March 25, 2011
No. 1 seed Ohio State (34-2) vs. No. 4 seed Kentucky (27-8)
Site: Prudential Center (18,500)
Game Time: 9:45 p.m. (approx.)
Talent: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Clark Kellogg (expert analysis), Tracy Wolfson (sideline)
Radio: OSU Radio Network (60 stations)
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play), Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Setting the Scene
The overall No. 1-seeded Buckeyes enter their 13th appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 after knocking off Texas-San Antonio and George Mason in the second and third rounds, respectively, last weekend in Cleveland. Thad Matta, in his seventh year as head coach, will lead the Buckeyes against No. 4 seed Kentucky (27-8) at 9:45 p.m. ET Friday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The winner of the East Regional Semifinal game between the Buckeyes and Wildcats will take on the winner of the other semifinal game between No. 2 seed North Carolina (28-7) and No. 11 seed Marquette (22-14) Sunday.
Ohio State enters the East Regional semifinal vs. Kentucky with a 34-2 overall record and the Big Ten regular-season (16-2) and tournament titles to their credit. The Buckeyes won their 13th outright (19th overall) Big Ten regular-season title and their third league tournament crown in six appearances this year.
Ohio State vs. 2011 NCAA Field 581-516
Ohio State vs. East Region 49-51
Ohio State vs. West Region 146-100
Ohio State vs. Southwest Region 179-204
Ohio State vs. Southeast Region 207-161
2011 Ohio State Opponents in NCAA Field 13 (18-2 rcd.)
EAST: UTSA (1-0), George Mason (1-0); WEST: Michigan (3-0), Oakland (1-0), Penn State (3-0); SOUTHWEST: Florida State (1-0), Illinois (2-0), Morehead State (1-0), Purdue (1-1); SOUTHEAST: Florida (1-0), Michigan State (1-0), Wisconsin (1-1), UNC-Asheville (1-0)
Seniors Graduated March 20
Four Ohio State seniors graduated following winter graduation ceremonies March 20 in Columbus. David Lighty (consumer affairs), Jon Diebler (business marketing), Dallas Lauderdale (strategic communication) and Nikola Kecman (aviation management) did not go through ceremonies in Columbus but were awarded diplomas during an on-court ceremony before the team’s shootaround last Sunday in Cleveland. Another senior, Eddie Days of Richmond Heights, Ohio, is scheduled to graduate with a degree in family financial services following Ohio State’s 2011 Spring Quarter.
The Buckeyes in 2011 Postseason play
In five postseason games this year, three in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament and two in NCAA tournament play, the Buckeyes have a margin of victory of 17.0 ppg. Ohio State is shooting 49 percent from the field (135-275) and has outrebounded opponents by 8.2 boards a game. Jared Sullinger is averaging 15.6 points and 11.8 rebounds this postseason with William Buford adding 15.4 ppg. and 4.6 rpg. Jon Diebler contributes 14.2 ppg and has made 15 of 34 from 3-point range (.441). Aaron Craft has handed out 30 assists against just seven turnovers while senior David Lighty has 14 assists and is shooting 53 percent from the field (18-34) and 71 percent from 3-point range (10-14). Sullinger has gone to the line 46 times with 30 makes. He also leads the team with six steals. Ohio State opponents are shooting just 38 percent from the field (107-279) and 34 percent from 3-point range (35-103). Opponents have fared well from the foul line, hitting 45-51 charity tosses (.885).
Ohio State In 2011 NCAA Games
Five Buckeyes are averaging in double figures after two 2011 NCAA Tournament games. William Buford tops Ohio State scorers with 18 points a game. He is followed by David Lighty (16.5 ppg.), Jared Sullinger (14.5 ppg.), Jon Diebler (13.5 ppg.) and Deshaun Thomas off the bench with 10.0 ppg.). Aaron Craft has 22 assists, including an Ohio State record 15 helpers in the George Mason game last Sunday. Ohio State is making 56 percent of its 3-point attempts (28-50) with Lighty hitting on 9 of 10 (.900), Buford 7-12 (.583) and Diebler 8-16 (.500). Ohio State has assists on 49 of 65 total made field goals in the tournament.
As a team in the 2011 NCAA Tournament
No. 1 FG% Game 36-59/.610 vs. GMU
No. 1 3FGs Made Game 16 vs. GMU
No. 1 3FG% Game 16-26/.615 vs. GMU
No. 1 Assists Game 26 vs. GMU
No. 2 Points 98 vs. GMU
No. 2 Field Goals 36 vs. GMU
No. 1 Scoring Margin +30.5 ppg.
No. 1 FG% 65-111/.586
No. 1 in 3FG% 28-50/.560
No. 1 Assists 49/24.5 apg.
No. 2 3FG Made 14.0 per game
No. 3 Ast-TO Ratio +2.2
No. 3 Scoring 86.5 ppg.
No. 3 Scoring Def. 56.0 ppg.
OSU Individuals in the 2011 NCAA Tournament
No. 1 David Lighty, 3FG% Game 7-7/1.00
No. 1 Aaron Craft, Assists Game 15 vs. GMU
No. 2 Aaron Craft, Total Assists 22/11.0 apg.
