Jeff taking over for Matt Hager today, as Matt is enjoying the NCAA tournament by rooting on his beloved alma mater, the Flyers of Dayton.
Of course, the major story is the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and we'll take a look around what Ohio's major papers have to say:
--The Columbus Dispatch has a story on Ohio State's excitement to return to the NCAA tournament after last year's NIT trip. There's also a column by Rob Oller that would lead one to believe that B.J. Mullens time at Ohio State will be ending with the NCAA Tournament. The Big D also has a preview box for the Siena game.
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer drops some knowledge, specifically Siena head coach Fran McCaffery's nickname and why that's relevant to today's game. The PD also posted the entire length of the press conferences of Thad Matta and McCaffery yesterday, for those with some time on their hands. And finally, get to know Siena point guard Ronald Moore, who could be an X-factor tonight.
--Through the Newark Advocate, the AP has a story about how quickly Ohio State went to work to learn about Siena.
--And an Albany local TV station, Capital News 9, has a quick story and video about Siena fans in Dayton. They seem a bit confident, and why wouldn't they be after last year's first-round upset of Vanderbilt? Here are also some quick hitters about the Saints from the Schenectady Daily-Gazette and the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Basketball gets all the publicity right now but there's another sport in the midst of its NCAA tournament, and that's the sport of wrestling. Ohio State's team finished the first day in third place with 30 points, just three behind Iowa and Iowa State. The PD's Ohio State section has continuous updates, and the Dispatch also has a recap of yesterday's action. And don't forget to watch the Buckeyes on ESPNU and ESPN as the next two days unfold.
And in a quick return to the basketball theme, the PD has a short interview with Greg Oden when his Portland Trail Blazers returned to Ohio to face the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in Quicken Loans Arena.
That is all. Enjoy the basketball today.
Thursday, March 19
With the NCAA Tournament starting today and the Ohio State men's basketball team playing tomorrow, the Columbus Dispatch has a feature story on sophomore Dallas Lauderdale.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a story on how the Buckeyes need to bring a football attitude to the tournament. The Plain Dealer also has a look at the brackets of former Buckeyes and a blog note on how the Buckeyes could handle a zone defense on Friday. Bill Livingston of the Plain Dealer has a column on how Thad Matta has built championship teams at Ohio State - if they'd stay.
The Associated Press (via the Mansfield News Journal) has a story on Matta's Buckeye growing up fast.
Finally, the Dispatch has a story on former soccer Buckeye Eric Brunner joining the defending MLS champion Columbus Crew.
Wednesday, March 18
With Ohio State's return to the NCAA men's basketball tournament days away, the Columbus Dispatch has a story on the Buckeyes' inexperience with playing on the big stage.
Thad Matta's squad will face Siena on Friday night, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer has some background on the Saints. The Albany (N.Y.) Times Union has a story on Siena sixth-man Clarence Jackson, as well as a story on forward Alex Franklin.
The Lorain Morning Journal has a story on how Siena will be no pushover.
The Dispatch also has a feature story on the state with the most NCAA Tournament teams - Ohio (Ohio State, Dayton, Xavier, Akron and Cleveland State).
The Associated Press (via the Akron Beacon Journal) has a story on the women's basketball Buckeyes and how they are happy opening their NCAA run close to home.
Bob Hunter of the Dispatch has a blog entry on the new book about the 1926 Ohio State-Michigan football game.
Finally, the Dayton Daily News has a story on the Cincinnati Bengals considering Chris "Beanie" Wells with the No. 6 pick.
Tuesday, March 17
The Ohio State women's basketball team will be staying home for the start of the NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes will open play with a game against Sacred Heart at Nationwide Arena. The Columbus Dispatch has a story on OSU's NCAA path, while the Cleveland Plain Dealer takes a look at Jim Foster's team as it hopes to break a recent trend of NCAA failures.
The men's basketball Buckeyes will face Siena in the first round of the NCAAs. The Dispatch has a story on how the Saints are experienced and will not suffer stage fright against OSU. The DIspatch also has a story on Ohio State selling out its allotment of tickets for the first game at UD Arena, as well as an OSU insider notebook.
The Plain Dealer has a story on the frustrations of OSU center B.J. Mullens with his lack of playing time in the Big Ten title game. The Plain Dealer also has a story on how the Buckeyes ended up being placed in Dayton, as well as a look at four things beat writer Doug Lesmerises thinks about the NCAA Tournament.
The Plain Dealer also has a note on the potential conflict the Cleveland CBS affiliate may have on Friday night because Ohio State and Cleveland State play at the same time.
The Dayton Daily News has a story on the improving draft stock of former Buckeye (and Dayton area native) Marcus Freeman.
The men's hockey team is on the NCAA bubble after losing its CCHA quarterfinal series last weekend. The Dispatch has a story on Ohio State's waiting game.
Finally, Rob Oller of the Dispatch has a column on Ohio State swimmer Sam Pelkey and his work with an autistic child.
Monday, March 16
The Ohio State men's basketball Buckeyes won't have to travel a long distance for their first NCAA Tournament game Friday night. Ohio State will play at the University of Dayton Arena and will face No. 9 seed Siena. The Columbus Dispatch has a story on the Buckeyes being OK with their No. 8 seed. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a story on the OSU-Siena matchup.
The Plain Dealer has a scouting report for Friday's game.
Bob Hunter of the Dispatch has a column on the benefits the young Buckeyes will receive from the pressure of the Big Ten tournament.
The Dispatch has a story on the lack of mid-major at large teams in this tournament.
Bill Livingston of the Plain Dealer has a blog entry on four things he thinks about the NCAA Tournament.
The Albany (N.Y.) Times Union has a story on Siena and their reaction to being a nine-seed and playing the Buckeyes in Ohio.
There was a game for the men's basketball team on Sunday. Ohio State's quest for the Big Ten tournament championship fell short against Purdue. The Dispatch, Lafayette Courier and Journal, Plain Dealer, Indianapolis Star and The Associated Press (via the Mansfield News Journal) have game recaps.
The women's basketball Buckeyes will find out when, who and where they will open the NCAA tournament tonight. The Dispatch has a story on how the Buckeyes are hoping to get past recent NCAA failures.
Sunday, March 15
Ohio State's men's basketball team is one win away from a Big Ten tournament title after defeating No. 6 Michigan State Friday afternoon. The Columbus Dispatch, Lansing State Journal, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indianapolis Star and The Associated Press (via the Zanesville Times Recorder) have game recaps.
Bob Hunter of the Dispatch has a column on how Thad Matta's Buckeyes are dangerous when its big men play well.
Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer has a blog entry on what MSU head coach Tom Izzo said about the Buckeyes.
Bob Baptist of the Dispatch has a blog entry on the health of William Buford.
Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star has a column on the surging Boilermakers.
The men's hockey Buckeyes defeated Alaska Saturday night to force a third game in their best-of-three CCHA quarterfinal. The Fairbanks News-Miner has a game recap.
The Dispatch has a women's basketball story on the spark Shavelle Little and Ashlee Trebilcock give the Big Ten champion Buckeyes.
The Dispatch has a story on the experience the football Buckeyes have lost at corner.
The Dispatch has a feature story on former basketball Buckeye Chris Jent, who is an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Lesmerises has his Hey, Doug! OSU mailbag on the web site of the Plain Dealer.
Jim Naveau of the Lima News has a column on how the economy is affecting college sports.
Todd Porter of the Canton Repository has sports notebook with an update on former Buckeye Brian Hartline. The Repository also has a note on Jim Tressel set to speak at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club on Monday.