NCAA Tournament: Ohio State's Loss to Kentucky in Sweet 16 Hurts

Martha CoppCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 20: Jon Diebler #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes squats on the court before the game against the George Mason Patriots during the third of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Quicken Loans Arena on March 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

And another one bites the dust.

Buckeyes fans were stunned as they watched Ohio State lose to Kentucky in the Sweet 16, 62-60.

Ohio State, heavily favored to win the NCAA tournament, shot just 32 percent from the floor.

“Well, it was one of those games where we had a hard time putting the ball in the basket. And I think Kentucky obviously defensively did a tremendous job challenging our shots,” Coach Thad Matta said at Friday night’s postgame press conference.

“You know, it came down to a couple of plays. Jon [Diebler] hit a huge shot. You know, they came down hit a big shot. “

Diebler added, “I think honestly, some of the shots we missed are shots we have been making all year. It is one of those games you have to give them [Kentucky] credit. I thought they did a good job of challenging shots obviously with their length.

"Again, we are going against length all year and those are shots that we make, and tonight they weren't going in.”

Even with the look of graciousness of their faces, it was obvious the Buckeyes were still heartbroken.

“It hurts, just because we felt we could make a run at the championship. You know by no means were we overlooking this team…we had a great run, but it does hurt to kind of end like this, especially this is where we ended last year,” Diebler said.

“Obviously, every team wants to finish in Houston. You can't take away with what we did this season in the regular season. We had a great run, but it does hurt to kind of end like this, especially since this is where we ended last year.”

At the end of the game, Diebler was seen pulling his jersey over his face and screaming into it.

Though the team stands resolute that this is a team loss, one can’t help notice Will Buford’s poor performance. Buford, who is the second highest scorer on the team, was just 2-for-16 against the Wildcats. One of Buford’s misses was a three-point jumper that could have won the game.

“There have been games like this where we haven't made shots, but you have to find other ways to win the game,” veteran David Lighty said.

With Ohio State’s loss, Kansas is the only remaining No. 1 seed. Kentucky will face North Carolina on Sunday.