How Elite It Is

By Chris Lauderback on March 22, 2012 at 11:38p
74 Comments

The Buckeyes got a combined 49 points and 18 boards from Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger on the way to a 81-66 stomping of the Cincinnati Bearcats to earn a trip to the Elite Eight. 

In a game of ridiculous runs, Ohio State used 1st half blitzes of 15-4 and 14-5 and after UC opened the 2nd half on a 27-8 tear to take a four point lead, OSU unleashed a 26-7 spurt before coasting to the 15 point win. 

Aaron Craft was large with 11 points, six steals and five assists while Lenzelle Smith Jr. stepped up with 15 points on 6/7 shooting in support of the big two. 

The win sets up a showdown against Syracuse on Saturday at 7:05pm with a trip to the Final Four on the line. 

Props to the Buckeyes for sticking together and putting a collective foot in the @ss of the Bearcats. Life is good. Cue the music...

 

74 Comments

Comments

Jason Priestas's picture

7:05 tip time on Saturday. Bring on the Orange!

osukdawg76's picture

Queue up The Black Keys!

I, for one, welcome our new coaching overlords.

 

 

AcrossTheField11's picture

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

LABuckeye's picture

That made me laugh my ass off.

AcrossTheField11's picture

Haha it kinda came to me in a dream after his 90238402348th steal.  Sorry for the size... can I get a resize fellas?

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

LABuckeye's picture

At this point in the season, I have to agree that Craft is my favorite player. No one else is even close.

factor11's picture

i agree with this so much... he is the 'most fun' player to watch from the Buckeyes in quite awhile.

Tim's picture

I agree.  I'm so glad Craft de-committed from Tennessee, even though that was probably an easy choice for Craft.  I never would have thought Craft would be such a huge difference on this team.

factor11's picture

I'm happy that we're agreeing to agreeing. On to the Final 4!

Tim's picture

Definitely, I'm excited for the game Saturday.  It's been a crazy season, but we're in position to do what we all thought this team could do.

JakeBuckeye's picture

The Boston crowd sucked tonight. I thought it was just Wisconsin's awful style of basketball, but the crowd seemed the same throughout our game.

argyle182021's picture

It's definitely going to be a pro-Syracuse crowd on Saturday.  

LABuckeye's picture

Since when are tournament crowds really that great? I've always thought they were kinda quiet. I did think the crowd seemed overwhelmingly pro-OSU.

Tim's picture

Yeah the crowd didn't seem great.  The lack of good college sports teams in that region can't help anything.

Kurt's picture

Had a friend at the game.  He said the crowd was dominated by Syracuse fans.  They emptied out relatitvely early.  Then you have to consider another percentage of the people there were Wisconsin fans who can't be blamed for leaving early either.

coloradobuckeye's picture

Playing like a team this tourney!

Let your hobbies and interests supplement your life, not be the main course.

Bucks's picture

Answering Cinci in the early 2nd with that 17-1 run (if i remember right) was a thing of beauty. We've seen this team struggle before in doing so. EE!

Yamosu's picture

Anyone else think the turning point was Buford picking up his 4th foul and coming out?

LABuckeye's picture

The timing is right, but I think it was just coincidence. He was clearly having an off night, but we played a great game overall, came out flat in the second half, and that was the time Matta made some adjustments and helped get their heads back into the game.

Yamosu's picture

1-8 with 4 points, 4 turnovers (by my count) and 4 personal fouls. The guy was a liability. He comes out and they go 17-1 run (although the first few points had already been scored)

dr green's picture

Completely agree, YAMOSU. Apparently, Thad finally heard me screaming at my TV to pull WB.

JakeBuckeye's picture

No. As much as you'd like to believe it, Buford isn't the blame-all when this team struggles.

William's picture

His play was detrimental to the teams play tonight, don't try to deny that. He was the only player to have more of a negative than positive impact on the game tonight.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Oh, of course. How could I deny that Adolf Buford was the only reason this team struggled early in the second half?

Seriously though, Buford played good tonight in every aspect other than shooting.

William's picture

He had several huge turnovers as well, that were instrumental in UC's 21-6 run. I'm not wishing anything ill upon the guy, but tonight he sucked, there's no arguing that.

Colin's picture

That's kinda like if Craft had a game where he played good in everything but defense. We need him for his defense.

Oakland Buckeye's picture

AS usual, Jake & his mancursh on WB cant see the forest for the trees. He was bad. bucks won in spite of wb. the horrible charge he picked up trying to force his offense -  when the Bucks were down when he STILL hadnot scored yet 30 minutes into the game -  was one of the dumbest plays I have seen, goin 1 v 4 & creating another to. It was much more than coindence that THE RUN occurred with him out. he couldn't defend Kilpatrick - he contributed a few strong rebounds, that was it. It's furstrating that no one here can say a negative about wb without you chastising them. That being said - I like many here say they dont get to final four or win it all without WB - the MSU away game WB.

