Invited to the dance but not a part of the party

(Note: the following piece is the opinion of Kyle Bauer and not of Neal Ruhl or any other member of the website)

By Kyle Bauer

I guess I should’nt talk anymore about Oakland University. They are relevent to me and my co-host, but other than location are they relevent to you? No, especially because that is a simple matter of coincidence.

But I have found a reason to bring them up one last time to the public and that is because what every other team has done in this tournament. For the first time, there are going to be more double-digit seeds in the sweet 16. Even teams that failed to advance, such as Robert Morris, a 15 seed, almost bumped off a soft Villanova team in overtime. Parody has captured the imagination of the people and pundits as many have proclaimed this “the best opening weekend ever”.

It appeared that if it were going to be any tournament a school like Oakland would ascend, it would be this one. Instead they sealed their national annonimity for another year. I’m sure there’s a few people who figured OU couldn’t handle the travel of going all the way from California to Milwaukee. That’s what they deserve though.

OU apologists around town, and trust me, going to this school I am surrounded by them, need to decide what this team is. For the duration of the year, despite a blowout against Michigan St. and losing at home to Eastern Michigan, travel was to blame for how poor they played against the big programs. I concurred with that and understandably so, especially against Syracuse, Kansas and Oregon which were all a part of whirl-wind road trips that didn’t aid them in games they probably would have lost anyway.

Suppressed thoughts were, why is Oakland getting blown-out so soundly by these teams? In the past Oakland seemed to have Oregon’s number, beating them two years in a row, including in 2007, when the Ducks were ranked. Yet Oregon beat them by double-digits.  Another alarming loss was against Memphis. A small team that OU should have matched up well against, that missed the tournament in a rebuilding year. They were never in the game losing 77 to 46.

But I bought in because of Oakland’s impressive 20-1 in-conference record. Unfortunately I’m starting to wonder if the Summit league has any validity at all. If it should even be in the same class as say the Big Sky or Ohio Valley conference. For example, Murray St. was only a couple points away from going to the sweet 16. That is part of my point but I digress. Oakland’s Summit league performance was outstanding and generated excitement all the way around. Even though Oakland did exactly what they were supposed to do, going off pre-season expectations.

When Oakland went into the game against Pitt, it seemed as though the stage had been set for them to get on the train of mid-major upsets. Especially considering the Big East was at the end of three and almost four of them, that first day. The Grizzlies got off to a rousing start. Then Derek Nelson, who might be the most physically gifted Grizzly, went down and missed most of the first half. An amazing shot by Ledrick Eackles was reversed after the referees decided during the inbound that he charged. Those were factors in the game going in the opposite direction, they were not determining factors though.

Oakland came out working the ball inside and creating space for open shots. They forced turnovers and fouls on Pitt. After those occurences they lost their composure and began to rush shots and run out of position defensively. That is no excuse, you never saw Murray St., or Ohio lose their composure. Oakland was supposed to be better than both teams. I’m left thinking that both would have easily disposed of the Grizzlies off of heart alone.

Yet, I’m hearing more excuse making and suddenly “oh well this is only Oakland second appearance, you can’t expect them to beat a program like Pitt!” Well Wofford was making their first appearance and they almost knocked off Wisconsin. It was not an excuse for them and I’m sure their student body and local media would not apologize to the team for a decisive loss.

Oakland could have been a part of the party. They could have been one of the mid-major teams that have destroyed brackets everywhere. Instead they put up one of the worst performances of the tournament. They played like a 16 seed, which I sincerely believe Lehigh put up a tougher game than them.

Because of this, I do not see any true progress made in the program because this was a truly forgettable performance. OU didn’t even have to win, they just had to make it close. By not doing that, only a score was posted on Sportscenter, no highlights. The game-stories were buried in the back, even on a local scale. And the team whose Summit League Championship celebration wasnt carried live, who had to stay in the suburbs of Milwaukee instead of downtown, the school CBS gave no coverage to on selection Sunday, played like they deserved the obscurity.

For at least another year the Golden Grizzlies will come from California.


OU Senior Derrick Nelson talks to RDOS, The Lions take free agency by storm!!!

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By Kyle Bauer

The site will return to full activity later today with the reemergence of “Real Deal on Headlines” to catch up on all the sports news that I have failed to cover in the past few days.

I also plan on introducing a new feature that I am hoping you guys will enjoy later this week, likely on Friday.

Until then, it is a big day for the RDOS intermediate family. As most of you know, we reside out of Oakland University and they will be playing for a chance to ‘PUNCH THEIR TICKET’ to ‘THE BIG DANCE’ against IUPUI (Indiana University of Pennsylvania Unified Intelligence?) tonight.

You can tune in to 88.3fm Auburn Hills if you are if you are north of M-59 from Chesterfield Township to Metamora, which includes Romeo, Lake Orion, Rochester, Utica, Auburn Hills and Pontiac. Or if you are by a computer, take the sure route and go to where you can stream the coverage live. I will be hosting a pre-game show from 8 to 9pm, featuring an interview with Neal to open up at 8:05.

You can also go back to 88.3fm/ for your half-time and post-game coverage, where I will also be anchoring.

Neal will be on 1130am WDFN Detroit Sports Talk giving color commentary with Mario Impemba on the call. So listen to him on WDFN and listen to good ol’ Avocado on WXOU for your pre, half and post-game coverage of the Summit League tournament final and see if Oakland will be ‘DANCING’.

As far as Mikey P. goes, I believe he will be working and chowing down at Sign of the Beef Carver.

Get your votes in Now

Neal Wears Pink on Television (With a Dream and a Cardigan)

Neal is wearing pink while calling the game for the Oakland University’s men’s basketball team. The University is encouraging everyone at the game to wear pink in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness.

Neal to Wear Pink on Television

From his facebook page (yesterday)

“i need some opinions…Watch the oakland University game 2mrw (tonight)6:00 on fox sports detroit (i’m sitting behind Oakland coach Greg Kampe doing game for and let me know if i can pull off 1. the cardigan….and 2. the pink shirt…your thoughts..”

This status was posted yesterday. The game is on tonight February 20th at 6pm.

Neal and Mario have the call in Memphis tonight

Join our own Neal Ruhl and Mario Impemba tonight at 8pm when Oakland ventures into Memphis. Oakland center Keith Benson was just named Summit League player of the week and also had 20 points and 4 blocks against Kansas last Wednesday. Want to hear him in action? Want to hear Neal in action? Tune in to 1130am Detroit Sports Talk at 8pm.

Happy Thanksgiving

No show today, apparently Neal and Kyle would rather spend time with their families than do a radio show. This doesn’t mean you have to wait another week to get your fill of the Real Deal on Sports. Check back, right here, later today for day two of Kyle’s Three Day Thanksgiving Man Fest.

Neal will be back on WDFN With Mario Impemba this Monday at 8pm as the Golden Grizzlies take on Memphis. You can also listen to Neal’s disembodied voice chat with OU Coach Greg Kampe in a new video feature “Coach’s Corner” right on the OU grizzlies’ homepage by clicking the giant menacing grizzly bear below.

 Mike’s entry about NBA superstars via 1993 has been picked up by FreshPrinceOfTheBlog. It’s run  by basketball fanatic Jake Bondarek whose blog gets ten times more hits than ours. Jake works his butt off on FreshPrinceOfTheBlog and he makes it a great read for super fans and casual observers alike. Check it out by clicking  the picture of Uncle Phil, Carleton, Ashley and Hillary on some game show i’ve never heard of.