March 31, 2007
Thad Matta's Buckeyes were able to survive and move on, beating the Georgetown Hoyas. Ohio State won its 22nd straight game while moving to Monday night's title game.
Mike Conley's early start was a big plus as the Buckeyes led at halftime. He had great penetration ability and scoring on drives, with 11 first-half points. Amazing to see Ohio State up four at half considering Greg Oden picked up his second foul with 17:19 left before intermission.
Oden was a big factor in the second half, scoring eight of the Buckeyes first 15 points after leaving the locker room.
For Georgetown, the inability to get Jeff Green shots was a major factor. Ohio State did a great job neutralizing Green as he was a non-factor. The multi-dimensional, Big East Player of the Year was held to just nine points.
You have to appreciate the development of Roy Hibbert, He truly has improved though plagued by foul trouble.
Ohio State made several runs when Hibbert was on the sideline, including a 7-0 streak when Hibbert picked up his fourth with 8:50 left.
Foul problems hurt both Goliaths, but when they played, they were important.
The Buckeyes, with such a young team (Oden, Conley, David Lighty and Daequan Cook), coupled with veterans like Jamar Butler, Ron Lewis and Ivan Harris, are going to the championship game. Butler and Harris had important contributions as well.
Matta, at age 39, is coaching for a national championship, baby!
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.