the game. “We have to understand there’s a sense of urgency now. Ohio State is one of the best places in the country to be and we need to make the most of it.”
Just a year ago, OSU students and fans from all over the country were preparing their trips to New Orleans for the Final Four.
Unfortunately this year’s team couldn’t make it back.
The Buckeyes haven’t made consecutive Final Four appearances since the 1960s, when they went to the Final Four three straight years (1960-1962).
The four teams that will be playing in the Final Four are No. 1-seed Louisville, No. 9-seed Wichita State, No. 4-seed Syracuse and No. 4-seed Michigan.
Heading into the NCAA Tournament, some analysts, like former NBA superstar Charles Barkley, felt the Big Ten conference was overrated despite having seven teams in the tournament. Now, Michigan is the only remaining Big Ten team, putting many OSU fans in an awkward position.
Allison Roda, a fourth-year in marketing and strategic communication, said she isn’t happy that Michigan is in the Final Four and OSU is not.
“I’m definitely upset about it,” Roda said. “It just sucks and I don’t really care that there’s a Big Ten representative, I’d just rather it had been us.”
Although there are quite a few Buckeye fans that feel the same way as Roda, there are also some fans that think Michigan making it to Atlanta for the Final Four reflects well on OSU.
Tyler Shebeck, a first-year in business, is one of those fans with a positive attitude. “I’m happy Michigan is in the Final Four,” he said. “It’s a bummer we’re not, but at the same time, you have to look at it as a team representing the Big Ten, not as a rival. Plus it helps my bracket.”
Whether you like it or not, Michigan will be playing in the Final Four and has a legitimate shot at a national championship. If you want to root against them, be my guest, but I can tell you right now whenever there is a chance to make the Big Ten look good and not appear to be a purely football conference, I will jump on that bandwagon.
Michigan is set to face Syracuse Saturday at 8:49 p.m. at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Coverage will be on CBS.