Archive for December, 2013

Happy Holidays to All Readers!

December 20, 2013

I hope everyone has a joyous holiday season!

Ohio State finally lost a game in Urban Meyer’s tenure, as Michigan State defeated the Buckeyes 34-24 in the Big Ten championship game. So, the National Championship game will feature Auburn (who beat Missouri for the SEC championship) and Florida State (who beat Duke for the ACC championship).

The Blue Jackets continue to win enough games to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. But the last couple of outings have been embarrassing. First was a 3-2 home loss to Winnipeg, a team that could have been beaten if Columbus had played with any energy at all. Last night, Columbus had a 3-0 lead in the third period in Philadelphia. Final score: Flyers 5 Jackets 4. The Blue Jackets really need to put together a string of wins pretty soon to ensure that they stay in contention.

The Kentucky men traveled to Chapel Hill and played pretty well. But the result was an 82-77 loss to the up-and-down Tar Heels. The Ohio State men continue undefeated, with a big game coming up Saturday night in Madison Square Garden against Notre Dame.

The Kentucky women are also undefeated, and play #2 Duke Sunday afternoon in Rupp Arena. I understand that the game is a sellout. The Ohio State women are 8-6 and continue to rebuild. I got to see them play in Cincinnati. The Buckeyes lost, but probably have the talent to win some Big Ten games.

Last weekend was the ARRL Ten Meter contest. This is always one of my favorites. Since we are close to the peak in the current sunspot cycle, propagation on 10m (28 MHz) has been good. I operate the contest using 5 watts, and it is possible to easily work the world with those power levels when propagation is this good.

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Two Shutouts In A Row

December 7, 2013

The Columbus Blue Jackets finally broke their string of alternating wins and losses, and have not been scored on in two games in December. These were home wins over Tampa Bay (1-0) and last night over Minnesota (4-0). The Jackets have a lot of injured players, not the least of which is netminder Sergei Bobrovsky who will likely be out the rest of the year. But Curtis McElhinney has not been scored on now in 75 minutes of relief work for Bob. The Jackets are still close to the bottom of the Metropolitan division, but are still well within reach of a playoff spot.

The Ohio State men continue undefeated with a dominating win over Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. But the UK men have now lost two games with last night’s 67-62 loss to Baylor in Dallas. This came after a nice win in Brooklyn over a tough Providence team.

One For The Record Books

December 7, 2013

The Kentucky and Baylor women had a wild one last night in Dallas. The Cats won 133-130 after 4 overtimes. The game set all-time scoring records for the teams and the sport as a whole. Baylor had 7 players foul out (leaving them with 5 eligible players) and Kentucky had 3.

Odyssey Sims had 47 points for the Bears, but fouled out in the first overtime. One of the five remaining players for Baylor was Alexis Prince, who was dressed but not expected to play as she had been out all season with an ankle injury. She hobbled around enough to make a basket in the fourth overtime, and just missed a three pointer as time expired that would have sent it into a fifth overtime. Jennifer O’Neill had a career-high 43 points. She plays a lot of minutes, but is not actually a starter for Kentucky.

The win was the second in-a-row for the UK women against Top Ten opponents for the first time in history. Last Sunday Kentucky beat third-ranked Louisville 69-64 in Lexington. It was the third-straight win for the Cats over the Cards, who made the Final Four last year. It was another classic example of a come-from-behind win for UK, as the Cards gradually wore down in the second half.

DePaul and Duke are coming up on the schedule for the UK women before Christmas.

After an easy win over Lehigh, the Ohio State women traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts and lost to Connecticut 70-49. The game was actually closer than what I expected. Connecticut is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the women’s teams, and actually has a couple of key players injured. The Buckeyes then visited #8 Maryland and lost 67-55. Ohio State hosts #24 Gonzaga tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

Championship Saturday

December 7, 2013

Today is the day that most of the major conferences have their championship games, with division winners squaring off for all the marbles. There should be a lot of good football.

Last Saturday, Ohio State once again survived a strong challenge from Michigan, winning 42-41. Michigan scored a touchdown with 32 seconds to go, then went for a 2-point conversion, wanting to win the game then and there and avoid overtime. But the Bucks intercepted the pass. OSU has now won 24 games in a row, and Urban Meyer has still not lost a game as coach there.

Tonight the Bucks will face Michigan State in Indianapolis for the Big Ten title. I think the Spartans will be the toughest team Ohio State has faced all year, and they probably have the best defense in the country. OSU could be vulnerable after the emotional win over Michigan. Plus, it would be easy to look ahead to the national championship game.

The wild finish to the Alabama-Auburn game is certainly the big story in college football this year, with Auburn catching a missed field goal attempt and running it 100+ yards for a touchdown. Auburn faces Missouri today for the SEC title. I’d say the winner of that game will face Florida State in the BCS title game should Ohio State lose. Florida State plays Duke for the ACC title, and is a heavy favorite.