Ohio's two delegates to the 10th annual Rock-N-Roll Shootout are aiming for a Buckeye blowout, but their out-of-state opponents have other agendas. Here's a preview of the basketball doubleheader, happening Saturday at Gund Arena:
Kent State Golden Flashes vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies -- As the defending MAC East champs, the Flashes are on course for their sixth straight season of 20-plus victories. Led by senior point guard Marques Green, the Bonnies are in a rebuilding phase, having posted a lackluster 13-14 record last season. "We'd like to have more depth, particularly in terms of front-court substitutions," says Bonnies coach Anthony Solomon, noting that his roster runs only 10 deep. "But only five guys play at a time, and it's a great opportunity for some of them to have a chance to play major minutes."
Ohio University Bobcats vs. Wisconsin Badgers -- In the middle of a six-game road stint, the Bobcats are seeking revenge for last year's 75-51 loss against the Badgers, who won their second consecutive Big Ten title last season and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan credits player camaraderie for the team's success. "I'm thankful that I've got a bunch of guys that enjoy playing with one another." First game starts at 6 p.m. at Gund Arena, 1 Gateway Plaza. Tickets are $10 to $75; call 216-241-2121. -- Cris Glaser
Fuzzy and Frozen
Why not everybody retires to Florida.
The North Chagrin Nature Center has lined up a pair of seasonal programs that explore those crazy critters that refuse to head south, hibernate, or do much of anything to escape the cold. Animals in Winter, a 6 p.m program on Friday, dips into the marsh and pond in search of turtles, ducks, and beavers, while a guide fills in participants on how they keep warm. Squirrel Search (1 p.m. Sunday) focuses solely on the nut-loving rodent. Both programs are at the North Chagrin Nature Center (Buttermilk Falls Parkway, off Sunset Lane in Mayfield Village), and both are free. Call 440-473-3370 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci