The Ohio State Buckeyes took out the Cincinnati Bearcats 81-66 on Thursday night, but the scoreline does not even come close to defining how exciting the game was at times. After going down by 12 at halftime, the Bearcats turned it on in the second half and in a span of four minutes managed to slice the lead off until a late Buckeyes rally put them down once again.
Ohio State led for 32 of 40 minutes, but the Cincinnati run seemed like an eternity. The Buckeyes came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, making easy work of Cincinnati's 2-3 zone. DeShaun Thomas, in fact, scored 20 points in the first half alone en route to the 37-25 lead.
As has become a bit too common, however, the Buckeyes relaxed on its comfortable lead.
Jared Sullinger described this phenomenon in the postgame press conference as acting like "cool guys" when they get the lead, then having to resort back to "blue collar" guys when they get soft. The blue collar guys are one win away from a Final Four.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati blog Down The Drive knows that there is still a long way to go for this Bearcats team, despite the magical run they made in this tournament.
There is a lot of time to break down everything about this team. For now its time to face the hard truth. As far as this program has come under Mick Cronin, there is still ground to be covered. I think that Cronin got the most out of this team as possible, especially so when you consider the circumstances.
Ohio State will face No. 1 seeded Syracuse in the Elite Eight.
For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.