Ohio State vs. Kansas Final Four Game Notes

Jody Victor: Here’s some great Buckeye Final Four basketball news from osu.edu  and OhioSateBuckeyes.com.

No. 2 seed Ohio State (31-7) vs. No. 2 seed Kansas (31-6)
National Semifinal
Date: Saturday, March 31 – 8:50 p.m. ET
Site: New Orleans, La., Mercedes-Benz Superdome (74,400)
Television: CBS Jim Nantz (Play by Play), Clark Kellogg (Expert Analysis), Steve Kerr (expert analysis), Tracy Wolfson (Sideline)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:Paul Keels (play-by-play), Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Ohio State and The NCAA Tournament
This is Ohio State’s 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 45-22 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in 10 Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State has finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968). The Buckeyes have played in three-consecutive NCAA “Sweet 16s,” a feat last accomplished from 1960-62. Ohio State has made 14 “Sweet 16” appearances in NCAA Tournament play and has 11 “Elite Eight” appearances.

The 2012 NCAA Tournament
The  No. 2-seeded Buckeyes entered the 2012 NCAA Tournament after a 2-1 record in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Thad Matta, in his eighth year as head coach, has taken the Buckeyes to six NCAA tournaments during his time in Columbus, including a title game appearance in 2007.  

Ohio State enters the 2012 NCAA Final Four with a 31-7 overall record and as co-champions of the Big Ten with a 13-5 regular season record. Ohio State has won 20 Big Ten titles and is making its 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State vs. Kansas
Ohio State is 3-5 against Kansas all-time. The Buckeyes last played Kansas Dec. 10, 2011 in Lawrence. That game pitted a pair of ranked teams with No. 2 Ohio State falling to the No. 13 Jayhawks 78-67. The Buckeyes are 18-21 all-time vs. teams representing the current alignment of Big 12 teams. Only Baylor has never faced the Buckeyes previously.

Last Time vs. Kansas
No. 13 Kansas 78, No. 2 Ohio State 67
Dec. 10, 2011, Lawrence, Kan.
Thomas Robinson scored 21 points, Elijah Johnson added 15 and No. 13 Kansas never trailed in a 78-67 victory over second-ranked Ohio State, which played without forward Jared Sullinger, who was out with back spasms. KU freshman forward Kevin Young came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points and Tyshawn Taylor had nine points and a career-best 13 assists for the Jayhawks. William Buford had 17 of his 21 points in the second half for Ohio State, which was playing on the road for the first time this season. Deshaun Thomas added 19 points. The Buckeyes were missing Sullinger, a preseason All-American, for the second straight game. It was a big loss for the Buckeyes. Not only, at the time,  did Sullinger average better than 19 points and 10 rebounds, he also would have been tasked with guarding Robinson, another All-America candidate. Robinson was quiet much of the first half, but he came through down the stretch, scoring 10 of his points in the final four minutes to help wrap up the win. Kansas wound up shooting 58.3 percent from the field, while the Buckeyes made 39 percent.

Late Nights with the Buckeyes
The 8:50 p.m. ET tip time vs. Kansas Saturday marks the 15th time this season Ohio State tipped at 8:30 p.m. or later. Eight of those contests have been on the road or on a neutral court. The Buckeyes are 12-2 in late night starts, 5-2 away from Columbus heading into the Final Four.  

Buckeyes in the 2012 NCAA Tournament
Five Buckeyes average in double figures in the four wins in NCAA tournament play this year. Sophomore Deshaun Thomas averages 21.8 points and 8.5 rebounds. He has connected on 52 percent of his shots from the field (35-67), blocked five shots and has made 10 of 12 foul shots (.833). Jared Sullinger averages 18 points in the four NCAA wins while adding 8.3 rebounds. William Buford contributes 11.8 points while Lenzelle Smith Jr. (11.3 ppg) and Aaron Craft (10.3 ppg) also contribute double-figure scoring. Craft has handed out 23 assists and recorded 13 steals while scoring on 52 percent of his shots (11-21). Smith  has picked up his offensive game as well with 7 of 15 accuracy from 3-point range (.467) and 14 of 26 shooting overall (.538). He also has knocked down 10 of 14 foul shots (.714).

