In an opening weekend full of startling results -- Lehigh and Norfolk State each scored rare 15-seed-over-2-seed upsets -- let's not the No. 13 seed Ohio Bobcats' win over the No. 4 seed Michigan Wolverines get lost in the shuffle.
Heading into this season, only 22 No. 13 seeds had downed a No. 4 (according to Wikipedia). But the Bobcats made it 23 thanks in large part to a huge performance from D.J. Cooper.
Cooper, who led Ohio in scoring this season with an average of 14.9 point per game, scored a game-high 21 points against the Wolverines. He also nailed three triples and chipped in five dimes. Nine different Bobcats logged playing time, but none played more than Cooper's 37 minutes. Walter Offutt added 11 points, nine in the second half.
The Bobcats looked ripe for a potential letdown against the No. 12 seed South Florida Bulls. USF pulled ahead 14-12 and held a 27-21 halftime lead. Things were nip-and-tuck throughout the second half, with the score eventually leveling at 44. But then Ohio used a 9-2 run to build a cushion that proved sufficient, holding on for the 62-56 win. Again Cooper and Offutt led the way, scoring 19 and 21 points, respectively.
Ohio will take on North Carolina on Friday.
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