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BuckeyeEmpireGood morning temporary Boston Celtics fan extraordinaire. I hope everyone had a safe Memorial Day weekend, had your minds where they belonged given the occasion and have started trying to figure out what to do with your inmates kids since they're about to escape Alcatraz for the summer. It's that time of year when Kingsford charcoal flies off the shelves, bloggers go hunting for something to entertain the readers with and this guy, in long pants, calmly strolls toward the NBA Playoffs MVP trophy.

Speaking of hoops, the Buckeyes are still in the running for a championship. Ok, not any current Bucks. And not Evan Turner, who's gutsy Sixers squad took the Celtics to seven games before bowing out over the weekend. But Daequan Cook of the Oklahoma City Thunder is alive! In OKC's Game 1 loss he logged 8 minutes, missed his only shot from the field and unenthusiastically  suffered a minus-10 in the +/- category. But Cook, of the 40 earned credit hours and a $3.3M annual salary plan, has kinda already won, no? Game 2 is scheduled for tonight at 9pm from San Antonio.

Enough of the nonsense. Let's collect some hardware...


NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS IS WHAT WE DO

The Evil Empire that is The Ohio State University is back at it, collecting more National Championships for the trophy case.

The tandem of Chase Buchanon and Blaz Rola knocked of Texas Tech's Carvalho/Escobar duo on Monday to collect the men's tennis doubles NCAA National Championship, adding that all-important trophy to the All-American Championship and National Indoor Championship that they had already collected. They finished the season with a 34-6 overall record, including 18-1 against nationally ranked opponents, and collected their hardware by going 14-0 as the number-one seed of the three championships. The senior Buchanon closed out his collegiate career with 112 career doubles victories. The Slovenia-born Rola is just finishing up his sophomore season.

While the Virginia Cavaliers Rowing Team won the overall national championship on Monday with 87 total points (any idea how those are earned?), Ohio State's women's First Varsity Four won their first individual national championship by defeating the Cavaliers' 1V4 (I learned that lil abbreviation from the official announcement) by 2:09s. Members of the Buckeye national champion squad included Alexandra Sawatzki, Taylore Urban, Katie King, Stephanie Johnson and Emily Ralph.

Both Memorial Day national titles come on the heels of the Fencing team winning a national title in March, their third in eight years, and the Synchronized Swimming team earning their fourth straight national championship and their 28th in 35 seasons. Yes, no kidding. 


WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT

CarrierOhio State's men's and women's basketball teams will open their 2012-13 seasons on the same night at the same venue for the first time in school history. Of course they have to make a trip to an aircraft carrier in Charleston, S.C. in order to make it happen, but still.

After last year's ultra-hyped Michigan State vs North Carolina opener on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, the NCAA has decided to put on a similar show, deemed the Carrier Classic, on the east coast this year pitting the Buckeyes women's team against Notre Dame and the men's team opposite Marquette. The big boat of choice this season will be the USS Yorktown, and it will be the first time the women's teams will be involved after last year's Carrier Classic debut involving the Spartans' and Tar Heels' men's programs.

It will also mark the first time any of Ohio State's thirty-six varsity sports programs face a Muffet, for what it's worth. 


TRESS REUNITED WITH FORMER RECRUIT

Former highly-touted 4-Star defensive end recruit of Jim Tressel's has landed in Akron. Jamel Turner, who survived from being shot multiple times in two different incidents while being recruited by Ohio State, will be playing for the Akron Zips when football season opens up this fall.

After being declared academically ineligible his senior year out of Youngstown-Ursuline, before either shooting occurred, he attended Fork Union Military Academy but was still on Tressel's hot list of recruits he wanted suiting up in Scalet and Gray. His football career went to the back burner when the second incident left him in critical condition but after a few years of rest and recovery he's ready to give it another try.

A story like this is typically one without a positive outcome, and often proves to derail a kid for life, but to see Turner's dedication to come back is heart-warming to say the least. Heading to Akron is just the icing on the cake. While former tOSU coach Jim Tressel isn't directly involved with the Zips' football program, he'll undoubtedly be in consistent contact with Turner during his stay in Akron, and common sense says there's a good chance Tress had something to do with Turner's decision on where to land for this second go around.

Is there really a better person to have in your life than Tress, given what this young man has gone through? He's forever loyal and dedicated to his players, is the ultimate player's coach in personality and will be a very good influence on Turner and his life on and off the football field.

Turner was not charged of any wrong doing in either shooting incident but instead deemed to simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We wish him nothing but the best as he re-stokes the fire of a promising football career that was - and hopefully is. 


SPEAKING OF TRESS

The date of Jim Tressel's resignation last year, May 30th, happened to also be Memorial Day 2011. While the actual anniversary of his resignation isn't until tomorrow, plenty of Ohio State blogs paid tribute to the man who spent ten years as the big dog at one of the most successful programs in the country during his tenure. You can catch up with each of those tributes here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


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