Thomas, Sullinger Step up in March
In six postseason games this season, Ohio State is 6-1 with the loss coming in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament title game to Michigan State, 68-64. Deshaun Thomas is averaging 20.3 points with Jared Sullinger adding 21.8 points a game. Thomas is making 54 percent of his field goals (58-107). Sullinger is shooting at a 52 percent clip (49-95). William Buford contributes 11.3 ppg. Aaron Craft has dished out 38 assists, recorded 3 blocks and has 20 steals. As a team, the Buckeyes are making 74 percent of their foul shots (115-156).

Craft Sets Ohio State Steals Record
With three steals in the third-round win over Gonzaga, Aaron Craft recorded his 88th theft of the season, breaking the record of 87 steals set by Mike Conley Jr. in 2007. Craft has 168 career steals in just two seasons, good for No. 3 all-time on the career steals chart. Jay Burson is the career leader with 204 from 1986-89. David Lighty (2007-11) is No. 2 with 191.

Sullinger selected 2012 AP All-American
Jared Sullinger was named a 2012 Associated Press First Team All-American, the organization announced March 26. Sullinger was selected a first team honoree as a freshman as well. Ohio State has had a member of the AP first team in each of the last three seasons. Evan Turner was so honored in 2010.

Sullinger selected USBWA All-American
Jared Sullinger was selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as a 2012 First Team All-American, the second-consecutive year the organization selected Sullinger for the honor. Ohio State has had a USBWA first team All-American in each of the last three seasons. Evan Turner was so honored as a junior in 2010.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Buckeyes Bound for Beantown

Jody Victor: Here’s some great Buckeye basketball news from osu.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

Date: March 22, 2012
No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (29-7) vs. No. 6 seed Cincinnati Bearcats (26-10)
Site: TD Garden (18,624)
Game Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
Television: CBS
Talent: Verne Lundquist (Play by Play)
           Bill Raftery (Expert Analysis)
           Lesley Visser (Sideline)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
                    Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Ohio State and THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
This is Ohio State’s 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 43-22 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in nine Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State has finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968). The Buckeyes have played in three-consecutive NCAA “Sweet 16s,” a feat last accomplished from 1960-62. The Buckeyes have made 14 “Sweet 16” appearances in NCAA Tournament play.

The 2012 NCAA Tournament
The  No. 2-seeded Buckeyes entered the 2012 NCAA Tournament after a 2-1 record in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Thad Matta, in his eighth year as head coach, has taken the Buckeyes to six NCAA tournaments during his time in Columbus, including a title game appearance in 2007.
    Ohio State enters the 2012 NCAA East Regional Semifinal with a 29-7 overall record and as co-champions of the Big Ten with a 13-5 regular season record. Ohio State has won 20 Big Ten titles and is making its 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Late Night with the Buckeyes
The 9:45 p.m. ET tip time vs. Cincinnati Thursday marks the 14th time this season Ohio State tipped at 8:30 p.m. or later. Seven of those contests have been on the road or on a neutral court. The Buckeyes are 11-2 in late night starts, 4-2 away from Columbus.  

The Buckeyes in NCAA 2nd/3rd Games
Four Buckeyes averaged in double figures in the NCAA Second and Third Round wins in Pittsburgh last week. Sophomore Deshaun Thomas averaged 24.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. He connected on 54 percent of his shots from the field (20-37), handed out a pair of assists, blocked four shots and made 5 of 6 foul shots (.833.). William Buford and Jared Sullinger averaged 15 points in the wins and Aaron Craft contributed 12.5 ppg. Sullinger pitched in with 7.5 rebounds and Lenzelle Smith added 6.5 boards a game. Craft was 8 for 11 from the field (.727) and recorded 14 assists and six steals. Sullinger made 9 of 11 foul shots (.818) and Buford made 7 of 8 free throws (.875). The starting unit made 32-38 from the charity stripe (.842).

Thomas, Sullinger Step up in March
In five postseason games this season, Ohio State is 4-1 with the loss coming in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament title game to Michigan State, 68-64. Deshaun Thomas is averaging 20.8 points with Jared Sullinger adding 20.4 points a game. Thomas is making 56 percent of his field goals (43-77). Sullinger is shooting at a 51 percent clip (37-73). Aaron Craft is shooting 59 percent (20-34) to average 10.2 points. William Buford contributes 12.4 ppg. Craft has dished out 29 assists, recorded 3 blocks and has 13 steals. As a team, the Buckeyes are making 75 percent of their foul shots (65-87).

