At the United Center in Chicago, Ohio State drew North Carolina as part of the CBS Sports Classic, a four-team, two-game spectacle of sorts designed to showcase college basketball powerhouses and rising powers like the Buckeyes, the Tar Heels, Kentucky and UCLA.
It was also a chance for a youthful Ohio State team to notch a signature win on a big stage. Instead, No. 24 North Carolina handled the Buckeyes, 82-74, Saturday afternoon after staving off a late run.
The Tar Heels, which led by as many as 17 points and shot 45 percent, battered and cut through the 12th-ranked Buckeyes' zone defense for 34 points in the paint and 23 assists on 29 field goals. It was the foundation for a dominating performance in which they led for all but 22 seconds of the contest.
Yet Ohio State, much like it did earlier in the month against Louisville, rallied in the game's final minutes, cutting the deficit to seven points with less than two minutes to play. It was too little to overcome a paltry, 33-percent shooting display.
If not for junior forward Marc Loving, whose 19 points and five three-pointers buoyed the Buckeyes, things might have been worse. Senior forward Sam Thompson had 15, freshman guard D'Angelo Russell chipped in 11, and senior guard Shannon Scott had 10.
The Buckeyes play Miami (Ohio) Monday at 6 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||NORTH CAROLINA|
|25-72 (34.7)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||29-65 (44.6)|
|10-29 (34.5)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||3-13 (23.1)|
|14-18 (77.8)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||21-33 (63.6)|
|16||PTS OFF TURNOVERS||13|
|20||POINTS IN PAINT||34|