Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily Onions Final Four Early Projection

One of my favorite things about Election night, is when CNN or another news media source starts declaring different states to a candidate. For example, you might hear something like this:
If Blitzer can predict, so can Daily Onions (CNN)

Wolf Blitzer: "With 2% of the vote counted in Wyoming, CNN is going to project and declare that state to candidate XYZ."

Hold on...what? You've only counted 2% of the vote but you are already awarding a state to someone? I don't think I completely understand that whole process, but it always seems to work.  So, Daily Onions is going to take a stab at it as well.

With 10 games in the books, Daily Onions is projecting THE Ohio State University to make the Final 4 this season. Here's why:

Hey Sullinger, see you in Houston? (Getty Images)
-Jared Sullinger: Arguably the best frosh in the country, he's averaging 18.5 ppg and 9.6 rpg thus far. He had 18 and 10 at the half on Saturday against South Carolina, including a bank three at the buzzer, which Raftery obviously dubbed, "with a kiiiisss" six times while going to commercial. He is also listed at 6-10, 280, which means he has plenty of room to put the rest of the team on his shoulders and make a Carmelo-ean run to the Final 4.

-Experience: Remember when OSU played in the National Championship game in 2006-07, with Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Jr. Yea, so does current OSU guard David Lighty, who played on that team as well..five years ago! Lighty somehow is playing in his 5th collegiate season (he actually only played 7 games in 08-09 before getting injured). Throw in senior shooter, Jon Diebler who has been playing big minutes for four years now, as well as senior power forward Dallas Lauderdale (are you allowed to have a first and last name, named after cities?). Junior William Buford is the Buckeyes 3rd leading scorer, and has averaged close to 30 minutes per game since stepping on campus. You can't coach experience, and OSU has it.

-Will Be Tested, but not Drained: The Big Ten is projected to have a pretty good season with teams like OSU, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, and Minnesota.  All good teams (not as dominant as, ahem, the Big East, who has five teams in the Top 10 right now), but I don't think they will get worn down because of conference play. Two of their last three games are against current Big Ten bottom feeders, IU and Penn State.  OSU should have some momentum going into postseason play and if all goes to plan, they'll most likely be playing the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament in Cleveland.

Dominant Player + Experience + Tough, but not too tough of a schedule = OSU in Final 4.

There you have it. One down, three to go. Daily Onions is looking forward to projecting their next Final Four pick, just a matter of when we'll be making the call. Hopefully we are as successful as Wolf and the crew.

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