Over the weekend, two stories broke involving alleged corruption and FIFA, the Swiss-based international organization that oversees soccer worldwide (including the World Cup). These particular allegations are new, but they’re not surprising. Research I conducted recently suggests that FIFA faces considerable obstacles to dealing with corruption, both on the field and within its ranks.First, The New York Times reported that in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, an Asian gambling syndicate compromised the South African Football Association. The South African FA allegedly allowed referees who were working for the Singapore-based syndicate to officiate a number of international friendlies. The referees allegedly “fixed” a number of matches, typically by awarding ghost penalties, running up the score to the benefit of gamblers in on the fix.Second, in London, The Sunday Times published a trove of documents from a FIFA whistleblower detailing payments to FIFA officials made by a former FIFA executive in Qatar, allegedly to help Qatar win the vote to host the 2022 World Cup. The Sunday Times’ revelations are the latest in a long series of similar stories surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes (conducted simultaneously) dating to 2010, when The Sunday Times went undercover to reveal several members of FIFA’s executive committee trying to sell their votes for cash.For FIFA, unfortunately, allegations of corruption and bribery are nothing new. In 2011, FIFA embarked on a governance-reform effort to address an earlier round of accusations of corruption. Last December, the organization declared the effort a success and closed it down. To better understand what the effort had accomplished, I compared FIFA’s actions to recommendations from:A 2011 report FIFA commissioned from Mark Pieth of the Basel Institute of Governance;A 2011 report by Transparency International, an independent governance watchdog;And a 2012 report by FIFA’s governance-reform committee.There are obviously some judgment calls here, but what I found does not lend itself to much optimism that FIFA has fixed its problems, and thus improved its ability to deal with corruption on and off the pitch.Of the 59 total recommendations in the three reports, FIFA implemented only seven, partially implemented 10 and failed to implement 42. There is some overlap across the reports, and a close look at reforms left undone reveals nine important areas where action has been recommended for FIFA to raise its governance standards to those expected in the international business community.Although FIFA took some positive steps, such as creating a ethics committee with investigative powers, it avoided many steps that are basic to governance of organizations which turn over billions of dollars every year. The reforms that it avoided implementing generally involved opening up the organization to independent oversight and management (such as might be found on a corporate board of directors) and increasing the organization’s transparency. For example, FIFA stood firm that it would not release the compensation of its president, Sepp Blatter.FIFA has an internal investigator — the one appointed as a result of the reform effort — looking into the allegations surrounding the Qatar 2022 vote. He is supposed to release his report soon after this year’s World Cup in Brazil. History would tell us not to expect much. For FIFA, the project of governance reform has a long way to go. The good news for soccer fans and fans of good governance is that the pressure on FIFA to raise its game continues to mount. read more

CHICAGO — NBA franchises fail all the time in trying to construct a team. On Thursday, the Bulls illustrated that it’s possible to botch the dismantling of one.Anyone who watched the Bulls over the past two years could see that this team — whether it managed to sneak into the playoffs or not — was on a treadmill of mediocrity. And that was the case despite having an All-NBA talent like swingman Jimmy Butler. The reset button needed to be hit.That happened Thursday when the team traded Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 draft pick, Lauri Markkanen. Without context, acquiring young players like LaVine (who averaged 19 points a game last season), Dunn (the highly sought-after No. 5 pick from last June) and 7-foot sharpshooter Markkanen would be a decent return for a player of Butler’s caliber. But, like always, the devil is in the details here. LaVine missed the final 32 games of the season after tearing his ACL — an injury the Bulls are all too familiar with — while Dunn had an incredibly rough rookie season, one in which he not only posted the lowest true-shooting percentage among first-year players, but the worst true-shooting mark of any player, period.1Of players who logged at least 1,000 minutes last season.And while it’s too soon to truly criticize anything about the Markkanen acquisition, it was shocking that Chicago felt the need to send its No. 16 