Depending on a team’s record, playing in a college basketball conference tournament can have a variety of implications. For some, it’s a final opportunity to attain an unlikely spot in the NCAA Tournament. For others, it’s a chance to improve seeding or tune up for a deep tournament run. This year, the Big Ten tournament could serve as something else: a tiebreaker. Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State each finished with a 13-5 record in the Big Ten, forcing a three-way split of the regular season conference title. Would winning the Big Ten tournament, which will be played Thursday through Sunday, give one of those three teams an unofficial title as the conference’s best? “These tournaments, the regular season champion, tournament champion, they’re a big deal,” said OSU junior forward Evan Ravenel. “It kind of sets you apart from the rest of the pack as far as within your conference.” Although a Big Ten tournament championship by one of the top three teams might offer some clarity within the conference, it might not have a significant impact on the national level. Despite the Big Ten being widely regarded this season as college basketball’s top conference and having five teams ranked 15th or better in the AP Top 25 Poll this week, many projections don’t have a Big Ten team receiving one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tourney. OSU coach Thad Matta said that should the Buckeyes, Spartans or Wolverines win this weekend’s tournament, that team should receive a top seed for the national tournament. “From what I’ve just gone through, I would say yes,” Matta said. “Now you can say, ‘Hey Thad, how would you guys do going through the Big East?’ There’s probably too much hypothetical involved in it, I don’t know the answer. But I know, just lobbying for the Big Ten, the different styles that you face from night to night, the arenas that we play in, that sort of thing, it’s a great challenge. But yeah if one of the three of us wins the conference (tournament) championship I could see validity in (getting a No. 1 seed).” Unlike last season when the Buckeyes went 16-2 in the Big Ten en route to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the strength of teams in the Big Ten this season ultimately prevented a team from pulling away in the standings. “We did a nice job of beating each other up throughout the course of (this season),” Matta said. “You didn’t have that dominating performance by anyone in the league. I mean 13-5 won it, so it probably just speaks more to top to bottom how good the conference is.” Based on tie-breaking procedures, Michigan State is the top seed, Michigan is the No. 2 seed and the Buckeyes are the third seed in this weekend’s tournament. OSU will play Friday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Thursday’s game between sixth-seeded Purdue and No. 11 seed Nebraska. Matta said conference tournament games give the younger OSU players a preview of what NCAA tournament games are like. “You’re going to a neutral site, you’re playing in a nice arena, you’re playing great competition obviously, and there’s that heightened awareness of second half, score tied, ‘Hey, if we don’t get it done we’re going home,’” Matta said. “So without really saying it, they have that understanding and appreciation for what we have to do at that time. “I will be anxious to see how this team plays in this setting.” Tip between the Buckeyes and either the Boilermakers or Cornhuskers is set for 9 p.m. Friday at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
Ohio State junior defenseman Matt Miller (50) warms up against Minnesota in the Schottenstein Center for Military Appreciation Night on Feb. 15. Ohio State lost 4-3. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternWhile other hockey coaches may have spent their pregame drawing X’s and O’s on a whiteboard, Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik instead presented a $13,000 check to the United Heroes League to provide sports equipment and game tickets to military families across the U.S. and Canada.Instead of looking up to a flag in the rafters during the national anthem, the hockey crowd saluted a 20-by-36-foot garrison flag, unfurled by 41 Ohio State student veterans, military and ROTC members, honoring the military for Ohio State’s Military Appreciation Night.The Buckeyes’ Feb. 15 game against Minnesota was the second year in a row that the hockey team honored the armed forces, which Rohlik said was indicative of the team’s desire to recognize veterans and their sacrifices. “We’re pretty thankful to be able to do what we do because of what they do,” Rohlik said. Honoring the military has become a tradition at Ohio State, according to Mike Carrell, director of the Office of Military and Veteran Services. The first recognitions came at basketball and football games, but is now branching out toward other sports, Carrell said. “With the start of our office in October 2011, we really began to include student veterans much more prominently with athletics,” Carrell said.Carrell said men and women who are serving or have served are invited and recognized for their engagement. The Ohio State Athletics’ Fan Experience and Promotion division sends out an announcement to all military-adjacent students before a sporting event. The Veteran Community Advocate program and Ohio State Athletics Fan Experience arrange all appreciation events, said Devin Zeisset, a veteran community advocate. Ohio State has roughly 2,200 student veterans, military dependents, military and ROTC members, and about 1,400 faculty members who have served in the armed forces. Those who are interested in an event RSVP to receive further information. The coordination is then done through a liaison with Ohio State ROTC. The Veteran Community Advocate program helps promote military participation for these occasions. Carrel said that since 2012, the participation has continued to improve year after year.The importance of honoring service members, especially during a hockey game, was not lost on members of the Ohio State team. Ronnie Hein, a junior forward, said he knows that the work of the armed forces impacts everyone at some level.“Whatever they do over there lets us come out here and play a game,” Hein said.The honor of representing the entire Ohio State veteran population comes from everyday student veterans. Zeissest said these events are meaningful to him. “It’s a humbling experience to have the athletic department manufacture these events for student veterans and military members in which we’re recognized by the fans, coaches and players,” Zeisset said. This past fall when Ohio State took on Nebraska on Nov. 3, 25 student veterans took the goal line after the first quarter to represent and honor the 2,200 student veterans at Ohio State. There will be 14 military appreciation games this fall and spring semesters, according to Chris Oswalt, a student Veteran Community advocate. There are also events called Scarlet and Gray Salutes, which honor military members, veterans and first responders from the community. Oswalt said Ohio State has about 40 Scarlet and Gray Salutes planned for the 2018-19 school year. The military appreciation has caught the attention of the student population as well. Nicolas Moore, a student veteran at Ohio State, said it feels good that veterans get the recognition they deserve. “It gives me a sense of joy to see that the hard work that veterans put in doesn’t go unnoticed by the leaders of Ohio State,” Moore said. “It’s nice to know that as a whole, veterans are appreciated here.”
