The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 7, 2005 - 5B
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"We're not very good right
now, and that's probably the
understatement of the year."
- Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker on his team's current
six-game losing streak.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
The junior scored 19 points and
grabbed nine boards - including six
on the offensive end and punished
the Michigan frontcourt all day.
Sims was the only Wolverine to score
in double figures (15), and was able
to turn his game around in the sec-
A surprise discovery
worthy of Columbus
0-T A F PTS
1-2 0 0 6
0-2 0 2 2
1-4 0 3 4
1-4 3 0 9
1-3 0 1 0
0-0 0 1 0
0-1 0 2 6
0-2 0 0 2
0-2 0 2 2
0-0 1 1 0
2-4 0 2 15
8-32 414 46
OLUMBUS - Tommy and Thad aren't
exactly Woody and Bo.
And Michigan basketball isn't exactly
Michigan football these days.
But Ohio State fans don't really notice a difference,
or so I thought.
Football season is over.
Do they still hate you
You've probably seen
the Lou Holtz-inspired
bumper stickers that litter
Ohio roadways that say,
"I root for two teams:
Ohio State and whoever ERIC
is playing Michigan." You AMBINDER
may have been pelted
with a battery or a slur My Way
during a football game at
the Horseshoe. Even grandma Buckeye may have
cursed at you for wearing a block 'M'.
Being from slightly south of Columbus - Winter
Park, Fla. - I wondered where the hatred comes
from. Does it really exist anymore?
I tried to figure this out roaming around Value City
Arena in Columbus before and during Michigan's 72-
46 loss to the Buckeyes because I wasn't watching the
game. Had this column actually been about the game,
I would have printed Michigan's assist-to-turnover
ratio over and over and over (4-to-29).
Plus, what I found out was surprising.
"Last time I was down here was for the football
game," Maize Rage member Nate Cesmebasi said.
"I had people come up to me and say, 'I don't know
where you are from but just go back to Michigan.'
People here just don't like Michigan."
And that is what I thought, too. This is the impres-
sion Michiganders give us out-of-staters. Even more
Maize Ragers confirmed it.
Michigan freshman Jim Stevenson said that the
last time he was in Columbus for a Michigan football
game, he felt his life was in danger.
And then I asked Jim if Michigan fans hate Buck-
eyes as'much as Buckeyes hate Michigan. Jim and
his friends said they do. They hate the Buckeyes even
more so than Michigan State.
More than Michigan State?
State is like our little sister who beats us in
basketball. I thought the in-state Sparties were
the bigger rival.
Jim and his friends - all Michigan natives who
have friends at State - disagreed.
"(Ohio State), I can't root for;' Stevenson said. "I
try and root for the Big Ten teams, but this is the one
team that I make an exception for."
Who's worse? Ohio State or Michigan State, I
"Ohio State by far," they said in unison.
Certainly, Buckeye fans would feel the same about
"Any time Ohio State is not playing Michigan, I
always root for Michigan," said lifelong Buckeye fan
Donn Moore, who works at nearby Ohio Wesleyan
University. "Anytime we are not playing them, we are
rooting for them. You have a good amount of people
here in Columbus that are Michigan fans. Everybody
here is not just for Ohio State."
Are there a lot of Buckeyes fans like you?
"Probably not," Donn said with a hearty chuckle.
But the more Buckeyes fans I talked to, the more I
realized Donn and I were wrong. I found that a lot of
Ohio State fans actually root for Michigan when the
two teams aren't playing each other.
Red and Marge Belton, 77 and 74 years old,
respectively, travel to every Ohio State basketball
game from Lima, Ohio, a town over 100 miles from
Value City Arena. Wearing a red Tressel-vest, Red
also said he and Marge hadn't missed a Buckeye foot-
ball game in over twenty years until Marge had open
These two must hate Michigan.
So I asked if they would root for Michigan when it
doesn't play Ohio State.
"We do," Red said. "Particularly in the bowl
Red said his answer was typical for a Buckeyes fan
- they generally root for Big Ten teams.
That makes sense, but I still figured they wouldn't
root for Michigan. Every Buckeyes fan I spoke to was
"lifelong" and didn't really hate Michigan at all.
Then I ventured into the $5-million Huntington
Club Concourse on the second floor of the arena to
find a bar. I'd find honesty there.
I approached Roger, Gary and Stan - all middle-
aged - enjoying a Miller Lite, Guiness and Mich-
elob Ultra, respectively.
We talked about the rivalry a bit, and then
"They now spell Lloyd Carr's name with three L's
for his three losses to Tressel."
Roger told me that Buckeyes fans would rather
finish 8-4, beat Michigan and go to the Alamo Bowl
instead of finishing the season 10-1, lose to Michigan
and go to a New Year's Day bowl.