Craft sets Ohio State steals record
With three steals in the win over Gonzaga, Aaron Craft recorded his 88th theft of the season, breaking the record of 87 steals set by Mike Conley Jr. in 2007. Craft has 161 career steals in just two seasons, good for the No. 4 all-time on the career steals chart. Dennis Hopson owns the No. 3 spot with 164. Jay Burson is the career leader with 204 from 1986-89. David Lighty (2007-11) is No. 2 with 191.

Sullinger Selected USBWA All-American
Jared Sullinger was selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as a 2012 First Team All-American, the second-consecutive year the organization selected Sullinger for the honor. Ohio State has had a USBWA first team All-American in each of the last three seasons. Evan Turner was so honored as a junior in 2010.

Ohio State in the 2012 Big Ten Tourney
Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas were named to the 2012 All-Big Tournament Team after leading the Buckeyes to the title game, Ohio State’s fourth-consecutive trip to the championship contest and the sixth in eight years for Thad Matta. Sullinger averaged 24 points and nine rebounds while Thomas contributed 18.3 points and 6.3 boards. Sullinger made 28 of 50 shots from the field (.560) and knocked down 14 of 16 foul shots (.875). Thomas scored on 23 of 40 shots (.575). Aaron Craft recorded 15 assists and seven steals while averaging 8.7 points. Senior William Buford, who played in his fourth title game, averaged 10.7 points.  

Buckeyes vs. Cincinnati
Ohio State is 5-4 in the all-time series vs. Cincinnati. The Buckeyes won the most recent meeting 72-50 Dec. 16, 2006 in the 2006 Wooden Tradition. That game was played on a neutral court in Indianapolis. The Bearcats own two wins vs. the Buckeyes in NCAA tournament play, both in the NCAA title game in 1961 and 1962.

Jody Victor

Buckeyes Begin NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh

Jody Victor: Here’s some great Buckeye basketball news from osu.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

2012 Postseason Guide
Date: March 15, 2012
No. 2 Seed Ohio State (27-7) vs. No. 15 Seed Loyola University Maryland (24-8)

Site: Consol Energy Center (19,000)
Game Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
Television: TNT
Talent: Kevin Harlan (Play by Play)
Len Elmore & Reggie Miller (Expert Analysis)
Marty Snider (Sideline)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

 

Ohio State and The NCAA Tournament
This is Ohio State’s 24th appearances in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 41-22 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in nine Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State has finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968). The Buckeyes have played in two-consecutive NCAA “Sweet 16s,” a feat last accomplished in 1991, 1992. The Buckeyes have made 13 “Sweet 16” appearances in NCAA Tournament play.

The 2012 NCAA Tournament
The No. 2-seeded Buckeyes enter the 2012 NCAA Tournament after a 2-1 record in the 2012 Big Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Thad Matta, in his eighth year as head coach, has taken the Buckeyes to six NCAA tournaments during his time in Columbus, including a title game appearance in 2007.

Ohio State enters the 2012 NCAA event with a 27-7 overall record and as co-champions of the Big Ten with a 13-5 regular season record. Ohio State has won 20 Big Ten titles and is making its 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State vs. 2012 NCAA Field 551-486 (531)
Ohio State vs. East Region 119-84 (.586)
Ohio State vs. West Region 101-91 (.526)
Ohio State vs. South Region 112-124 (.475)
Ohio State vs. Midwest Region 219-187 (.539)
2012 Ohio State Opponents in NCAA Field 9 (10-6 rcd.)

EAST: Wisconsin (1-1); WEST: Michigan State (1-2), Florida (1-0); SOUTH: Duke (1-0), Indiana (1-1); MIDWEST: Kansas (0-1), Michigan (2-1), Purdue (2-0), Lamar (1-0).

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor

Buford Powers No. 10 Buckeyes Past No. 5 Spartans 72-70

Jody Victor: Ohio State concluded the regular season in a three-way tie for the Big Ten title. Here’s some great Buckeyes basketball news from osu.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Ohio State’s only senior ended Michigan State’s regular season on a sour note.

