The Ohio State Buckeyes men’s basketball team is 2-0! That is not the point of this article but it has to be mentioned. Also, we would be remiss if we did not mention the Ohio State women’s basketball team taking down the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers 87-75.
This isn’t an article about the men’s or women’s Buckeye basketball teams, but you can check out some thoughts on the Buckeyes from this weeks ”Bucketheads” podcast.
Last week we talked about who we thought would be the Buckeyes’ MVP this season. Connor said Justice Sueing and Justin said Isaac Likekele and the audience agreed with neither, as 56 percent of the votes went to “other”, which we will assume means Zed Key since no one commented there choices.
Here are the updated standings after 75 weeks.
After 75 weeks:
(There have been four ties)
We’re five days into the season, and there’s already been carnage done to several teams’ NCAA Tournament resumes. Week one is full of “buy” games, which means a big school pays a smaller school a fat check to come play at their arena, and the assumption is the bigger school will handle business.
Sometimes, that isn’t the case!
Today’s question: Which team suffered the worst week one loss?
Connor: Florida State loss to Stetson
The (perceived) gap between Florida State and Stetson is what made this result so perplexing. Florida State is a top-four team in the ACC nearly every season. They finished eighth last season in their conference, although that was with an even .500 record. This year, they were picked to finish fifth in the conference in the preseason media poll and fourth in the Field of 68’s basketball almanac. Florida State challenges teams with their length up and down the roster every season — this year, they have eight players who are taller than 6-foot-6.
The Stetson Hatters — on the other hand — have not been a consistently good basketball program for over 20 years. They went 11-19 last season, including 5-11 in ASUN play. The last time they finished with a record over .500? 2001.
On top of that, Stetson lost its three leading scorers from last season and is breaking in a group that includes four transfers. Oh, and it was their first game of the season, to boot.
Somehow, the No. 274 team in KenPom’s rankings knocked off a team that is expected to compete at the top of the ACC and make the NCAA Tournament. They didn’t just squeak by either, they won by nine points! They also out-rebounded the — traditionally — longest team in the ACC, 38-35. None of this makes sense!
I am willing to listen to an argument on Bellarmine over Louisville, but Louisville is bad and we know this to be a fact. They were picked to finish 13th in ACC. They’re not even a top-100 team in KemPom anymore. They’re not good.
Bellarmine, on the other hand, has been good for two straight seasons and was robbed of an NCAA Tournament berth because of how new they were to Division-I — which has nothing to do with their play. That program is on the rise, and I promise that Kenny Payne was wishing Louisville hadn’t scheduled Bellarmine as his first home game as head coach.
Justin: Louisville's loss to Bellarmine
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. Bellarmine is not a bad team. If it wasn’t for a weird rule that prohibited them from participating in the NCAA tournament, they would have been dancing in March since they won their conference tournament.
In 2020-21, Bellarmine officially accepted an invitation to join the ASUN conference, but they have to go through a four-year transition period where they cannot qualify for postseason play. If you figure out this rule, let me know because I think it is pretty much objectively stupid. But that’s just me.
Nevertheless, Bellarmine came into this year with some expectations after winning the conference tournament last season.
However, Louisville is still Louisville. This is still a blue-blood program that should be a contender in the ACC year in and year out.
Another reason that this is a bad loss is it is not a one-off for the Cardinals. If they had looked good in their scrimmages and exhibitions before the season, then maybe you could say it was just one game and we will see how they look going forward. But, in their two exhibitions, they lost Lenoir-Rhyne in horrendous fashion 57-47 and beat Chaminade 80-73, a team that Ohio State beat 101-57. Not great.
This was the first game as a head coach for Kenny Payne, who was an assistant for the New York Knicks over the last three seasons. Not the best start.
Also, for the people that may not know, Bellarmine is in Louisville. That means Louisville is not the best basketball team in Louisville for the first time…ever? You can’t argue it. The proof is in the pudding.
The Bellarmine men’s basketball Twitter account also had some fun with Louisville, posting a photo of rapper Jack Harlow, who famously hails from Louisville.
The road does not get easier for Louisville, although it shouldn’t have been hard to begin with. The Cardinals still have to go to the Maui Invitational with Ohio State, play Maryland in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, play Kentucky, and play a legitimate ACC schedule.
It could be a long season in Louisville.
You’re Nuts: Which team suffered the worst week one loss?
This poll is closed
Connor: Florida State