Archive for February, 2013

Road Trip Comes to an End

February 26, 2013

The Blue Jackets’ six game road trip has ended, with only two standing points to show for the effort, a 3-2 win over Detroit last Thursday. It was a bizarre game, with the Wings getting their two goals in the first 3 minutes. It was all Columbus after that. Sunday’s 1-0 loss in Chicago was a great goaltender duel. The Hawks have still not lost a game in regulation, and are the hottest team in hockey so far.

After the shellacking in Knoxville, the Kentucky men returned home and won close games over Vanderbilt and Missouri. Ohio State also had two games at home, a rout of Minnesota and a nice win over 4th-ranked Michigan State. With Indiana having gone to East Lansing and won last week, the Hoosiers have a two-game lead in the Big Ten with four games to go.

The Kentucky women picked up a nice 70-66 win at Texas A&M to sweep the series over the Aggies. However, Sunday the Cats lost at LSU 77-72 despite 20 points from A’dia Mathies. So a conference championship is now a stretch. UK must win out (at Ole Miss and at home vs. Tennessee) and hope A&M wins in Knoxville Thursday night. In my mind, the home loss to Georgia is what killed Kentucky this year.

A Couple of Routs

February 18, 2013

The Kentucky men were hoping to be able to continue to be competitive without Nerlens Noel. But the Cats traveled to Knoxville Saturday and lost 88-58 to a mediocre Tennessee team. Kentucky fans can only take comfort in the knowledge that the crop of freshmen coming in next year should be excellent.

On Sunday, Ohio State had a disasterous visit to the Kohl Center in Madison. The Badgers won 71-49, avenging an earlier loss to the Buckeyes in Columbus.

Both teams are out of the running for conference championships. Florida has a two-game lead over Alabama in the SEC, and Indiana and Michigan State have two-game leads over Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Blue Jackets have had a rough start to their 6-game road trip, with a 2-1 loss in Los Angeles and a 5-3 loss in Phoenix.

First European General Manager in NHL History

February 15, 2013

The Columbus Blue Jackets made history by hiring Jarmo Kekalainen of Finland as their new general manager, after firing Scott Howson. The team split a pair of home games since my last post, but have shown much more offense lately.

The Ohio State men lost at home as #1 ranked Indiana came to town and left with an 81-68 victory. With 4 conference losses, the Buckeyes are 2 games behind league leaders Indiana and Michigan State (who routed Michigan).

Tragedy for the UK men. After a 72-62 win over Auburn, the Cats went to Gainesville and were routed by Florida 69-52. Worse, Nerlens Noel tore an ACL and is lost for the season. He was the leading shot-blocker in the NCAA. At 8-3, Kentucky and Alabama trail Florida by 2 games. But Kentucky prospects are even worse than that now that Noel is out.

The UK women had an easy win in Nashville 75-53. But tonight the Cats are struggling against South Carolina, who has already beaten Kentucky once. Right now, UK’s 9-2 record is just behind Tennessee at 10-1 and Texas A&M at 9-1.

The Ohio State women have now won 3 in-a-row with a 59-52 road win at Northwestern. I understand that Amber Stokes is back after her injury earlier in the season.

Lots of Overtimes

February 8, 2013

The Ohio State men may have played their best game of the year in a 76-74 overtime loss in Ann Arbor. Deshaun Thomas had 17 points, and the Buckeye offense looked better than it has most of the year. With Indiana having lost at Illinois 74-72, IU, UM and MSU lead the league at 8-2, followed by the Buckeyes and Wisconsin at 7-3. Michigan visits Wisconsin Saturday, and the Hoosiers go to Columbus on Sunday.

The Kentucky women trailed for much of the game last night at Arkansas before winning in overtime 80-74. The Cats had four players in double figures. UK is still a game  behind Tennessee and Texas A&M in the loss column.

The Ohio State women needed double overtime to beat Wisconsin 65-59. That’s two wins in-a-row for the Bucks, who are looking for any positives they can find.

Two home losses for the perennially struggling Blue Jackets, including a 4-3 overtime loss last night to Calgary.

Men Still in the Hunt

February 4, 2013

Ohio State took care of business Saturday in Lincoln, beating Nebraska 63-56. Lenzelle Smith had 21 points.

The Michigan-Indiana game was excellent as I expected, and the Hoosiers’ win puts them alone at the top of the Big Ten standings at 8-1. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are all 7-2.

It gets intense for the Buckeyes this week as they visit Michigan Tuesday night, then host Indiana on Sunday. Should Ohio State win both, they put themselves in a great position for the Big Ten title. Lose both, and they are probably out of the running. A split leaves the door open.

Kentucky continues to improve. The Cats visited College Station yesterday and beat Texas A&M 72-68 in overtime to avenge an earlier loss to the Aggies in Rupp Arena. With two losses, the Cats continue to trail Florida who is still undefeated and killing everyone right now. But two meetings with the Gators are yet to come, so Kentucky controls its own destiny.

More Home Win Streaks Fall

February 4, 2013

The Kentucky women finally saw their 34-game home win streak fall today as the visiting Georgia Bulldogs beat the Cats 74-71. Kentucky had a nice working margin several times, but were cold from the field down the stretch.

Missouri upset Tennessee today 80-63. So Tennessee and Texas A&M each have one conference loss. With Kentucky’s two losses, the Cats are only one game behind the leaders. They have one game each coming up with the Vols and the Aggies, so the Cats control their own destiny.

On the men’s side, Oklahoma State won at Kansas yesterday, snapping a 33-game win streak for the Jayhawks.

The Blue Jackets split a pair of home games. After a 4-1 loss to St. Louis, the Jackets beat the Red Wings 4-2 as Artem Anisimov had two goals.