William Buford made a high-arcing jumper from the top of the key with 1 second left, lifting the 10th-ranked Buckeyes to a 72-70 win over the fifth-ranked Spartans on Sunday to forge a three-way tie for the Big Ten championship.

“I was fortunate to knock down the big shot of the night to give us another Big Ten title,” Buford said.

Draymond Green had a chance to put the Spartans ahead in his final home game with 32 seconds left, but missed a long fadeaway from the right wing. Just before the buzzer, Green had a heave that missed the mark.

Buford’s game-winning shot made a once-raucous arena nearly silent and gave a group of people elsewhere in the state a reason to shout with joy.

The Buckeyes (25-6, 13-5) earned a share of their third straight conference championship – and fifth in seven years. They also forced the Spartans (24-7, 13-5) to settle for just a piece of it and ended a quarter-century drought for No. 13 Michigan.

The Wolverines, who won their first Big Ten title since 1986, watched their rivals play from the school’s basketball facility in Ann Arbor after winning at Penn State earlier in the day.

“It was silent the whole time (Buford’s shot) was in the air,” said Michigan guard Trey Burke, who is from Columbus, Ohio. “Once it went in, everybody just flooded the hallway, jumping up and down.”

Michigan State will be the top-seeded team in the Big Ten tournament, which begins Thursday in Indianapolis. Michigan will be No. 2 and Ohio State No. 3.

Michigan State jumped out to a 15-point lead over Ohio State in the first half, but let the advantage slip away just as it did with a two-game lead in the Big Ten race with two games left in the regular season.

“No excuses,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said, looking and sounding somber. “We just didn’t get it done.”

The Buckeyes seized an opportunity created when the Spartans had a seven-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night at Indiana.

“Luckily enough the Big Ten’s one of the toughest conferences in the country and it gave us a chance to get a hat and get a shirt,” Jared Sullinger said.

Buford scored just four points when Michigan State ended Ohio State’s 39-game home winning streak last month. He returned the favor with his game-winning shot and by scoring 19 of his 25 points in the second half, handing the Spartans their first loss at home this season.

“I just came in with a different mindset,” Buford said. “During that last play, I wasn’t going to miss.”

Sullinger had 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting and Deshaun Thomas scored nine of his 12 points in the second half for the Buckeyes, who rallied to beat a motivated team that desperately wanted to win an outright championship after starting the season unranked.

baseline and finishing 6 of 18 from the field with 19 points, 12 rebounds and a game-high four turnovers.

Brandon Wood scored 15 points and Derrick Nix had 11 off the bench, while Keith Appling was held to two of his 11 points after halftime for the Spartans, who lost standout freshman Branden Dawson in the first half with an injured left knee.

Dawson has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Even with Michigan State’s students on spring break, there was big-game buzz in the Breslin Center and the fans had plenty to stand and cheer about when the Spartans went on a 12-0 run to take a 19-7 lead.

“It was looking pretty bleak,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.

Michigan State led 24-9 midway through the first half, then had a setback that will hurt heading into the Big Ten tournament this week and the NCAA tournament the following week.

Dawson injured his left knee with 10:16 left in the first half. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward, who ranks third on the team in scoring, second in rebounds and perhaps first in athletic ability, rubbed his left knee while his leg was propped up on a chair and later walked gingerly to the locker room.

After the game, Michigan State said Dawson has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

Sullinger missed his first five shots and was 2 of 10 in the first half, but stayed active and aggressive enough to make all four of his free throws and to score eight points to help Ohio State trail by just nine at halftime.

The Buckeyes scored the first six points of the second half and went ahead 52-51 with 9:53 left to take their first lead since scoring the game’s first two points.

For the rest of the game, each team took a turn with a small lead, exchanging shots and banging bodies in a test that should prepare both for the rest of the month. In the second half, there were nine lead changes and seven ties.

“This is about as high a level game as you can see,” Matta said. “I’m happy we were on this side of it.”

Michigan State’s team posed for pictures – without smiling – in front of a Big Ten championship banner during a postgame ceremony to honor its seniors. When it was Izzo’s turn to address the crowd, he vowed that the Spartans would bounce back at the Big Ten tournament.

Jody Victor