Hasn’t it been an odd tournament so far this year? We’ve had, as of today, 11 upsets so far, and we aren’t just talking number 5 seeds beating number 4’s either, we are talking some major bracket busters. There’s been a number 1 fall, Pittsburgh lost in epically ignorant fashion to Butler, and the Southwest part of the bracket features a #10, #11, and a #12 in the Sweet 16.
Thankfully, amid all the close finishes and upsets, there is one team who is looking like they are supposed to, and that’s the overall number 1 seed, the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes have won their first two tourney games by a combined 62 points and they have done it using every weapon in their considerable arsenal.
Their latest victory, 98-66 Sunday against upset-minded George Mason, was the perfect example of a number 1 seed taking care of business.
They started the game sluggish, getting behind 11-2 early, before exploding on a 50-15 run to finish the first half. They kept the momentum rolling in the second half and easily rolled into the Sweet 16. Their dominating performance was just too much for a George Mason squad who just couldn’t seem to catch their breath in this affair.
"They’re the toughest squad that we faced," Patriots forward Ryan Pearson said. "When they got guys that’s just hitting on all cylinders, all night long, and they’re sharing the ball and they’re just going out there and just having fun, it’s kind of tough for the opponent to stop.
"They just made shots. And even when we tried to cut the lead and come out, they just came right back at us, firing on all cylinders. They’re a great program, they’re a tough team to beat. I think they’re going to go real far in this tournament."
Through the first two games, the Buckeyes have been shooting the ball lights out. They have shot 58% from the field and a stunning 56% from behind the arc.
"We’re trying to make a statement," guard William Buford said. "We want to let everybody know we mean business."
Ohio State brings what few teams can boast to the table each game, a devastating inside game complimented by and equally impressive outside attack. That dual threat makes the Buckeyes the team to beat in this tournament and will create havoc for anyone who has the misfortune to run up against them in the next few rounds.
"You’ve got great shooters outside and you’ve also got power post men sitting in the block," George Mason guard Cam Long said. "So when you’re trying to shut down one thing, they’ve got other things that open up. And if you try to shut down the block, they’ve got the 3s that open up. So it’s definitely a hard thing to guard."
Ohio State continues its quest for the Championship when they face their stiffest competition, the University of Kentucky, on 3/25 at 9:45 PM EST on CBS.