Before each commercial break of Memphis’ systematic destruction of Ohio on Wednesday, CBS Sports Network played its usual March Madness tune, evoking memories of past upsets and the reality that this Ohio team is a long way from busting another bracket.
In this week’s Pulse of the Bobcats, Speakeasy Sports’ writers Chris Longo and Zak Kolesar look at the six-game home stand and the pair of tough road losses that have cost Ohio a shot at cracking the Top 25 in the early portion of the season.
Six wins during an abnormally long home stand had last March’s mid-major darling, Ohio, on college basketball’s national map, receiving votes in both major polls. For a team that went 22-2 at home or at a neutral site last season, the strong start wasn’t exactly a surprise. Two wins over A-10 schools warranted a top 3 ranking on CollegeInsider.com’s Mid-Major top 25 and an RPI inside the top 100.
But Ohio couldn’t stay at home all season. At Robert Morris, Karvel Anderson was intent on shooting out every light in the gym. The Colonials shot a ridiculous 67% from beyond the arc, including 8 of 8 from Anderson en route to an 84-76 win.
The Memphis game wasn’t nearly as close as the Tigers dominated the second half, forcing 16 turnovers and holding Ohio to 38% shooting in a 84-58 blowout.
With the losses, Ohio dropped out of the top 25 in fewest points allowed and turnovers per game. The Bobcats’ RPI is still inside the top 100 (76) but it will take a long winning streak for Ohio to earn votes in the national polls.