I've only heard Michigan fans tell me that Buckeye
fans feel this way. I really didn't believe it. Then I
heard it from a Buckeye.
But Gary - who said every Ohio State team's
emphasis from day one is just to beat Michigan
- admitted even he cheered for the Wolverines.
"I rooted for Michigan hard in the Rose Bowl
this year," Gary said. "You want them to do well ...
because you beat them:'
Said Roger: "You want Michigan to win. You want
them to be undefeated."
Until they play Ohio State.
Totals 200 19-41 7-11
FG%: 46.3 FT%: 63.6 3-point FG: 1-10,
.100 (Harris 1-5, Coleman 0-3, Harrell
0-2). Blocks: 4 (Sims 2, Harris, Hunter).
Steals: 5 (Petway 3, Brown, Harris).
Turnovers: 29 (Coleman 4, Harris 4,
Mathis 4, Sims 4, Bell 3, Brown 3, Hunt-
er 2, Wohl 2, Andrews, Harrell, TEAM).
Technical fouls: None.
OHIO STATE 72
FG FT REB
M-A M-A 0-T A F PTS
4-6 0-0 4-5 1 2 9
1-4 0-0 2-3 2 2 3
8-15 3-6 6-9 0 1 19
0-4 2-2 0-1 3 1 2
4-9 0-0 0-1 4 3 11
0-3 1-2 0-4 2 1 1
7-14 0-0 0-2 2 1 16
1-1 0-0 0-0 00 2
3-7 0-0 0-1 2 2 7
1-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2
0-0 0-0 1-1 0 1 0
29-646-10 13-281616 72
IOMMA s UOMEZ/Daily
Members of the Buckeye Nuthouse cheered "just like football" late in Michigan's 72-46 loss to Ohio State.
Since the alumni and fan perception of Michigan
was strangely soft, I figured the wisdom of an Ohio
State student would give me answers.
During halftime of the incredibly boring
game, with Michigan trailing 40-19, I walked to
the Buckeye Nuthouse - Ohio State's version
of the Maize Rage. I picked out the guy wear-
ing a scarlet and grey afro who was all over the
jumbo-tron during the first half.
This guy has to hate us.
Shawn Collier - the afro wearer, born and raised
in Columbus - said I could print the following. Note
to Shawn's friends: Don't beat him up ... too much.
"Personally, I want to see Michigan doing well,"
he said. "If Michigan is playing Notre Dame, I don't
have a problem saying, 'Go Blue' on that Saturday.
I also don't have a problem saying, 'Go Blue' when
they are playing anybody else. I want the Big Ten to
I thought most of the Ohio State students really
"Some of our students don't know better," Collier
said. "They are real disrespectful. They have no class
and sportsmanship. However, in the past year, since
Tressel is real big on class and sportsmanship, I've
noticed a lot more mutual respect between fans."
Collier conceded a little bit and said it's just 40
percent of the Ohio State students that hate Michigan
while the other 60 percent have little problem with
the Maize and Blue.
He even praised the efforts of the 108 Maize Rag-
ers who traveled to Columbus for the game.
"That's awesome,"he said.
I've heard horror stories about Wolverine fans in
Columbus. Has the rivalry changed? Buckeye fans
endured a 9-2-1 Michigan run in football before
Tressel took over and Ohio State won three of the
next four. Like Shawn said, has Tressel helped bring
sportsmanship and class back to Ohio State? I got the
sense that most Buckeyes don't really hate us, at least
anymore. Some even cheer for us. Like the original
Columbus, I discovered something I didn't expect
to find. And a lot of this "change" has to do with
Tressel's success against the Wolverines. I wonder if
this will change Ohio State's decorum when Michi-
gan football players stop putting L's at the beginning
of "Lloyd Carr" and starting putting them on the end
of "Jim Tressel."
Brutus Buckeye declined to be interviewed
fir this piece. Eric Ambinder can be reached at
FG%: 45.3 FT%: 60.0 3-point FG: 8-
26, 30.8 (Foster 3-7, Stockman 2-6,
Sullinger 1-2, Harris 1-3, Sylvester 1-3,
Fuss-Cheatham 0-1, Butler 0-4). Blocks:
1 (Sylvester) Steals: 17 (Foster 3, Stock-
man 3, Sullinger 3, Fuss-Cheatham 2,
Harris 2, Butler, Dials, Sylvester, Terwil-
liger). Turnovers: 12 (Sullinger 3, Syl-
vester 3, Butler, Dials, Fuss-Cheatham,
Harris, Stockman, Terwilliger). Technical
Michigan.........19 27 - 46
Ohio State........40 32 - 72
At: Value City Arena
29 turnovers doom Blue
Btu Ten Overall
vwm rr 6 . vi au
By Brian Schick
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - Despite the 26-point deficit in Saturday's
72-46 loss to Ohio State, Michigan actually shot better than
the Buckeyes, 46 percent to 45 percent. But Ohio State took
23 more shots than the Wolverines, due to a season-high 29
turnovers by Michigan.