BT Sports presenter Mark Pougatch announced the cancellation of the results of Friday night’s sports score after Glenn Hoddle collapsed.The former England footballer was one of the contestants but suffered a shock heart attack which led to him being rushed to the hospital.“Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to bring you a programme this afternoon,” Pougatch said, according to the Daily Mail.“Earlier today, I’m sad to say, Glenn Hoddle was taken ill. He’s gone to hospital where he’s receiving the best possible care and attention. It goes without saying all of our thoughts, and I know all the best wishes of football fans around the world, are with Glenn and his family.”Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.Before suffering the heart attack, one of the other contestants, Steve Sidwell posted a video of the match on Instagram on which he can be heard saying: “Look at this fella [Hoddle] here. You never lose it. You never lose it, Glenn.”Former Tottenham shot-stopper Ray Clemence urged Hoddle to ‘stay strong’ and Chris Waddle, another of Hoddle’s former teammate with England, said: “Get well soon, Glenn. Our thoughts are with you.”Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton also wrote on Twitter: “Thoughts and prayers for Glenn Hoddle and his family after he was taken ill today.”
Watford manager Javi Gracia deflated talks on the controversial decisions that marred his side’s 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.The Hornets came from behind to secure a draw on the south coast, which saw Gracia’s side climb above Manchester United into seventh on goal difference in the Premier League.“I prefer to speak about the penalty,” the Spaniard disclosed to Sky. “It was first when there were more than 30 minutes left, it could be the second yellow card for that player, a penalty and after that, maybe the game could change.“I didn’t see it from my position, it’s impossible to know what happened.What to expect from Watford V Arsenal? Taimoor Khan – September 8, 2019 Arsenal are set to take on Watford this weekend and the game is definitely going to be quite a peculiar contest between two sides…“But after asking Chalobah he told me it was clear and maybe changed the game from that moment. But I prefer to support the referee’s decision, it’s difficult their job.”Gracia thought it was a fair result after his team rallied round for a point.“We have won a point,” he said. “It is true, we were improving and at the end of the game we created some chances to win. But I think a draw is fair and Southampton created some chances to score in the first half as well.“And we tried to compete and in the second half we showed character and ambition to get this point and it is important after the game we played today to go back home with one point.”
Kolkata: The Kolkata Port Trust has taken a significant stride in simplifying the transhipment process from Kolkata to Nepal by substantially reducing the documentation process. KoPT chairman Vinit Kumar on Friday evening flagged off the first train of containers from Netaji Subhas Dock under the new system.The facility, which was first adopted at Visakhapatnam Port has been extended to Kolkata Port on request from the Nepal government. Under this system, the Indian Customs have waived the requirement for a Nepal’s importer of filing a Customs Transit Declaration (CTD) at Kolkata Customs. The entire documentation for transit of container is provided by the shipping line and Nepal’s traders are not required to exchange an interface with the Indian Customs. The import for Nepal’s traders is expected to be seamless. Earlier, a Nepal importer had to send seven original documents to get the cargo cleared from the Kolkata Port. This has been reduced to one document that is electronically transmitted. The Indian Customs seals the containers using the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) and containers are evacuated from the port to Nepal by rail. The GPS enabled ECTS-seals are used to track the containers throughout its journey till Nepal. “The new process greatly reduces time and the end-to-end cost for Nepali traders (roughly per container savings of $200). The volumes of Nepal imports through Kolkata are expected to see an increase after the adoption of this process,” a senior KoPT official said.