For the first five minutes, George Mason looked like they had a chance to recapture their 2006 magic. The rest of the game was a different story.
Ohio State bounced back and threw down an offensive showdown we haven’t seen all season. The Buckeyes shot 61 percent from behind the arc, making 16 threes in the process. As a result, Ohio State advances to the Sweet 16 with a 98-66 win.
Ohio State’s offensive versatility is one of the reasons why they are so good. On Friday, William Buford stepped up and had a big first half. Tonight, David Lighty had a good start. David made all seven of his three points shots and finished the game with 25 points. His hot start was one of the reasons why Ohio State was able to pull away early.
Aaron Craft came off the bench and had a huge impact. To give you an idea of his effectiveness, George Mason as a team had 12 assists, Craft had 15.
Another reason why the Buckeyes dominated was due in part to their defense. After the first timeout, they communicated better; they challenged shots and didn’t allow the Patriots many second-chance looks. Their intensity didn’t allow George Mason a chance to get back in the game.
Overall, this was Ohio State’s best game of the season. For now, the team can celebrate what has to be the most solid performance of any team in the tournament so far. They are such a fun team to watch, and they certainly have what it takes to win it all.
Next weekend provides the Buckeyes a huge game. On Friday, they’ll play Kentucky. The Wildcats possess size, good perimeter shooting and athleticism. This should be a good challenge for Ohio State. Of course, if they continue to play like this, it’s going to be hard for any team to stop them.