We here at OTE are fans of many things. Books, beer, Parks & Rec, and sports. Which sports? Whattya got? While we’re pretty much all fans of football, there are varying degrees of fandoms of other sports. Basketball, hockey, wrestling, baseball, and futbol are all discussed regularly in the OTE clubhouse, but there’s also a small hidden cult of volleyball fans. And really, that shouldn’t be a surprise at all. It’s really fun to watch, we are a rather tall bunch (we actually had to put a skylight in the clubhouse when we admitted BRT since she’s 6’8”), and B1G teams are pretty good at it. How good? Well, the 3rd round and Quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament are this weekend, and there’s B1Gness everywhere. Two regional sites are hosted by B1G squads, and 6 of the last 16 teams are funded by Delanybucks, including B1G Champions, #2 overall seed, and Final Four Host Minnesota and #7 overall seed and by God defending National Champions Nebraska. And wouldn’t you know it? Those two are on a collision course for Saturday afternoon in the
Maturi Sports Pavillion in Dinkytown! Awesome stuff, assuming the Gophers can avenge one of their 3 losses this year to the Ducks from a preseason swing through the West Coast. In Chambana, Illinois and Wisconsin seem to be on a collision course yet again, which could lead to an interesting match on Saturday, since the Illini and badgers traded 3-1 wins over each other on the road. Out near Palo Alto, Penn State could get a chance to avenge an early season loss to Stanford if they can get past unseeded Washington, and Michigan faces #5 Texas before a potential date with either Florida or #4 BYU.
If you were to ask me what I thought, I’d probably go pretty chalk here. I think Stanford and BYU will ruin an all-B1G party, and Illinois and the winner of Nebraska-Minnesota will join them. Since I’m terrified of what Mikaela Foecke can do for Nebraska, I’m not going to pick a winner here even though the Gophers swept the Huskers in rather convincing fashion. It’s just gonna be a B1G team here.
All 3rd Round Matches Friday 12/7 (Quarterfinal matches on Saturday 12/8 with times and TV TBA)
Washington vs. #8 PSU (5 PM ESPNU)
#1 Stanford vs. #16 Washington State (7:30 PM ESPN3)
#7 Nebraska vs. #10 Kentucky (1 PM ESPNU)
#15 Oregon vs. #2 Minnesota (3:30 PM ESPN3)
#3 Illinois vs. #14 Marquette (11 AM ESPNU)
San Diego vs. #6 Wisconsin (1:30 PM ESPN3)
#5 Texas vs. Michigan (3 PM ESPNU)
Florida vs. #4 BYU (7 PM ESPN3)
(WSR Note: This is definitely BRT’s playground, and she is far and away our most knowledgeable volleyball mind, but she’s really really busy with her job. With some luck she’ll be able to drop some insight again next fall. I’m just trying to fill her size 19 shoes the best I can for a sport I think you should all watch this weekend because it really is so much fun at a high level.)