NCAA Tournament Rounds One and Two Wrap-up

Game One: 3/18/2011 (16) UT-San Antonio 46, (1) Ohio St 75 (33-2, 16-2 Big Ten)

The tournament hors d’oeuvre for the top seeded Buckeyes arrived in the form of the UT-San Antonio Road Runners and they were just that — a tasty snack, a warm up for better things to come.

It’s a bit of a challenge to recap such a lop-sided game. A theme throughout the season is going to manifest itself starkly during the tournament. This basketball team is so balanced that one or two players can have an “off day” and someone else will pick up slack. When it happens, it’s a thing of beauty.

This first game was led by William Buford’s 18 points while Jon Diebler added another 14. The game was mostly out of reach by half-time and most of the starters were able to rest for large stretches of the game.

Game Two: 3/20/2011 (8) George Mason 66, (1) Ohio St 98 (34-2, 16-2 Big Ten)

Yes, at one point Ohio State was down to George Mason 11-2. They then proceeded to go on a 50-15 run to finish out the first half. There’s lots of things you could call that run. It was a blow-out of epic proportions. It was dominating. It was never close again.

Once again we see that when one part of the engine is gunked up, someone else steps up. When Buford and Diebler were struggling, David Lighty stepped up and took the game over on his own. It was a beautiful thing because it was Lighty’s last game in Ohio as a Buckeye, after he and his fellow seniors had just graduated and he was in his hometown. It’s always better at home.

The freshmen got in on the act as well. MotSaG Hero Aaron Craft had a field day dishing out the ball, racking up 15 assists. It helps when the guys you’re are feeding are hot (and 15-22 from behind the arc certainly qualifies as “hot”). Jared Sullinger declared the game over with his 18 points and 8 rebounds. It was a great team effort once again.

And when Sully says it’s over, it’s over.

So now it’s on to the Sweet Sixteen to face a young, talented Kentucky team. I think Ohio State will match up well with Kentucky but it should be a battle. Fortunately Thad Matta will coach circles around John Calipari, so we definitely have that going for us.

I finally gathered the courage to check my bracket in the MotSaG Tournament Pick’Em. It isn’t pretty. But reader Mike G’s bracket is. He got the Butler upset of Pitt, both the Morehead and Richmond upsets with Richmond coming out of that game. That earns the tip of the cap to Mike.

I have a really cool Final Four related announcement coming up but I have to hammer out a few details before I can finally spill the beans.

Finally: Tennessee has fired Coach Pearl. That is all.

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