Big Ten Champions

February 28, 2017

The Ohio State women won their first Big Ten regular-season championship in several years by beating Rutgers Sunday afternoon. The Bucks and Maryland tied at the top of the league with identical 15-1 records. OSU has won more regular season titles than any other team in the league. They will be the #1 seed in the Big Ten tournament this weekend.

The Kentucky women were no match (again) for South Carolina in the last game of the regular season. But the Cats secured a #4 seed in the SEC tournament which begins tomorrow in Greenville, South Carolina.

The NCAA has started reporting tournament seedings in advance, subject to change of course. Both Ohio State and Kentucky were #4 seeds in the last reveal. If both can hold their positions they will be able to host first and second round games at home.

The Kentucky men beat Florida Saturday, avenging an earlier loss to the Gators. That broke the tie at the top of the conference standings. Tonight is Senior Night in Rupp Arena as the Cats play host to Vanderbilt.

After a five-day break, the Blue Jackets are undefeated with wins over the Islanders and Rangers by a combined score of 12-2.

A Couple Big Upsets

February 24, 2017

We have record high temperatures here today. It is 79 degrees and sunny as I type this. I have already grilled out once this year. We expect storms tonight, then a big cool-down.

Big night in basketball last night.

I wasn’t giving the Kentucky women much chance of beating #3 Mississippi State, but they did it on Senior Night in Memorial Coliseum as the crowd said goodbye to Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator. That was only the second loss of the season for the Bulldogs. The Cats finish the regular season Sunday at South Carolina. Kentucky lost the first meeting but is playing better now. With four conference losses, the Cats are out of the running for the SEC regular-season championship but have some momentum for next week’s conference tournament.

The Ohio State men have continued to have a bad season but last night the Bucks pulled off a big upset in Columbus by knocking off a Wisconsin team that had routed OSU earlier in the year. That dropped the Badgers out of a first-place tie with Purdue for the Big Ten lead. The Buckeyes might be able to make some noise in the Big Ten tournament if they can continue to play at this level.

The Maryland women are 54-3 against Big Ten opponents since joining the league, with all 3 losses to Ohio State. The Bucks won their only meeting with the Terps this year. Maryland and OSU are both 14-1 in conference play coming into the final weekend of the season. OSU is guaranteed at least a share of the conference title if they win at Rutgers Sunday.

The Kentucky men are unbeaten since my last post. Big game tomorrow as Florida comes to Rupp Arena. In Gainesville, the Gators beat the cats by 22. The Cats will be looking to avenge that, and break the tie at the top of the SEC (both teams are 13-2).

The Blue Jackets continue to play .500 hockey after the end of the 16-game winning streak. Washington is currently running away with the Metropolitan division. Columbus, Pittsburgh and The Rangers are in a battle for second place. Plenty more hockey to play.

 

Tough Sailing for the Cats

February 9, 2017

Saturday, the UK men lost badly at Florida which was their third loss in the last 4 games. The Cats did manage a home win over LSU Tuesday. Saturday Kentucky travels to Tuscaloosa to face an Alabama team fresh off a 4-overtime win at South Carolina. Thanks to the Tide taking down the Gamecocks, Kentucky is in a first place tie with South Carolina and Florida in the SEC. Lots of basketball yet to be played.

The UK women were no match for South Carolina even on their home floor. But Sunday, the Cats got back to their winning ways with a hard-fought win over visiting Vanderbilt.

Would you believe the Ohio State men have won two in-a-row? A nice road win at Michigan Saturday was followed by a home win over Rutgers last night.

The Ohio State women continue in second place in the Big Ten with an 11-1 record. Maryland rules the roost at 11-0. Those two teams get together on February 20.

Since last time, Columbus had back-to-back games with Pittsburgh and New Jersey, losing both. That was followed by an overtime win at Detroit. The Jackets are now 7 points behind Washington in the Metropolitan Division, and frankly, not playing as well as the Capitals right now.

 

That’s A Wrap (On January)

February 2, 2017

Since last time, the Blue Jackets lost at NYI and NSH, and held on for a 6-4 win in Madison Square Garden after opening up a 6-0 lead over the Rangers. The Jackets who were in the all-star game (Sergei Bobrovsky, Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson) gave a good account of themselves. It was the first time I had ever watched the NHL all-star game. I like the 3-on-3 format.

