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"Fire Thad Matta" Calls Erupt Following Ohio State's Loss To Rutgers

The Buckeyes' season hit its low point tonight - and it was very deep.

Thad Matta is returning as Ohio State's men's basketball head coach in 2017-18. That's what a report by Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde said and, most recently, what Buckeyes' AD Gene Smith said. "I am confident in his leadership to return the program to the winning ways that we have all enjoyed during his 13 year tenure," he said in a vote of confidence.

Should Matta be back, though?

After tonight, many say: No.

Ohio State suffered its most-embarrassing loss of the season this evening, losing to the Big Ten's worst team, Rutgers, in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C.

The #FireThad tweets are out in full force now.

There's surely a portion of Ohio State's fan base - the majority, maybe - that doesn't want to fire Matta (yet, anyway). He's - to some, at least - the greatest coach the program has ever had. He's won 73 percent of his games and led the Buckeyes to two Final Fours and four conference tournament titles.

But something needs to change heading into the 2017-18 season.

After making the Elite Eight in 2012-13 (following seasons that resulted in: Final Four, Sweet 16, Sweet 16), the Buckeyes have:

  • Lost in the NCAA Tournament's first round ('13-14)
  • Lost in the NCAA Tournament's second round ('14-15)
  • Not made the NCAA Tournament ('15-16)
  • Not made the NCAA Tournament ('16-17)

Ohio State's recruiting is perhaps the biggest concern going forward.

Outside of D'Angelo Russell, the Buckeyes really haven't had any elite talent since the 2010 class that included Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft. (You can view the classes since here. It's not good.)

This year's class doesn't appear to be one that's going to change anything, either. It includes two players - four-star center Kaleb Wesson, the country's No. 75 recruit, and three-star point guard Braxton Beverly, the country's No. 347 recruit).

So patience in Columbus is clearly wearing thin. The 2017-18 year looks like it'll be a make-or-break one for Matta.