Bartelstein Blog: Fifth Road Win, Racing Back, Joy of Being a Champion
Josh Bartelstein

March 5, 2012


Yesterday will go down as one of the most surreal days of my life. I'm still not exactly sure what happened, but the way it went down was magical. Try and follow below as I explain!

Before I do, don't forget to watch this feature. Big Ten Champs! It will help this blog.

It all started in Happy Valley when we had our typical team meeting around 8:30 a.m. We went over our last-minute keys to the game and knew what this day could bring, but our focus was on doing what we could control in beating Penn State. No one was thinking about the game that was supposed to tip at 4 p.m.

We shot the "you-know-what" out of the ball against them -- Evan (Smotrycz) was on fire, Tim (Hardaway Jr.) was not missing, Trey (Burke) was being Trey and Zack (Novak) and Stu (Douglass) continued to show how versatile they have become. We played a really good game and it showed that we were locked in. The goal before the game started was to get over .500 on the road in the Big Ten, we accomplished that.

The game ended around 3 p.m., and we celebrated a great team win. We had no control over the rest of the day, but the scenario was pretty clear and everyone knew it. The typical media and autograph post game sessions occurred at the Bryce Jordan Center, however, they happened a little faster than usual because there was a big game taking place in about an hour that would affect us just a little bit.

Everyone is giving their predictions on the game while on the bus to the airport. Coach Alexander believes in positive energy so he just keeps saying what he wants/believes will happen. The team agrees William Buford is the key to the game for Ohio State. (We ALL know basketball!)

We pull into Happy Valley airport at 3:57 p.m. and turn on CBS in the hangar. The Creighton/Illinois State game is on and everyone is trying to be the last one through security just to see the tip of the Ohio State/Michigan State game.

Of course, the prior game goes into overtime so we don't see the tip in the airport and are left to refresh our phones about a million times before takeoff.

As soon as we get on the plane, we find the CBS sports feed and begin watching on the plane. Nothing good is happening and the plane is pretty silent. (Matt) Vogrich is sitting next to me, Novak behind and everyone else standing around trying to watch from my computer.

The flight attendant comes to tell us to turn off the computer, but we only close the computer three-quarters of the way (hopefully, she isn't reading this) and still watch until our plane is off the ground and into the air.

Eventually the internet goes out and our last update has Ohio State down 14.

I'm refreshing my phone all the time in the air and of course it isn't going to ever work, but I keep trying. Once we are in the air, everyone listens to music or watches a movie; there is no talk of the game. At some point, my phone gets a roaming message from Canada, not sure how, but it updated the score while we were way up in the air. Ohio State was down nine at half, and you could feel the energy in the plain again. We had a chance!

We landed and now phones are being refreshed at ridiculous rates. Every score is yelled out on the plane and people are voicing their opinions on every play (NOTE: I just cannot share that with you, sorry). We race off the plane and onto the bus that will take us back to Crisler. There is 12 minutes left in the game and OSU is down six. We are try watching the CBS sports feed on the bus, but our internet connection is awful. Vogrich calls a friend and we get updates from him on the phone. The bus isn't exactly moving fast and Novak keeps talking about how he wants to take over and drive the bus NASCAR style and Corey (Person) wants Stu to drive. I want a police escort!

Timing is everything.

Somehow we pull into the PDC at the four minute media timeout with MSU up a couple. The last four minutes went by about as slow as humanly possible. We all watched in the film room, living and dying with every second.

My heart is beating about as fast as possible. Novak has his shirt off. Evan has his hat over his head; he can barely watch. Tim is pacing the hallways. I'm not sure Stu was breathing. Vogrich, well he was being Vogrich. Coach Jordan can barely watch. It was quite the scene.

Many of you saw the game, the two team's trade blows, and with 25 seconds left, OSU has the ball with the score tied. The play has to be called for Buford. He was playing great and as we called it before, he was the key.

After the timeout, they run a hand off and Buford has the ball going left. We all know Buford going left is deadly. He doesn't miss that shot. The ball leaves his hand with about three seconds left and pure, nothing but net OSU is up two with one second left. MSU misses a last-second prayer and the place erupts.

An amazing scene that thankfully was captured on video! I'm dumping water on people. It's a mosh pit in the middle of the office. Corey has taken his shirt off. Everyone is hugging one another. It is the kind of feeling that words can express, but when you have a goal for 11 months that few believe you can achieve and then achieve it, it makes for these magical moments.

It was an emotional hallway. At one point guys had to sit down because it hadn't really set in what had just happened. Coach B hugged every player. It was surreal!

We still have more magical moments to achieve this year, and that feeling yesterday will only push us to work harder. I just want to thank all the fans who have been with us through everything.

This team plays for each other, but we also play for you, so thanks for all your support.

Go Blue!

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