pick2One it ended up using on Justin Patton, to send to Minnesota. to the Wolves to complete this trade, given how much better Butler was than everyone else involved. The Bulls shouldn’t have needed to send anything else to sweeten the deal.3Curiously, Chicago has a bit of a bad habit of sending along picks in situations where it shouldn’t have to. For instance, consider the Bulls’ trade-deadline deal in which they unloaded Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, the two best players in that transaction, yet found themselves giving up a second-round pick to complete the swap. Yet the team says this was the best offer they had for Butler, by far, and that the move gave Chicago an opportunity to move from the center of the totem pole all the way near the bottom, where it will be easier to build through the draft in the future.“Jimmy has improved as an individual maybe as much as any guy we’ve been around,” said Bulls Executive Vice President John Paxson of Butler, who went from averaging 2.6 points as a rookie to nearly 24 points in his sixth year. “Minnesota is obviously getting a heck of a player. He’s going to be missed. But with that said, what we’ve done is set a direction. We’ve gone to the playoffs, but not at a level that we’ve wanted to. And in this league, success is not determined that way. And we’ve decided to make the change and rebuild this roster.”VIDEO: Breaking down the Butler trade The rebuild is already off to an odd start, though. Beyond LaVine’s injury risk, the Bulls are also getting him at a time when the 22-year-old is on the cusp of landing what figures to be a big payday. (In fact, they’ll be forced to hammer out an extension this summer — perhaps well north of $20 million a year, without seeing him play meaningful basketball since the injury — or else risk another team throwing a bigger offer at him as a restricted free agent and forcing Chicago to match.) There’s a decent chance his next deal briefly outpaces Butler’s annual salary of almost $19 million, one of the best bargains in the NBA, since Butler is locked in until at least 2019.In other words: The rebuild will require the Bulls to shell out considerable salary to a young player who hasn’t proven to be a sure thing yet. And with Dunn, one of the older rookies in last year’s draft, they’ll be hoping that last season was just an aberration for him.Part of what makes the swap so disappointing for the Bulls is the fact that they were engaged in draft-day conversations about the same players last year, before talks eventually broke off. The Bulls have more information now — that LaVine showed vast improvement on offense before tearing his ACL, that Dunn’s college success probably won’t translate right away, and that Butler is truly an elite, All-NBA talent — yet the Bulls pulled the trigger on a package that should be even less attractive to them now than it was then.From Minnesota’s vantage point, it’s easy to imagine how Butler can immediately come in and change things for the youthful Timberwolves, who were a great first-half team but blew more double-digit leads in second halves than any other team in the NBA. The 27-year-old was fantastic when it counted this past season, posting a 44.5 player-efficiency rating in clutch scenarios,4Meaning moments when a game is within 5 points during the final five minutes of of action. second-best in the NBA behind only Russell Westbrook, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. His presence also boosts a defense that was fifth-worst in the league last season, in part because Andrew Wiggins still really struggles on that end, even though he has wingspan and athleticism of a stopper. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear some put Minnesota on a short list of clubs that could potentially beat Golden State a couple of years from now if they continue to build out that roster.There are a handful of things that figure to work out nicely for the Bulls as a result of this trade, too. LaVine showed considerable improvement as a shooter last season, something Chicago can use given the team’s abysmal numbers from outside. And his ability to get up and down the floor should allow coach Fred Hoiberg play the uptempo style he’s wanted to use since joining the Bulls more than two years ago. (This becomes even more true if Dwyane Wade, who recently told the team that he was opting into the last year of his deal for $24 million, decides it’s best to negotiate a buyout with the club.)With Dunn, even if his offense doesn’t improve a ton, the team will at least have a very good, capable defender at the guard spot. The ex-Providence standout is a pest and uses his length to disrupt the passing lanes. He ranked fourth in the NBA with 4.6 deflections per 36 minutes.5Among those who played 1,000 minutes or more this past season.All things considered, though, there’s a reason that the Bulls are getting failing grades for this move. No one is knocking the idea of conceding that a rebuild was necessary. That much was obvious. But given that Butler had more time left on his deal, the team’s hand wasn’t forced to do something this very moment. Chicago easily could’ve waited until the trade deadline to try to sell the swingman off to a desperate contender.Either way, the Bulls should have been able to get more than damaged, or diminished, goods in exchange for their franchise player. read more