The Wolverines have struggled to maintain control of
the ball in recent games. Saturday's game was the fourth
time Michigan has turned the ball over 20 or more times
in the past six games, and it was the highest total since the
Wolverines committed 25 during the Jan. 5 game against
Iowa. Michigan almost managed to accomplish that feat in
the first half, committing 18 turnovers and having just one
assist in the first 20 minutes.
"It's not just our perimeter players but our entire basket-
ball team (that struggled)," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
said. "I'm in charge; I'm responsible. So when that happens,
it's my fault."
The Wolverines couldn't place the blame on any one per-
son, as the turnovers were fairly balanced. Four players -
Dion Harris, Ron Coleman, J.C. Mathis and Courtney Sims
- committed four turnovers apiece. Every player that saw
action for Michigan committed at least one turnover except
for Brent Petway.
Most of Michigan's turnovers came as a result of weak pass-
es and a lack of off-the-ball movement on offense. The Buck-
eyes weren't being overly aggressive on the defensive end, and
12 of Michigan's turnovers were unforced errors.
"We were being careless with the ball," Sims said. "They
were playing solid defense, but we were just being soft with
the ball all game."
More than four minutes into the game, Michigan remained
scoreless and committed four turnovers. The Wolverines had
several scoring droughts in the first half that were the result
of turnovers, and Ohio State cruised to a 22-4 lead just eight
minutes into the game. The 18 turnovers in Saturday's first half
were more than the total amount in the 15 previous games for
Michigan this season.
After halftime, Michigan took better care of the ball, with
11 turnovers in the second half. While the number itself isn't
overly impressive, Michigan had fewer unforced errors and
made sharper passes.
"We had to make harder cuts to get open," Petway said about
the second-half adjustments. "We were trying to cut down on
the mental errors as well, like illegal screens and things like
that. We just got tougher."
Ohio State benefited from Michigan's turnovers, as the
Buckeyes scored 31 of their 72 points off turnovers - and
the those 31 points were enough to cover the margin of vic-
tory. The Buckeyes grew a large lead from the opening tip
and never looked back. Ohio State came into the game aver-
aging a little over seven steals per game - good enough for
fifth in the Big Ten - but shattered their season high with
17 on Saturday.
"We like to be active on the defensive end," Ohio State
coach Thad Matta said. "We try to get our guys to do multiple
things at once, and I thought the activity was good. Everyone
was involved throughout the game."
THIS WEEKEND'S RESULTS:
OHIO STATE 72, Michigan 46
MINNESOTA 60, Wisconsin 50
Michigan State 75, IOWA 64
NORTHWESTERN 67, Purdue 61
Illinois 60, INDIANA 47
Illinois at Michigan'
Iowa at Wisconsin 7 p.m.
Ohio State at Michigan State 8 p.m.
Penn State at Purdue 8 p.m.
Wisconsin at Illinois
Minnesota at Indiana
Michigan State at Michigan
Ohio State at Penn State
I UMVIVAS.U GUIVIL/Dily
Guard Dion Harris scored nine points in Saturday's game - all of them coming in the
first half - but also committed four turnovers.
AP TOP 25
Week 11 (Jan. 24- Jan. 30)
2. North Carolina
5. Boston College
7. Wake Forest
10. Oklahoma State
12. Michigan State
beat Indiana, 60-47
beat Florida State, 81-60
beat Nebraska, 78-65
beat Georgia Tech, 82-65
beat Seton Hall, 60-52
beat Vanderbilt, 84--70
beat Virginia Tech, 83-63
beat Notre Dame, 64-49
beat Alabama-Birmingham, 77-73
beat Baylor, 81-63
lost to Florida, 85-54
beat Iowa, 75-64
beat UCLA, 82-70
beat Stanford, 90-72
lost to Texas Tech, 88-81
Continued from page 1B
guard Je'Kel Foster added 11.
On the whole, Michigan's inabil-
ity to create shot opportunities was a
huge impediment to its game. While
the Wolverines' shooting percent-
age was actually higher both from
the field and the charity stripe, they
threw up 23 fewer shots than the
"I think, when you're mentally
beaten - and I say that respectfully
- I think sometimes you become a
little more paralyzed," Amaker said.
"If things don't go well right away,
you think about the snowball effect.
I think you've seen that."
ratio against the Buckeyes,
which was an improvement over
the 1-to-28 ratio in the first half.
The undefeated Illini have bulldozed through the
Big Ten schedule and have held the No. 1 ranking
in the country since Dec. 6, after defeating then-
No. 1 Wake Forest. Five players average double
figures in scoring, and they are led by senior Lu-
ther Head and his 16.8 points per game. Illinois's
w -c-- 7F~ ;,