Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Columbus Dispatch: Buckeyes hit the road for NCAA

Todd calls No.3 seed 'little bit of a slap'

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:55 AM
By Mark Znidar

The Columbus Dispatch

While his players celebrated making the NCAA Tournament yesterday in the players lounge in Bill Davis Stadium, Ohio State coach Bob Todd was off by himself doing a slow burn.

Todd, who was a member of the tournament selection committee for seven years, thought the Buckeyes deserved to be a No. 1 or No. 2 seed and to play host to a regional tournament.

Instead, Ohio State (40-17) was seeded third and will play second-seeded Georgia (37-22) in a first-round game at noon Friday in Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. Host and top-seeded Florida State (42-16) will play Marist (31-26) at 4 p.m. in the other game.

The Buckeyes have a 7-7 record against teams that are in the NCAA Tournament, including victories over the University of Miami, Xavier, George Mason, Army and Minnesota.

"It's a little bit of a slap at the Big Ten when your regular season champion gets a third seed," Todd said. "We had a good RPI -- 32. For a team that plays well all year like we did, we should have received strong consideration to get a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed."

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith bid for a regional tournament. No school from the East or Midwest will play host to one.

The Buckeyes are in the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time since 1991. They played host to first-round tournaments and super regional tournaments in 1999 and 2001 and a super regional in 2003.

"There's such an outcry from people to get regional tournaments in the East, North and Midwest, and they turned their back on it," Todd said. "I know we were not the lowest bid, so money was not a factor. Columbus is a convenient place to get in and out of. It's a logical place to hold a regional. We got great marks for hosting in the past."

The selection committee picked three teams from the Big Ten. Regular-season runner-up Minnesota is second-seeded in the Baton Rouge regional, and conference tournament champion Indiana is seeded fourth at Louisville.

Ohio State players weren't disappointed about having to travel more than 830 miles to play or about which teams they will play.

"You eventually have to play the best, so that doesn't make any difference to us," pitcher Alex Wimmers said. "You just go down there and do what you have to do."

Third baseman Justin Miller said the Buckeyes received another opportunity to show their worth.

"I feel this whole year we couldn't get any love from anybody," he said. "I was nervous about just making the tournament. But the Big Ten is looking good. I don't mind going to Florida. It's better than the West Coast. We'll take a couple of days off to recharge and just go down there and play hard for three days like we usually do."


Chris Webb said...

I disagree completely with Bob Todd and his statements.

I honestly feel we were seeded appropriately.

The travel to Tallahassee is an issue with the NCAA trying to "eliminate costs for traveling" but we are a 3-seed when looking at our season as a whole.

4 of the last 6 said...

Agreed Chris ... Which #1 / #2 would BT supplant?? surprised Minn was a #2 and perhaps that was what BT was looking at.