Ohio State Basketball
March 23, 2012 by staff
Ohio State Basketball, Jared Sullinger and the Ohio State Buckeyes had blown a 12-point lead and fallen behind Cincinnati in the second half of the East Regional semifinals. It was time for the “cool guys” to take a seat, and let the blue-collar team take over.
Sullinger scored 23 points with 11 rebounds and Ohio State turned back Cincinnati’s last charge with a 17-1 run to beat the Bearcats 81-66 on Thursday night and advance to the NCAA regional finals for the first time since 2007.
“We’ve got two types of basketball teams: We’ve got the cool guys and then the blue-collar guys,” Sullinger explained. “I thought to start the second half we got into the cool-guy mode and we kind of let our guard down. … I mean, we just came out and decided to be cool guys, and they came out and they stung us, and then we got ourselves back into another basketball game.”
Deshaun Thomas scored 26 points for the second-seeded Buckeyes (30-7), who will play Syracuse at the TD Garden on Saturday. Aaron Craft added 11 points – all in the second half – with five assists and six steals, taking charge during the second-half run that turned a four-point deficit into a double-digit lead.
Cashmere Wright scored 18 and Sean Kilpatrick had 15 for the No. 6-seeded Bearcats, who were attempting to match Big East rival Syracuse by beating a Big Ten opponent to advance to the East Regional finals. The top-seeded Orange advanced earlier Thursday by beating fourth-seeded Wisconsin 64-63.
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