Last year everything fell into place for me, and I was able to go and see a great game in Columbus, Ohio. At the time Purdue was ranked fourth and Ohio State was ranked ninth. Evan Turner was in the midst of becoming a God for the Ohio State fans. He had singlehandedly beaten Purdue a few weeks earlier with a huge second half. The Buckeyes despite having a top ten team had to offer a special promotion to get fans in the door. If I remember right it was something like two tickets for $27. I got to the game early, but still had to park very far away. Once I got in I kept wondering when the fans were going to show up. Even as the game started the lower bowl was still relatively empty. I planned to move lower once the game started. Of course the fans started coming in after the tip so I was stuck in my seat. I can’t believe that fans would not get to the game in time for the tip between two top ten teams. Maybe the odd parking situation had something to do with the latecomers.
The game did not disappoint. The Boilers had a big lead early. I could not get comfortable though because of what the Buckeyes had done earlier in the season in West Lafayette. Ohio State did mount a comeback. They even had a chance to tie the game at the end, but the shot by Diebler fell short to give the Boilers the 60-57 win. Just before that Chris Kramer had a great block that led to the desperation try by Diebler. That was the fourth win against a top ten team by the Boilers at the time. It was a great game, and I had a good time during my short visit to Columbus. Things were looking good for the Boilers, and talk of a title started sounding more and more realistic. Of course we all know how that turned out. The game was great though, and I had a great feeling driving home that night. It is not a quick drive from Columbus to Northern Indiana, but I think I had some sort of Purdue music playing the entire way. Here are a few pictures taken from my seat miles away from the floor.
Last year I remember the Buckeye fans trying to get me to say how good Turner was during my visit. He was a great player. I kept saying how good he is, and that I hoped to see him win rookie of the year in the NBA this season. They agreed until they realized that meant he would have to leave them first. This year they have a new must see player named Jared Sullinger. He is just a true freshman, but he does not play like it. It will be interesting to see how Purdue handles him tonight. Will they just let him have his points, and concentrate on everyone else? Who will guard him? A lot of questions that will be answered in just eight short hours.