When you think of the World Series, you probably picture stars: Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, Randy Johnson and the like. But lesser-known players also play pivotal roles in late October: David Freese, Mike Lowell and David Eckstein have each been named World Series MVP in the past 15 years. Whoever wins the Fall Classic starting tonight between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers will need contributions from stars and role players alike. Here are five players — some stars, some not — who are poised to help determine the World Series.David PriceThe Boston Red Sox lefty and long-time regular-season ace has a chance to change his postseason reputation. He can shed one label, that of playoff choker, and add another: World Series hero. Price had never won a postseason start, winless in his first 11 starts with a 6.16 ERA, until he shut out a vaunted Astros lineup over six innings in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. Price tried something different in that game that could be a road map going forward: He leaned on his change-up.Price threw 93 pitches in Game 5, and 39 were change-ups — a usage rate of 41.9 percent. The pitch generated 12 swinging strikes and 13 foul balls. This was dramatically different from Price’s Game 2 start against the Astros, when only nine of his 80 pitches were change-ups. Price has never leaned on the changeup in any of his 289 career regular-season starts more than he did in Game 5. It was an excellent pitch for the left-hander in 2015 and 2016, but Price began to favor his cutter more the past two seasons. Perhaps trading cutters for change-ups is the formula to end his personal postseason curse.Here’s a Price change-up against George Springer in Game 5, a pitch with excellent fading action:And another bat-missing change-up against Carlos Correa:There’s reason to believe that Price will continue to favor the pitch: He doesn’t have a breaking ball he trusts, throwing his curveball on only 2.9 percent of his offerings this season. And a left-handed pitcher’s change-up darts away from right-handed batters, which could be effective against the Dodgers’ right-handed threats like Justin Turner, Manny Machado and Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers crush right-handed pitchers, so it’s imperative that Price and Chris Sale pitch well for the Red Sox. And with Sale’s velocity down after two second-half DL stints related to his shoulder, the Red Sox may need Price to be their ace. He might have the pitch and plan to do it.Walker Buehler While striking out 22 batters in 16 2/3 postseason innings — and allowing just 18 base runners — Buehler has shown his talent. He has also rewarded the Dodgers for taking a risk on him with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 draft despite knowing he had an elbow injury — one that would necessitate Tommy John surgery later that year. Buehler has had some poor luck and timing this postseason, given his 5.40 ERA in October. But the right-hander’s underlying skills are elite, including an excellent breaking ball — ranking 11th among all qualifying MLB curveballs in vertical movement and first in groundball-to-flyball ratio — and a fastball that has averaged 97.3 mph this postseason, ninth among all pitchers in October.The Red Sox also tend to destroy right-handed pitching, ranking second in the majors in offensive efficiency against them behind only the Dodgers. And each team will begin the series with two left-handed starters. The Dodgers will start Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 against Sale and Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 2 against Price. But right-handers are going to have to pitch, and they’ll pick up more innings in the mid- and late stages of the series. Buehler will start Game 3 — and he is as talented as any right-handed arm still pitching.Matt Barnes Bullpens matter more than ever before in the postseason. This October, relievers have accounted for 50.4 percent of total innings thrown, up from a record mark of 46.5 percent last postseason. (In 2010, the bullpen share was 32.3 percent.) These teams haven’t been bullpenning like the Brewers, but their relievers still matter a great deal.While Boston reliever Craig Kimbrel entered the playoffs with a reputation as one of the best closers of all time, he’s been supported by lesser-known names like Barnes and Ryan Brasier. Entering the World Series, Barnes and Braiser rank second and fourth in the playoff field in reliever Win Probability Added.1Win Probability Added measures the change in win expectancy from at-bat