Buckeyes Advance To Final Four

By Chris Lauderback on March 24, 2007 at 10:17 pm
In Thad We Trust

Thad Matta's troops earned the schoool's 9th Final Four appearance and first since 1968 in a 92-76 demolition of Memphis. It was another total team effort - 4 Buckeye starters reached double figures and Daequan Cook and David Lighty combined for 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals off the bench.

Greg Oden was limited to just 24 minutes due to foul trouble (again) but he dominated the Tigers in his cameo appearances, especially in the second half. He finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds and keyed a 20-8 run in the second half that gave OSU a 71-64 lead with 5:41 remaining. In case you're wondering, that jackass Joey Dorsey backed his call out of Oden with ZERO points and 4 fouls in addition to getting schooled 1-on-1 by Oden on numerous occasions. "Goliath", indeed.

Ron Lewis led OSU with 22 points (10-10 FT) to go along with 6 rebounds while Mike Conley completely controlled the game scoring 19 points directing an offense that put up 92 points including 51 in the 2nd half. The Bucks also received a strong effort from Jamar Butler who tallied 12 points (6-6 FT), 3 boards and 4 assists against just one turnover is 39 minutes.

OSU was simply the more disciplined team and stuck with their strategy of driving to the basket to score or get to the line even with Memphis shooting 45% (10-22) from downtown. In an amazing stat, the Buckeyes hit 18 straight free throws in the last four minutes to punch their tickets to Atlanta. For the game, OSU converted a whopping 35-41 FT's, good for 85%.

The Buckeyes will face the winner of UNC-Georgetown next Saturday night. I can't believe it, OSU's first official trip to the Final Four in my lifetime. I hesitate to say it, but this team continues to remind me of the 2002 Football Buckeyes and they're peaking at the right time. 4 down, 2 to go.