Ohio State's dream season was brought to an end Saturday evening in St. Louis as they came up just short against a physical, determined Tennessee team. As Drew and I had said all along, Bruce Pearl may act like an idiot but the man can flat out coach. And, with a taller and deeper squad, he pushed the right buttons to eliminate the Buckeyes and deny them a trip to the Elite Eight.
Truthfully I am not in the mood for a lengthy blow-by-blow account of this painful loss, but I did notice a few things that are worth metnioning:
-This team lived and died with Evan Turner all year, and never was that more apparent than tonight. He made some spectacular plays and carried Ohio State for much of the second half, but his late turnovers were terribly costly. That's the price you pay for having the ball in one player's hands so much of the time.
-David Lighty's early foul trouble opened the door for forgotten senior Jeremie Simmons and he hit a trio of big threes that helped OSU post a slight halftime lead. Of course his defense was less than stellar, but it was nice to see the kid make an important contribution.
-Jon Diebler was terrible and you hate to pin the loss on one player, but had he shot the ball at all, the Bucks would have won. And, compounding matters was the fact that he didn't do anything else to make a contribution. Tough night for number 33.
-Though killed on the boards, the Bucks had every oppotunity to win the game, but just couldn't make the plays down the stretch.
That's pretty much all I have to say about that. Great year...painful conclusion...time to get the pigskin ready boys!