The UK men lost two in-a-row, losing in Knoxville and then to Kansas in Rupp. Tuesday night, the Cats nipped Georgia in overtime in Rupp in Brent Musburger’s last game in front of a microphone. Point guard De’Aaron Fox was out with an illness and was badly missed.

Victories continue to be hard to come by for the Ohio State men. The Bucks beat Minnesota (avenging an earlier loss in Minneapolis) but then lost to Iowa and Maryland.

The Kentucky women had a 5-game win streak going but then lost at Missouri. The Cats play host to South Carolina tonight. The Ohio State women keep rolling along and still have only one conference loss.

Almost Through January

January 23, 2017

Since last time, the Blue Jackets have won 4 of 7. This includes winning 2-of-3 against Carolina, a split with Ottawa, and a split on the road in Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky has had to miss some games. Washington and Columbus each have 66 standings points which is tops in the NHL.

After the 1-2 SEC start, the UK women have won 4 in-a-row which includes road wins at Alabama, LSU and Auburn. Tonight, South Carolina and Mississippi State get together. When the dust settles, only one of those teams will remain unbeaten in SEC play.

On the men’s side it is UK that sits all alone undefeated in SEC play with Saturday’s win over South Carolina in Rupp Arena.

In the Big Ten, Maryland is the only women’s team undefeated in conference play. Ohio State is a half game behind after the loss at Michigan State.

Saturday, the Ohio State men lost a home game to Northwestern for the first time since I was enrolled at OSU :-). The Wildcats are 5-2 in the league and it will be interesting to see if they can earn their first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bucks did manage a win at Nebraska. Matta appears certain to break his streak of 20-win seasons. I would favor keeping him around for another year. But if the 2017-18 season goes like this year, I’d say he’s gone.

Congrats To Clemson

January 10, 2017

Volatile winter weather here lately, but it is January after all. We’ve only had about an inch of snow so far this season. But we had temperatures in the single digits over the weekend. It has warmed up a good bit today (to about 50) but we have high winds. We expect rain for SEVERAL days but temperatures will be mild.

Great game last night as Clemson beat Alabama for the college football national championship after being behind 14-0. For the second year in-a-row I enjoyed the “Sounds of the Game” feed on the WatchESPN app. There are no announcers. So you only hear the stadium PA announcer, the crowd, and the referees. It’s a nice change from the usual way of covering a game.

Since my last post, the Blue Jackets opened the new year beating Edmonton for their 16th win in-a-row. But the streak came to an end in Washington as the Caps won 5-0. I didn’t get to see much of that game as I was concentrating on basketball. In the next game. Coach Tortorella decided to give goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky a rest, and he started Curtis McElhinney in his place. Unfortunately, Mac gave up 5 goals in a 5-4 loss to the Rangers. Sunday, Columbus got back to its winning ways with a 2-1 overtime win over Philadelphia. I was surprised to hear yesterday that McElhinney has been put on waivers. Anton Forsberg has been called up from minor league Cleveland to be Bob’s backup.

So, the 16-game win streak goes into the books as the second-longest in NHL history. Pittsburgh retains the longest streak at 17 from the 1992-93 season.

The Kentucky men are off to an easy start in SEC play. But they go on the road tonight in Nashville. The UK women have had a tougher time. I mentioned the loss at Tennessee earlier. The Cats managed to hold off a surging Missouri team for a 2-point win. But Sunday Texas A&M came to town and won, leaving the Cats below .500 in the league at 1-2.

Feast and famine in Columbus. The women are 4-0. As was the case last year, Ohio State and Maryland seem to be the top teams in the league and, so far, they are the only teams still unbeaten in league play.

But the men are 0-3 after losses at Illinois and at Minnesota. Saturday the Buckeyes played host to Purdue and lost by 1.  At this point, I see a below .500 Big Ten record for the Bucks unless things change quickly.

 

 

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2017

Happy New Year to all readers! My best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.

The college football playoff semifinals were somewhat lopsided. Alabama broke open a 7-7 tie game to beat Washington 24-7. In the nightcap, Clemson shut out Ohio State 31-0. The Buckeyes have had offensive struggles all year, but I had not expected to lose to the Tigers in a rout.

Yesterday Kentucky lost the Tax Slayer Bowl to Georgia Tech in Jacksonville 33-18.

