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NCAA Tournament 2012, Ohio State Vs. Loyola: Buckeyes Roll In Opener, Will Face Gonzaga On Sunday

The Ohio State Buckeyes were impressive in their NCAA Tournament opener against Loyola, keeping the No. 15 seed Greyhounds are arm's length for the entire second half and cruising to a 78-59 win. They will now move on to face Gonzaga, who looked extremely impressive in their blowout of West Virginia in the Mountaineers backyard.

Deshaun Thomas was the star of the game, putting up huge numbers in a double-double effort. He scored a game-high 31 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds. Thomas is never shy to get his shots up and fill it up on the offensive end, and he simply overmatched Loyola in the paint. Jared Sullinger was content letting Thomas do the work on the offensive end, but the Buckeye star still added a double-double effort of his own, scoring 12 points and getting 10 boards. William Buford added 17 points from the outside.

The Buckeyes didn't shoot particularly well, especially from the outside but their size and skill on the inside was too much on both ends of the floor. The Bulldogs from Spokane will certainly present a much tougher test in that regard, but it was a good way to tip off the tournament for OSU.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Buckeyes, visit Along The Olentangy, SB Nation's Ohio State blog. For all your NCAA tournament news and analysis, be sure to visit SB Nation's college hoops hub.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.