No. 3 David Lighty, 3FG% 9-10/.900
No. 4 David Lighty, FG% 12-15 (.800)
No. 5 David Lighty, 3FGs 9/4.5 pg
No. 7 Jon Diebler, 3FGs 8/4.0 pg.
Buckeyes vs. Kentucky
Ohio State is 9-10 all-time in games vs. the University of Kentucky. Ohio State’s last win in the series was a 91-77 victory in the 1987 NCAA Tournament First Round in Atlanta. Ohio State is 5-0 vs. the Wildcats in NCAA tournament play. Ohio State, ranked No. 1 nationally, is 2-2 when ranked vs. Kentucky teams. When the Wildcats are ranked, Ohio State is 2-6. The Buckeyes are 1-2 in the series when both teams are ranked nationally. The Wildcats entered NCAA tournament play ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press Poll. The Wildcats have been ranked among the Top 5 in the AP poll seven times in the series while Ohio State has been a Top 5 squad three times previously. The Buckeyes are 29-26 all-time against teams from the Southeastern Conference after a win at Florida earlier this season.
The Ohio State vs. Kentucky Series
Date W/L Opponent, Score
2/8/1908 W Kentucky, 54-20
1/2/33 W @Kentucky, 46-30
12/27/39 L Kentucky, 30-36
12/13/41 W Kentucky, 43-41
1/1943 W @Kentucky, 45-40
12/13/43 L Kentucky, 28-40
12/23/44 L @Kentucky (ot), 48-53
3/2245 W 1-vs. Kentucky, 45-37
12/4/57 L Kentucky, 54-61
12/19/58 L 2-@Kentucky, 76-95(2)
12/28/59 L @Kentucky, 93(3)-96(13)
3/18/61 W 3-vs. Kentucky, 87(1)-74
3/17/62 W 4-)vs. Kentucky, 74(1)-64(3)
3/16/68 W 5-)vs. Kentucky, 82-81(5)
12/3/80 L @Kentucky, 64(9)-70(2)
12/5/81 L Kentucky, 62-78(2)
3/13/87 W 6-vs. Kentucky, 91-77
12/22/93 L 7-vs. Kentucky, 88-100(5)
12/28/96 L 8-vs. Kentucky, 65-81(3)
1-NCAA East Regionals, New York
2-Kentucky Invitational, Lexington, Ky..
3-NCAA Mideast Regionals, Louisville, Ky.
4-NCAA Mideast Regionals, Iowa City, Iowa
5-NCAA Mideast Regionals, Lexington, Ky.
6-NCAA First Round, Atlanta, Ga.
7-Maui Invitational, Maui, Hawaii
8-Gatorade Rock-n-Roll Shootout, Cleveland, Ohio
(#) indicates AP poll ranking at time of game
Sullinger Finalist for Naismith Award
With freshman standout Jared Sullinger looking to follow in the footsteps of 2010 winner Evan Turner, Ohio State is hoping to produce the first back-to-back Naismith Men’s College Players of the year since Duke’s Shane Battier and Jason Williams won the award in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Sullinger, along with Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Nolan Smith (Duke) and Kemba Walker (UConn) were named finalists for the 2011 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Award presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced March 20.
SPORTING NEWS NAMES SULLINGER ITS 2011 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger is Sporting News’ 2011 Freshman of the Year. Also named to the Sporting News First Team All-America squad, Sullinger enters the 2011 NCAA East Regional Semifinals leading the Buckeyes in scoring (17.1 ppg.) and rebounding (10.0 rpg.). Sullinger is just the second Ohio State freshman to reach 600 or more points in a season. He leads Ohio State at the foul line iwth 181 makes in 258 attempts (.702) and averages a steal a game for the 34-2 Buckeyes. Sullinger has the second most double-doubles for an OSU freshman with 17. Herb Williams recorded 18 D-Ds in 1977-78 in his rookie campaign.
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Ohio State is making its 23rd appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 41-21 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in nine Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State has finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968). The Buckeyes are playing in their second-consecutive NCAA Sweet 16, a feat last accomplished in 1991, 1992.
OHIO STATE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Year Region/Seed Rcd
1939 Eastern * 2-1# Finals
1944 Eastern * 1-1# Semifinals
1945 Eastern * 1-1# Semifinals
1946 Eastern * 2-1# Semifinals
1950 Eastern * 1-1 Reg. Finals
1960 Mideast * 4-0# Finals
1961 Mideast * 3-1# Finals
1962 Mideast * 3-1# Finals
1968 Mideast * 3-1# Semifinals
1971 Mideast * 1-1 Reg. Finals
1980 West/4 1-1 Reg. Semifinals
1982 East/8 0-1 First Round
1983 East/3 1-1 Reg. Semifinals
1985 Midwest/4 1-1 2nd Rnd.
1987 Southwest/9 1-1 2nd Rnd.
1990 West/8 1-1 2nd Rnd.
1991 Midwest /1 2-1 Reg. Semifinals
1992 Southwest/1 3-1 Reg. Finals
2006 Minneapolis/2 1-1 2nd Rnd.
2007 South/1 5-1# Finals
2009 Midwest/8 0-1 1st Rnd.
2010 Midwest/2 2-1 Reg. Semifinals
2011 East/1 2-0
Totals 41-21 (.661)
* Teams were not seeded prior to 1979.
# Final Four Appearance
For complete news, notes and numbers click on OHIO STATE NOTES above.