When I last posted the Blue Jackets had won 10 in-a-row. That streak is now at 15 games with wins over PIT, MTL, BOS, WPG and MIN. Defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh scored the first goal in Nationwide Arena but then lost 7-1. The game at Minnesota last night was historic in that Columbus entered the game with a 14-game win streak, while the Wild had won 12 in-a-row. That set a record in all of professional sports.

The 15 in-a-row ties streaks by Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders in the past. The all-time longest streak in NHL history was 17 games by Pittsburgh.

The Kentucky men lost at Louisville 73-70 but opened SEC play with an easy 99-76 win at Mississippi.

Since last time the Kentucky women had two tough road losses at Duke (69-54) and today at Tennessee (72-65).

The Ohio State women started Big Ten play with two wins. Minnesota fell 87-62. Yesterday, the Buckeyes played on national TV in Bloomington and beat the Hoosiers 92-82 after being in control virtually the entire game.

Ten Wins In-A-Row

December 21, 2016

The Columbus Blue Jackets won nine games in a row a couple years ago. They set a new streak record last night with a 3-2 shootout win over Los Angeles in Nationwide Arena. Since my last post the Jackets have beaten DET, NYI, EDM, CGY, VAN and LA, in that order.

There were a couple big games in Las Vegas last Saturday. Ohio State played pretty well early but lost to UCLA 86-73. The Bruins might be the best team in basketball this year. The second game will go down as a classic, as Kentucky beat North Carolina 103-100. Malik Monk was the star for the Cats with 40+ points.

Defense seems to be somewhat lacking in college basketball this season. But tonight, Kentucky visits Louisville, one team that has been playing some D. I’m expecting a great game as usual.

The Ohio State women continue their rugged schedule, and are currently 9-4. Monday night the Bucks visited Connecticut and lost 82-63.

Since last time, the Kentucky women suffered a loss to Arizona State in Rupp Arena. Today the Cats opened up a 28-8 lead over Washington State, then held on for a 69-67 win in Memorial Coliseum. The Cougars are coached by a husband and wife duo, the Daughertys, who both played at Ohio State during the years I was enrolled there.

The ARRL Ten-Meter contest, held in early December, is one of my favorites. But with the sunspot cycle on a downward spiral, the band was in very poor shape. I managed 20 contacts running 5 watts. Under “normal” conditions, I would usually have over 100.

Happy Holidays to all readers! My best wishes for a joyous season for you and yours

The End of a Long Streak

December 8, 2016

The Kentucky men hadn’t lost at home since February of 2014. And not too many people expected them to lose Saturday. But an excellent UCLA team came in and knocked off the Cats in Rupp 97-92, ending a streak of 42 in-a-row. Giving up 97 points was quite a shocker to fans that had thought UK had been playing pretty good defense so far this season.

The loss to the Bruins was not the end of the world but Ohio State did have a very embarrassing loss last night in the Schottenstein Center to an unheralded Florida Atlantic team, in overtime. As was the case last year, the Buckeyes seem to often play with little or no inspiration whatsoever.

Since last time, the Blue Jackets have two wins over Arizona, one of which was a shootout win. The Ohio State women had no trouble with in-state rival Cincinnati, but the Kentucky women lost a heartbreaker at Louisville.

Sunday the college football playoff seedings were announced. Ohio State is third and will take on Clemson. The winner of that game gets the winner of Washington-Alabama in the championship game.

The First Month of Basketball

December 2, 2016

November saw the end of the college football regular season but also the beginning of college basketball.

The Kentucky men are ranked #1 in the polls, have looked great and have been playing excellent defense. The current crop of Cats are unselfish and playing well together as a team. Big game tomorrow as UCLA visits Rupp Arena.

Ohio State has not been particularly impressive but was undefeated until last night. The Bucks visited Virginia as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. OSU was ahead by 16 in the first half, but the Hoos worked their way back on the strength of an early second half run, and ended up winning by 2.

The Kentucky women are recovering from the loss of a number of players but are playing well. They’ve won all their home games including last night’s 82-68 win over #12 Oklahoma. That was the first game I have been able to see. They visited Colorado in mid-November and lost 79-69, the only blemish on their record so far. The Cats travel to Louisville on Sunday.

As was the case last year, the Ohio State women have played a rugged early schedule and have losses to South Carolina, Baylor and Miami (Fla). They were ranked in the top ten in the last set of polls.