March 14, 2012
What's up everyone? March Madness is officially underway.
If you somehow haven't heard yet, we got the fourth seed in the Midwest region. This means we will be taking on the Ohio Bobcats on Friday night -- 7:20 p.m. on TNT, so set your DVRs. I know they are a very talented team who has a great point guard, but we will be more than ready with four days to get a game plan together. Our coaches work tirelessly on scouting opponents and no one does it better.
Before we get onto the NCAA Tournament, I want to quickly wrap up the one we just played in.
I'm sure many of you are disappointed with how the Big Ten Tournament ended. Trust me we are just as mad; however, just like all year long we have to learn from the loss and turn it into a positive. It is tournament season and it has a different feel to it. The first game of a tournament is always hard to play in. Our young guys, especially Trey (Burke) just getting his feet wet will be key going forward. No team has responded to a loss better than us all year and we need to continue this trend going forward.
Okay back to the Big Dance.
While this year didn't have as much suspense as last, it is still a surreal experience to see your name called on TV. Coach Beilein, who has been to many NCAA Tournaments, was excited as ever for the selection show. This is what he works so hard for and none of us take for granted how magical it is to make the tournament. Only 68 teams get in and we were ranked 13th of all of them!
We are setting up this week just like we did before we played Ohio State at home. We had about a week to prepare for them and have a week to prepare for the Bobcats. We had a great practice on Tuesday, really getting back to a preseason type of feel with great energy on the court.
At this time of the year, there is a fine line between resting people, but at the same time getting ready. Our coaches have found a really good balance between both over the last month. Today will be another day of preparation as we implement more of our game plan for Ohio and then we leave for Nashville.
Tomorrow we practice in front of the public, which is mostly just a shoot around. Some teams put on spectacular dunk show, but I have a feeling you will see a lot more threes from us than your typical team. We will also practice at a local high school tomorrow, which will be our typical day before practice.
We want to make this week as typical as possible even with the different travel schedule. Then we bunker down in our hotel and get ready for the game. There is no looking back now, we know how hard we have worked to get to this point and don't want this special season to end.
On a much more important note, Carlton Brundidge is in his own NCAA Tournament of his own this month. Carleton is in the best names bracket for Sports Nation and we need all of you to vote for him and make sure he advances. I'm not sure how Carlton is a more unique name than Sai (Tummala) or Eso (Akunne), but apparently Carlton Brundidge has a nice ring to it. Carlton is in the UWE BLAB REGIO - VOTE HERE!
Hopefully we see a ton of you in Nashville as there is a big advantage to having a home crowd in a neutral site. Our fans have been amazing all year long and I have no doubt it will continue this weekend!
Keep writing in your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will keep writing back to you.
I will try and update you as much as I can from Nashville and follow me on twitter @Jbart20 as I will let you know what's going on from there also.
SPECIAL NOTE: I want to wish our trainer John DoRosario as very happy birthday. He wants everyone to know he looks the same now as he did when he was 21. As BA would say, he's conscious!