to at-bat. Barnes struck out 14 batters per nine innings this season, but he also walked 4.5. If he can pitch like a relief ace for another week, he’ll give the Red Sox an edge.Austin Barnes The Dodgers’ regular-season backup catcher was one of the best part-time players in baseball in 2017, slashing .289/.408/.486 and measuring as an elite pitch framer. While Barnes struggled offensively in 2018, starting catcher Yasmani Grandal’s defensive problems in part prompted L.A. to start Barnes in five of the seven games of the National League Championship Series, including Game 7 against Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin — despite the fact that Grandal typically gets the call against right-handed pitchers. (Both catchers grade as elite framers: Grandal ranks No. 1 this season, and Barnes ranks 13th.)Barnes batted just .151 against right-handed pitchers this year with 48 weighted runs created plus.2Weighted runs created plus, or wRC+, adjusts for park and league scoring environments. A mark of 100 is league average. He’s more respectable against lefties (.246 average, 101 wRC+), and that should matter in Games 1 and 2 against Sale and Price. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hasn’t announced his Game 1 lineup, but Barnes may need to provide an impact at the plate and behind it.Mookie BettsThe possible, if not probable, AL MVP has had a quiet postseason to date, slashing .205/ .295/.282. Betts has yet to hit a postseason home run this year despite hitting a career-high 32 in the regular season — one in which he joined other undersized sluggers in learning how to pull the ball and tap into their power. But this series sets up well for Betts, who posted a 212 wRC+ against lefties, tops in the majors, and a .368 average against southpaws.While Betts’s bat has been cold thus far in the postseason, his glove remains consistently elite in right field. He tied Lorenzo Cain as the top outfield defender in baseball this season with 20 defensive runs saved. He made several excellent defensive plays in the ALCS, including one controversial near-catch of a home run. Fenway Park’s right field has unusual and awkward dimensions, and Betts’s experience there could give the Red Sox another small edge. Betts has not endured many extended cold streaks this year, and if he breaks out in the World Series, he could win two MVP titles this season.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

OSU junior midfielder Johnny Pearson (30) during a game on March 19 in Denver. Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is looking to end its three-game losing skid Saturday when it’s set to face second-ranked Notre Dame at Ohio Stadium.The matchup against the Fighting Irish serves as the coda to a grueling four-game nonconference stretch for the Buckeyes in which they faced three other teams in the nation’s top 20, including No. 1 Denver last Saturday.“I think the biggest thing is just staying the course,” said senior midfielder and co-captain Kacy Kapinos. “In these tough times we have to come together, and as a unit we have to work harder.”Redshirt junior goalie Tom Carey said the team does not have to make any major changes. Instead, the Buckeyes need to just work on the little things.“Collectively as a group, we’re just focusing on getting back to the basics and working out the little kinks,” he said. “That starts with just coming out every practice with energy and just having a little bit more of an edge. We know we’re not too far off.”OSU has dropped 12 straight to Notre Dame, with its last win coming in 2004. Senior defender Robby Haus said the team is looking forward to the opportunity to end both losing streaks on Saturday.“In my career here, I haven’t beaten them,” he said. “That does give you a little bit more of a push when the game starts to have that drive to take them down.”To do so, the Scarlet and Gray will need more offensive output than was provided last year when the Buckeyes were shut out 9-0. Kapinos said the offense has been working hard to create more scoring opportunities, which will be needed against a Notre Dame defense that is tied for first in the nation, allowing only 6.33 goals per contest.“(The offense) has been working all week — working hard, cycling the ball, moving very quickly,” Kapinos said. “Coach (Brad) Ross has done a great job … of preparing them and getting them ready, and I know he’ll have them ready for this week.”Notre Dame boasts three preseason first-team All-Americans in senior attacker Matt Kavanagh, junior midfielder Sergio Perkovic and senior defender Matt Landis. However, OSU coach Nick Myers said the team is ready to play against a tough opponent despite its recent losses.“They’re an excellent team, arguably one of the best teams in the country at home,” Myers said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to compete against a quality opponent.”  