The Ohio State Buckeyes rolled on to the Sweet 16 today. Next weekend, they will play one of the most storied teams in college basketball — the Kentucky Wildcats — for the chance to move on to the Elite Eight.
Tonight the Buckeyes pulverized a game, but totally outmatched, George Mason team. After falling behind 11-2, the Buckeyes came roaring back behind the outside shooting of David Lighty, the inside toughness and rebounding of Jared Sullinger, the dunking prowess of Dallas Lauderdale, and the pinpoint passing and defensive intensity of point guard Aaron Craft. With Jon Diebler making a signature buzzer-beating three-pointer, the Buckeyes led at the half 52-26. The lead never dropped below 20 points thereafter as William Buford heated up, and the Buckeyes ended up winning 98-66. Every player on the team saw significant action, and senior guard Eddie Days had a chance to play and score.
Kentucky will be a more severe test than George Mason. The Wildcats were one of the best teams in the SEC. They are led by talented and athletic freshmen, including excellent guard Brandon Knight, who scored 30 points in leading Kentucky to victory over West Virginia. We’ll worry about the Wildcats later, however. For now, those of us in Buckeye Nation will relish the fact that our team is still alive to play again next week. We’ll also join Lighty, Diebler, and Lauderdale in celebrating both a big win and the fact that they received their college diplomas before the game today.