JakeBuckeye's picture

no one here can say a negative about blame everything on wb without you chastising them.

Fixed.

Craft to the Rafters's picture

buford was clearly off tn - he didn't like being hounded by aggressive guards. but come saturday when we play boeheim's zone, buford will get a lot of open looks around the arc or mid-range shots if he is smart enough to cut in to the top of the key. here's to hoping he will show up for his (hopefully) 3rd last game in what has been a great buckeye career. 

FLAMikey's picture

Buford has to lead the known universe in charges per total number of drives. In recent games it must be 75%.

southbymidwest's picture

I admit, once Cincinnatti pulled into the lead in the second half, I couldn't watch any more until I peeked at the score after the game was over-thought my Bucks might be deflating like a souffle. Silly me, should have had more faith in the team. But I am glad they smacked 'em.

buckeyefanatic's picture

Oh I totally thought we were done ... we just sort of looked lost. I can't recall exactly but I think I couple throw in trips to Sully and his buckets picked us up.

Am I the only one that thinks we don't do a good job of passing inside to guys posting up?? Sully probably got over a third of his points off the glass - he should have at least 15 shots from posting up.

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

ELITE 8 BABY!  This team will be judged by what they do in March, and so far, they've done the best that they have since March 2007.  

Class of 2010.

JakeBuckeye's picture

How good does it feel to advance past the Sweet 16? If we would have lost tonight I might have started believing in a curse.

Nik's picture

If we had lost tonight it would have made for an interesting next year.  Tennessee, Kentucky, Cincinnati... the next logical team for us to lose to in next year's sweet 16 would be ourselves.  Would have made for a fascinating "evil twin" episode next year.  Still super excited, but it is a little sad that that will never air, lol

PharmBuck's picture

Buford wasn't the only reason behind the early 2nd half struggles but he sure wasn't blameless. 

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm double posting this (quoting myself) from another thread, but this is the active thread:

I'm watching the 2H replay and as bad as Buford was up to about the 13 minute mark, after that he did get a steal, hit a 3, then found Sully on a good pass down low, blocked out his man to start a break going the other way (Sully fouled and hit both), helped cause another Cincy TO, rebounded his own miss and got fouled on the putback attempt (leading to Craft jumper), got fouled (no call) on a fastbreak but put the ball where Smith could tap it in, before he got his 4th foul and left the game.  

Yamosu's picture

The three was huge.

LABuckeye's picture

I get it... everyone would love to see Buford be all-everything, but he's not. He IS one HELL of a player. He has off nights, as do a lot of players. He also made his contributions that weren't directly scoring, but they were important contributions nonetheless.

 

I'm not arguing with you RUN... I am agreeing with the point you are indirectly making.

TLB's picture

he has more off nights than on.  I think that is the issue.

buckeyefanatic's picture

+1

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

Tim's picture

I agree, Buford does useful things that don't show up on the stat sheet.  He made some bad decisions tonight, but I still have faith that he can come through for us at some point.  Without Buford, I don't think Thomas could get as many open looks because there has to be some game-planning by the opposing team to stop Buford.

JakeBuckeye's picture

SHOOTING IS THE ONLY ASPECT OF BASKETBALL I KNOW WHAT ARE THESE THING CALLED BLOCKING OUT AND PASSING

In all seriousness, I wouldn't waste your breath. Buford is going to be the scapegoat for ANY poor play from this team unless he is shooting at least 50% with 15+ points.

M Man's picture

Well done.  The Buckeyes looked like the class of the Conference tonight.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Thanks, M Man, you're a class act yourself. We'll be rooting for Indy tomorrow, but I don't have much hope for them. They don't play enough defense. They'll have to shoot like 55 percent to win that game and they're not in Bloomington.

KJR10's picture

D. Thomas is a MAN for real!

TLB's picture

Valentine screwing up this FLA game

 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I joked in the live game thread: Florida v. Ohio State NCG!

zbd's picture

Buford needs to show up for any chance to win.  Thomas and Craft cannot do it all themselves.

LABuckeye's picture

I'm encouraged by tonight. I was concerned before tonight started that some of the Big Ten teams might come out flat given 4 members of our conference made the Sweet 16, and the tendency for college kids to get things into their heads... perhaps we would all think we were great and not come out and play well. I think Wisky DID play well and just fell short. Michigan State, I think, fell into that trap... the team that played tonight was not the Michigan State I saw in any game I watched this season. We came out and played pretty well. I think it was our best game of the tournament. Let's hope we keep improving right on through a championship.

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

The pressure is off for Buf. We got past the sweet 16. Time for Buf to relax and play. I like how we match up against Cuse.