Correcting errors on defenseOSU is looking to bounce back after suffering a 15-6 defeat against Denver last Saturday. The Buckeyes were only down 7-5 heading into the fourth quarter, but they surrendered eight goals while only scoring one to lead to the lopsided loss.Myers attributed the defensive meltdown to a combinations of factors, including fatigue and excellent offense by Denver.“At the end of the day, you have to make stops,” he said.Kapinos emphasized the need to play the full 60 minutes.“I think we just (have) to play the whole game,” he said. “We did well the first three quarters, and in the fourth quarter we kind of had a lapse.”The Buckeye defense will have to be strong in the fourth quarter on Saturday. The Fighting Irish have scored 20 goals in the final period this season, five more than any other quarter, meaning a second consecutive final-period meltdown could spell trouble for OSU. What’s nextThe Buckeyes are primed to begin conference play on April 3 against Penn State at noon. Kapinos said the team is looking forward to facing familiar opponents.“The Big Ten is very exciting, a bunch of rivalry games. We have friends on those teams,” Kapinos said. “We played a couple of those teams two or three times last year… so we kind of know what each other has.”Myers, however, didn’t want to get too far ahead, stressing the importance to focus on Saturday’s game against Notre Dame.“When the time comes to shift gears and focus on that part of our season, we will,” he said.The matchup against the Fighting Irish is set to begin at 1 p.m. read more

There were bittersweet results for the men’s and women’s cross country teams this weekend at Pre-Nationals.The women’s team finished 11th out of 37 teams, and the men’s team finished 22nd out of 35 teams.Sarah Foster and Katie Williams finished in the top 50 and led the way for the Buckeyes, who finished ahead of No. 12 Baylor and No. 27 Northern Arizona. “I was really focused on working with my teammates to run as a pack,” Williams said. She had “the race of her life” coach Chris Neal said.The women also finished just behind No. 17 Arizona State and No. 30 Notre Dame.“We really ran pretty average for ourselves,” Neal said. Only Taylor Williams and Donald Roys placed in the top 100 on the men’s side.Coach Robert Gary attributed part of the team’s poor finish to a spreading flu bug.“We have some players with complaints of the start of the flu,” Gary said. “We feel we could have done better. … The rest of the Big Ten ran lousy this week too.”Both teams believe this race has its advantages, regardless of how they placed.“Teams come to Pre-Nationals to get acclimated with the course,” Taylor Williams said. “I believe this is my sixth time running it.”“It’s great to get on the course for Nationals. We’ve ran it three times this weekend,” Neal said.The next big test for both teams will be the Big Ten Championships, the gateway to the national meet.“Everyone is really confident that we can go into the Big Ten and finish in the top three,” Neal said.Katie Williams hopes the women’s team can carry over the confidence gained from the meet.    “I think we should go into this meet with the confidence that we can compete and finish well,” she said.The men’s team is not so confident after its rough weekend. With health questions and confidence issues, the outlook is dim at this point.“[Our result] depends on how guys respond,” Gary said. “I’m hoping everyone stays healthy.” read more

A picture of our favorite flag outside of Orton Hall is attached to this correspondence.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us.  Early this morning, a historic moment occurred on the campus of Ohio State University: The University of Michigan flag was raised outside of both Orton Hall and University Hall.  An email received from “hailtothevictors2009@gmail.com” reads:To whom this may concern,  – Hail to the Victors

Earning millions of dollars and national recognition as professional football players might make some forget where they came from and how they got to where they are, but Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis don’t fall under that category. Jenkins and Laurinaitis were invited by RealLife, a Christian student organization at Ohio State, to speak Thursday night at its weekly meeting in Independence Hall. The two discussed some football but also their relationships with God and the lessons He has taught them during their journeys to become NFL stars. “I got to Ohio State as a 17-year-old freshman, so you can only imagine where that went from there,” said Jenkins, current defensive back for the New Orleans Saints. “I kind of forgot about God, really.” Jenkins said he wasn’t living a Christian lifestyle when he first arrived, but it all changed one night when former OSU teammate Antonio Smith read a Bible story to some of his teammates. “What really changed my life around was when one of my teammates did a chapel the night before one of our games,” Jenkins said. “I began really living for (God) and seeking Him.” Jenkins and Laurinaitis, who now plays for the St. Louis Rams, talked about how their