LeBron expected on Buckeyes' sideline
September, 27, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Jay LaPreteLeBron James brought along Dwyane Wade to the Duke-Ohio State basketball game in Columbus in 2011. James is expected to be on the Buckeyes' sideline for Saturday's game against Wisconsin.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The royalty theme has been taken to another level.
After publicly calling Wisconsin the current "king" of the Big Ten early in the week, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has trumped that by welcoming another "King" to his sideline on Saturday night as the programs collide in a critical meeting of conference favorites.
The rivalry, the stakes and the recent history with the No. 23 Badgers were already enough to build the buzz for the divisional showdown, but now LeBron James has been thrown in the mix as a confirmed guest of the No. 3 Buckeyes, potentially throwing even more fuel on the fire with an NBA superstar in their corner.
"Give me all kinds of LeBrons," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said this summer. "He’s a great role model. The way he articulates, his look, the way he treats people, the focus -- those leadership videos we use, his face is plastered all over them.
"First of all, the guys all admire him. The head coach really, really admires him."
Meyer even once tried to recruit James to play football for him, at that time not realizing who he was or how bright the future was for the four-time NBA most valuable player.
And aside from that tie to Meyer, James is also an outspoken Buckeyes fan after growing up in Ohio and even has a locker in the newly renovated basketball complex that displays his line of shoes and the clothing the team wears.
Ohio State already had plans in place for a "Scarlet Out" for the anticipated crowd of around 106,000 while the team will be wearing special rivalry uniforms, which made it clear well before kickoff how much importance the program is placing on a chance to showcase itself on a national stage.
And in case all that stuff didn't have the Buckeyes fired up, Meyer calling the Badgers the reigning "king of the Big Ten" certainly got their attention as well.
"I mean, we know we’re the kings," cornerback Bradley Roby said. "We’re not worried about anybody else. Simple as that."
Ohio State has a chance to reclaim that crown on Saturday, and it will have the support of basketball royalty and a proven champion on its sideline.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35