Smackdown -- Ohio State v. Georgetown
Ohio State -- More than a one-school sport
By Kyle MasonYes, Ohio State got its butt kicked in the second round of last year's tournament by Georgetown, but last year's squad was a completely different team than the one that will take the floor on Saturday. We replaced our four seniors with four fantastic freshmen and a junior college transfer who has performed above expectations. Formerly known as The Stonewalls years ago, the Hoyas reached the Final Four for the first time since 1985, the year I was born. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes return to the Final Four after their last appearance in 1999.
The Ohio State University prides itself on the success of its athletic programs. Every year the Buckeyes seem to contend for a title in just about every sport. Georgetown, however, finally put its name on the map after a mere 20 years of irrelevance.
Georgetown's men's basketball team completed a great season, tallying up 30 victories and claiming the Big East Championship. After a strong non-conference schedule, the Hoyas found themselves matched up against a weaker conference than most, the Big East. Some might disagree with me, but the format of this league is a joke. Sixteen teams make up the Big East, a conference where each team faces 10 opponents once, three teams twice, and do not play two teams at all. How can the Hoyas claim they are the best team in the Big East when they don't go on the road and play at Notre Dame, at Connecticut, at Marquette and at West Virginia?
Georgetown had a great run, but it will all end Saturday night. The combination of high-flying Ron Lewis, shot-blocker Greg Oden and the best point guard in the nation, Mike Conley, will prove last year was only a slip up. Advice to Hoya fans: Get home early Monday and finish your errands because you won't want to miss a rematch of the football national championship when Ohio State meets Florida. Don't feel bad though, you can at least say you lost to the national champs!
Kyle Mason is a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in Communications with a minor in Business and hopes to pursue a career in Sports Marketing/Advertising.
Georgetown -- Because D.C. destroys Columbus
By Anthony FrancavillaAs I stroll down the streets of D.C. and observe the wonderful architecture of our nation's capital, I am reminded of how lucky I am to live here and not in a place like, say, Columbus, Ohio.
The District is home to one of the finest pieces of neoclassical architecture in the country --the United States Capitol. In Columbus, however, you'll have to settle for the mighty Ohio Statehouse in all its glorious mediocrity. Its masterfully stunted cupola is almost as ugly as Lebron James' great-uncle, Greg Oden, who just happens to play center at the Ohio State University.
Now, Greg is a talented player, but when we finally say goodbye to Roy Hibbert after his four years here at Georgetown (that's four years, not one), we hope that by the time he reaches Greg's age he will be happily married and comfortably retired.
A visitor to Washington has the distinct pleasure of retracing the footsteps of our nation's founding fathers. But in Columbus, one can always revel in the memory of Ohio's own founding fathers: the Amish. No offense to our wonderful Anabaptist friends, but that's probably about as cool as Brutus the Buckeye.
Fortunately, we at Georgetown are a compassionate group and we are willing to do our part to help out our wayward friends. By ending OSU's NCAA run for the second straight year we would be doing the entire state a favor, because let's be honest, no one in Ohio is ready to be gator bait in another national championship. So when Jeff Green, Hibbert and DaJuan Summers beat up on Oden, it is for the good of the Ohio State University, its students and its alumni.
This could be the culmination of yet another end-of-the year-disappointment for the Buckeyes, but good fortune is on the horizon. Next year Ohio State students can trade in their Old Man Oden jerseys for nice green Celtics jerseys and watch their hero compete with the finest players that the NBA's worst team has to offer. And if that doesn't comfort the heavy-hearted Buckeye, just keep in mind that next year is football season and the Ohio State faithful can pack into the Horseshoe once more to pay homage to the greatest team in college football: the Michigan Wolverines.
Anthony Francavilla, a freshman at Georgetown, is sports editor of the Georgetown Voice.