2010 NCAA Tournament: Ohio Bobcats Do the Impossible!

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2010

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 18:  Armon Bassett #0 of the Ohio Bobcats drives to the net as Chris Wright #4 of the Georgetown Hoyas defends during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament on March 18, 2010 at the Dunkin Donuts Arena in Providence, Rhode Island. Ohio defeated Georgetown 97-83.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

This is why you love sports. This is why the NCAA tournament is the greatest event in all of sports. This is why you stick with your team, even when they look to have no chance.

The (14) Ohio University Bobcats did the unthinkable. In a game where they never trailed, the Bobcats dominated the (3) Georgetown Hoyas 97-83.

As an Ohio alum, I feel qualified to say that this is the biggest win for the school in the past 40 years—maybe ever. This team was under .500 in the MAC! They had to win four games in the MAC tournament as a No. 9 seed. They got blown out by the only Big East team they played (Pitt) by 25.

None of it mattered on Thursday night.

Armon Bassett is a certified legend in Athens, Ohio. The Indiana transfer dropped a game-high 32 on a team that had no way of stopping him. Time and time again, he blew by the Hoya guards and finished strong over the weak help defense. He hit everything, pull-ups, hand-in-their-face fade-aways, and was 5-for-10 from behind the three-point line.

The media keeps asking who on Georgetown should be blamed.

In reality, OU simply played lights out. They had an answer for every G-Town comeback. Every time the Hoyas would cut the lead to single digits—Bobcat nation began to panic.

Everyone except the players, that is. Never once did the team look scared or nervous. The 'Cats only had 11 turnovers.

"They were spectacular, to tell you the truth," coach John Thompson said. "They handled everything we threw at them."

Eventually even Greg Monroe, the Hoyas' best player on both ends, seemed in awe. He was twice called for traveling and twice for charges while trying to find his way to the basket, as he finished with 19 points.

Bassett's partner-in-crime turned out to be freshman D.J. Cooper. He dropped 23 points while dishing out eight assists and three swipes.

One of the steals was a ESPN top play. Cooper had one of those YouTube plays that will be viewed over and over.

It was a clean strip of Georgetown's Jason Clark followed by a full-speed half-court sprint, capped by a gorgeous alley-oop that floated near the rim before teammate DeVaughn Washington slammed it home.

"You can sit and talk tactics and strategy, and at the end of the day, sometimes it just comes down to players making plays," Thompson said. "And those two kids, over and over again, made plays, regardless of how we approached it."

The win sends Ohio (22-14) to a second-round game against No. 6 Tennessee on Saturday at Providence. Can they do it again? Could former Thad Matta assistant at Butler, Xavier, and Ohio State John Groce play OSU in the sweet 16?

You know who I'm rooting for.

Think sports don't matter? Check out the scene on campus after this epic event.


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