religious beliefs helped lead them to the right places in their professional careers, though they admitted they weren’t excited when they were drafted by their current teams. Laurinaitis was considered a top prospect for the NFL after his junior season. He was all but a lock to be a top 10 pick in the annual NFL draft, which would have earned him a multimillion-dollar contract. Laurinaitis said he pondered the matter and left much of his decision on whether to go pro or stay at OSU to prayer. “I felt that God was telling me, ‘You have more to do at Ohio State,’” he said. And so Laurinaitis returned for another season of donning scarlet and gray on Saturday afternoons. But after another impressive season, Laurinaitis wasn’t quite as big of a prospect after his senior year, though he said he felt like it was just as good as his previous year. The draft came around, and he didn’t go in the top 10. He didn’t even go in the first round. He fell to the second round, where St. Louis took him with the 35th overall pick, a spot he wasn’t satisfied with. “I had a lot of prayers and conversations with God, where I was just like ‘Why? What did I do to deserve this?’” Laurinaitis said of how his draft stock fell. But as Laurinaitis arrived and began to settle in St. Louis, he said, he came to the realization that this was the way God meant for it to be. “Now that I look back, it was such a blessing that I went 35th,” he said. “Just have faith that God is going to take care of you. He used something that I looked at, at the time, as something terrible that was happening in my life and turned it into an unbelievable lesson.” Jenkins said he also had to remember that, regardless of his stature as an athlete, his purpose in life was to serve God. “When I was going to the league, people were saying: ‘You don’t want to be a Chad Johnson or a T.O. Are you going to change your last name to dos and … whatever else?’” Jenkins said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “You are no more important than me, and I am no more important than you. We all have our own responsibilities and purposes.” During their time at OSU, Jenkins and Laurinaitis were affiliated with Athletes in Action, a sector of RealLife. When RealLife reached out to the two NFL stars, they were happy to speak to at the organization’s weekly meeting. “They’re superstars in the world’s eyes, but at the same time, they’re still humble,” said Jacob Beach, vice president of RealLife. “You ask either of them, and the most important thing in their lives is their relationship with Jesus Christ.” And that was the message the former Buckeye football stars wanted to push across Thursday night. “If you leave here tonight knowing about Jesus Christ and want to go back and crack open your Bible and just kind of learn about him, then that’s great,” Laurinaitis said. “That’s why we do this.” read more

The Ohio State men’s soccer team (5-7-5, 1-3-2) earned the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament after falling, 2-0, to No. 16 Wisconsin in the team’s regular season finale Friday. The loss on the Badgers’ senior night snapped a five-game unbeaten streak for the Buckeyes, who finished the regular season winning three of their last four matches.Buckeye coach John Bluem said he hopes the team learned that it needs to match the physical intensity of its opponents if it wants to play and get a win.“They physically dominated us, they were more aggressive than we were and they played harder than we played,” he said. “In most of the games this year, especially when we started playing better, it’s when we started matching the other team’s physical aggressiveness.”Although the Buckeyes began the match aggressive, taking the first shot and forcing the first three corner kick opportunities, a first-half goal by the Badgers (13-3-2, 4-2-0) halted Buckeye redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov’s four-game, 445-minute spell of not allowing a goal. The goal came in the 23rd minute of play when Wisconsin redshirt-senior midfielder Tomislav Zadro scored off a diving header from the far post, after connecting with Badger sophomore midfielder Drew Connor. The goal was Zadro’s fourth of the season.The Buckeyes tried to fight back, firing two shots of their own in the following six minutes, but were unable to find the back of the net. At the half, the Badgers had outshot the Buckeyes, 6-5.The Badgers added to their lead with a second-half goal midway through the 71st minute. Badger senior forward Nick Janus finished off a knockdown from an OSU defender, squeaking it past Ivanov into the right side of the net. The goal gave the Badgers a 2-0 cushion, eventually leading to the victory.Despite leaving Madison, Wis., with a loss, Ivanov said the team was able to learn some last-minute things about itself before heading into the conference tournament.