Ohio State, Indiana Win Close To Home In Dayton

Ohio State Beats Wisconsin For B10 Title (Image 1)

Ohio State
and Indiana – two of the Big Ten's big boys – moved on in the NCAA tournament,
playing impressively on a court close to home.

Come Sunday, they'll
go in different directions – either West or East or back home to unpack for
good.

Sam Thompson had
career highs with 20 points and 10 rebounds Friday night, part of a dominating
performance by Ohio
State's
high-flying front line, and the Buckeyes ran away to a 95-70 victory over Iona in the second round
of the West Regional.

The second-seeded Buckeyes (27-7) are in
prime March form with nine straight wins, including their last five games of
the regular season and a run to the Big Ten tournament title.

“We have a lot
of confidence,” Thompson said. “We know that if we come out and do
the things we're supposed to do on both sides of the ball, we could beat any
team in the country.”

They next play
10th-seeded Iowa State
(23-11), with the winner moving on to Los Angeles. The Cyclones ran away from
Notre Dame 76-58 in the final game Friday night, showing they can do much more
than just shoot.

Freshman forward
Georges Niang matched a season high with 19 points, and the Cyclones pulled
away by making 12 of their first 14 shots in the second half. Iowa State also forced Notre
Dame (25-10) into an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers, 14 of them in the first
half.

“I'm so proud of
the guys, the way they came out right from the beginning of the game. We
executed our game plan perfectly,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I
thought we shared the ball. I thought our spacing was very good. And we got
around the rim much better in the second half. It was nice to be able to pull
away at the end to get our guys in there.”

Notre Dame's final
game as part of the Big East was one of its worst, ending with yet another NCAA
tournament disappointment.

“They are really
good, and I'm thoroughly disappointed in us tonight,” coach Mike Brey
said. “It's crushing that we weren't better in the first half and better
with the basketball. They had a lot to do with it.

“It's a hard one
to swallow. I don't want to take anything away from Iowa State – they're so
potent offensively. They keep your spread, and at times I really felt it was
men playing against boys most of the night.”

Indiana, the top seed
in the East Regional, swatted away James Madison 83-62 earlier in the
afternoon, setting up a game on Sunday against Temple. The winner heads to
Washington, D.C.

Point guard Yogi
Ferrell scored Indiana's first nine points and had 14 in the first six minutes,
setting up a comfortable win over a No. 16 seed. Indiana (28-6) led by 21 at
halftime and pushed it to 33 in the second half before easing up on the Dukes
(21-15), who won their first tournament game in 30 years as part of the First
Four in Dayton earlier in the week.

“I've been
waiting for this all week,” said Ferrell, who added eight rebounds and six
assists. “A lot of us are jacked up to get out here, play against some
different competition.”

James Madison beat
LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday in Dayton and thought it could hang with the
Hoosiers. It was never close.

“It will be a
learning experience, especially for my youngest guys,” Dukes coach Matt
Brady said. “They played a dynamite first half, and it really took us a
first half to catch up to the speed with which they play.”

Next up for the
Hoosiers are the ninth-seeded Owls (24-9), who came away from a 76-72 win over
North Carolina State
with a major concern.

Khalif Wyatt, the
Atlantic 10's player of the year and top scorer, hurt his left thumb in the
second half and finished the game with a grimace. He managed to score 31
points, including six decisive free throws in the final 32 seconds.

A Temple team
accustomed to being one-and-done at NCAA tournament time got to move on because
of the senior guard's performance. There's no telling how much his non-shooting
hand will bother him Sunday.

“He's as tough a
competitor as I've had an opportunity to coach,” Temple's Fran Dunphy
said. “He wants the moment.”

The Owls made the
tournament each of the last five years, losing their opening game all but once.
They haven't been to the round of 16 since 2001, when they reached the regional
final. They're one big upset away from getting there again.

The Wolfpack (24-11)
went to the round of 16 last season and yearned for a deep tournament run in a
year dedicated to their most famous finish. Richard Howell had 14 points and 15
rebounds for N.C. State.

The Wolfpack are
commemorating the 30-year anniversary of their national title under coach Jim
Valvano. That's when Lorenzo Charles grabbed Dereck Whittenburg's off-target
shot and slammed it home at the buzzer for a 54-52 win over Houston, sending
Valvano on his joyous ramble around the court.

Wyatt cut off any
hopes of a last-second win this time.

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s