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

BTW, syracuse is overrated, go Bucks!

LABuckeye's picture

Everyone seems to think they are overrated, but then they beat everyone. How many games do they have to win before they are not considered overrated?

I think we can win... especially with their star player out, but I think we are far enough into the seaon that they have proven they are a great team.

LABuckeye's picture

I'm not into predictions, but I think if none of our starters have a bad game (here's looking at you, Buford), we win. In fact, I think if they all play well, we can win by a lot. If someone has a bad game I think we lose.

ekeith21's picture

Bufford is worthless! Period.......................You guys gotta quit thinking he is going to finally show up and play. He can't handle pressure.

JakeBuckeye's picture

And you can't handle simple last name spelling/pronounciation. Seriously, how do people think that a name pronounced BEW-FORD (Buford) is spelled Bufford (BUFF-ORD)? It truly baffles me.

B-U-F-O-R-D

One "F."

ekeith21's picture

You apparently have nothing intellegent to say about the game so you want to come on here to critisize me for spelling/pronounciation? This is a Sports thread not a spelling bee or english class. Get a life loser.

LABuckeye's picture

Come on guys... take a breath... and let's all get along. We're all Buckeyes here.

JakeBuckeye's picture

Ah, I must have missed the Aristotle-esque comment on your part regarding Buford's "worthlessness." Truly an intelligent addition to the discussion on your part.

Everybody on here knows I will obnoxiously defend Willie Buford to the death. The guy has done so much for this basketball program but gets stepped on by 90% of this fan base. If you're going to hate on him to the degree you did, I'm going to make sure you at least spell his name correctly.

ekeith21's picture

I think 90% of the fan base has a valid case against his poor play as a Senior. What is a better word for his play this year? Inconsistent? Did I spell that right? Is that better than "Worthless?

LABuckeye's picture

Maybe my perspective is unwanted, I don't know... but I'm going to give it anyway. These are college kids. Not pro guys. WB is talented. If you can't see that, then you are blind. He has, without a doubt, earned his scholarship. It is unfortunate that he is not the star of the team every night... that is what you HOPE for out of talented senior. But it is not like he is not trying, not putting in effort... he is out there every night putting in his best effort. Some nights things are going his way. He is almost always valuable... there may be some exceptions, but in general, he is solid in most areas of play. I would love it if he could score 20+ every night, and I think we need a good scoring night from him Saturday, but he is not the boogeyman for every OSU loss. To always blame him, or call him worthless, is completely unfair. 

Yamosu's picture

Much like we are baffled when someone says Buford played well despite going 1-8 from the field, having 4 turnovers to 1 assist, having 4 personal fouls, and grabbing 5 rebounds (or one more than our point guard.)

I really do like Buford, and want him to play wells. Seems like a great kid. But for a senior, he is very inconsistent.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I never (plainly) said Buford played well. I said Buford played well outside of his shooting.

NeARBuckeye's picture

I have a man crush on Craft. I sat around with SEC fans all night and they were gushing about how he was the most underrated PG in the NCAA. 

ekeith21's picture

He orginally was a SEC guy till the Bruce Scandal at Tennesse.

Wobble in our Shoes's picture

IIRC he was the cause of the Bruce scandal. Unauthorized BBQ where Craft was pictured?

madhatterhater's picture

I have to go to Cincy tomorrow for dinner with friends who all love UC. I'm not really the trash talking type (they are), but I'm going to rock my OSU gear. I am also glad I won't have to hear it from my inlaws.

go bucks

Moses Cleveland's picture

This zealousness and amount of negative criticism this student athlete has received from bloggers on this site and elsewhere, continues to amaze me.

Yes. He had a poor shooting night. We all wish Buford would find his shot sooner than later. But to say he is completely to blame for when the Bucks do poorly is not only inaccurate but insane.

This is the second time I’ve come to the defense of WB this season. One was after Ramzy’s column a few weeks ago. The next game he exploded for a very impressive 25 pts and the game winner vs. MSU. I hope that happens this week.

... ok I don’t mean to drag other players into the mix b/c I cheer for ALL THE BUCKEYES. But it consistently amazes me how fans can ignore other players faults, but ride on Buford for every mistake.

• Yes, WB had 4 turnovers. So did Craft. #Swoon
• Yes, WB shot 1/8. Craft shot 2/7 and also had zero pts until late into the second half.
• Yes, WB had 4 fouls … but how many times this year has he honestly been in foul trouble. I’d say this was the first time I can remember and he usually plays 35+ minutes a game.
• WB had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
• All game he played solid D.

So did he have a good game? I’d say, no. But it wasn’t as awful as people make it out to me. He also contributed on some scoring plays where he didn’t get an assist. Finally, he didn’t miss “bunnies” the shots he took from inside were contested shots. That is all.

Go Bucks. Beat cuse.