“I think we learned that obviously, when we’re sharper than that, we usually play a lot better than we did,” Ivanov said. “We didn’t have that extra fiery edge that we usually do, and we all know collectively that we’re better than the performance we had.”Buckeye senior defender Sage Gardner said the way the team prepared for Wisconsin proves to him that the team can play at the same level of play as any team in the conference.“I think Wisconsin was a little fluke for us — we definitely got out-hustled and out-muscled playing up at Wisconsin for their senior night,” he said. “I think it was kind of a tough situation for us and I don’t think we responded well, but I think the way we’ve been ending the season the way we’re moving upwards is a positive.”Wisconsin finished the match outshooting OSU, 14-7, but Ivanov was able to gather six saves, propelling him into seventh place for single-season saves in OSU history with 101 on the season.Up next, the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 18 Michigan State in the first round of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The teams met earlier in the season, playing to a 1-1 tie in double overtime. read more

Ohio State’s junior-forward Mason Jobst (26) steals the puck away from NotreDame’s sophomore forward Mike O’Leary (19) during a Big Ten conference matchup at the Schottenstein Center on November 3, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. OSU lost 1-4. Credit: Alex Hulvalchick | For the LanternOn St. Patrick’s Day, the Ohio State men’s hockey team fell behind at a boisterous Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana, against a Notre Dame team that rarely found itself in the loss column this season.The Buckeyes trailed by two goals less than 15 minutes into the Big Ten tournament championship game. Although they clawed back to force overtime, the Buckeyes fell in the extra frame, unknowingly learning a lesson to apply in the upcoming NCAA men’s hockey tournament.It has worked, and they won’t want to forget learning the difficulties of coming back after falling behind early when they take on Minnesota-Duluth in the Frozen Four April 5 in St. Paul, Minnesota.“It’s so hard to dig out of those holes against really good teams like we saw against Notre Dame,” junior forward Mason Jobst said. “We came back, but taking it to overtime. It’s hard to get three goals past [Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris.”Grabbing an early lead is a good first step for any team. But with Ohio State, the step proves to be a giant leap. The Buckeyes have a record of 19-0-3 when scoring the first goal and an unblemished 16-0-0 record when leading after the first period.Jobst said those records have echoed around the locker room in preparation for anticipated tight games against top teams in the NCAA tournament with the team looking to dictate the pace of the game and not chase a two-goal deficit.“I think we really hammered it home in the locker room,” Jobst said. “Our coaches hammered it home all week that you just can’t afford it this time of year to give up a couple of goals early.”As a result, in the two NCAA tournament games against Princeton and Denver, the Buckeyes never trailed. The quick starts allow an Ohio State team to play to its strength, suffocating the opposition with sound defensive play. The Buckeyes have been able to hold onto these early leads thanks in large part to the third-best scoring defense in the country, which allows just 2.08 goals per game.Redshirt junior goaltender Sean Romeo said his game does not change whether his team leads or trails, but that getting the lead helps the team settle down defensively.“My job stays the same, but it definitely makes you feel a lot better looking up and seeing you have a lead,” Romeo said. “I think it gives the team confidence and helps us flow better.”Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik has repeatedly said this year’s success has been a product of all 27 players buying into a defensive structure that might not have been the most comfortable of moves coming from a team last year that was so offensive-minded. But here the Buckeyes are in the Frozen Four after a 20-year absence, thanks to that five-man connected defense. When a team falls behind the Buckeyes, the deficit forces it to get ahead of itself, acting uncharacteristically to try to cut corners to get back in the game. Rohlik said the self-applied pressure feeds into the defensive play of the Buckeyes. “All of the sudden, you get one goal, the other team is already going, ‘Boy, we got to get two to win.’ You score two. ‘We got to get three to win,’” Rohlik said. “Now, it starts putting the pressure on the other team. I think, really, that’s what that is.”Rohlik said he does not expect to see Minnesota-Duluth, the next opponent for the Buckeyes, “cheat the game.” “[If Minnesota-Duluth] gets down one or up one, it’s not going to change them. I feel we are not going to change either,” Rohlik said. “No matter what the score is, we are going to go 60 minutes. If we got to go longer, then we’ll go longer and I think they’ll do the same thing.” read more