San Antonio - The Ohio State Buckeyes advance their record to 34-3 after out playing the Memphis Tigers Saturday evening. The Buckeyes will now play in the National Semi-Finals to be held on March 31st.
Greg Oden wasn't going to let foul trouble stop him, not with a chance to take Ohio State to the Final Four.
Frustrated by fouls for a third straight game, Oden made the
most of his time on court during a key stretch of the second half,
carrying the top-seeded Buckeyes past Memphis 92-76 Saturday in the
South Regional finals.
Oden's numbers weren't huge: 17 points, nine rebounds.
The 7-footer's impact was.
The Buckeyes (34-3) went from up five points to down five
deficit during the 4:42 the fabulous freshman was on the bench
after getting his third foul early in the second half. The moment
he returned, everything changed. His presence on offense and
defense sparked a 20-8 run that ultimately sent Ohio State to
Atlanta for a showdown next weekend with the winner of the North
Carolina-Georgetown game Sunday.
The Buckeyes last made the Final Four in 1999, when a team led
by Michael Redd and Scoonie Penn lost to eventual national champion
Connecticut. That trip later was expunged from the records because
of NCAA violations, making their last official appearance in 1968.
Second-seeded Memphis (33-4) fell a game shy of the Final Four
for a second straight season. The Conference USA champs were riding
a 25-game winning streak and were plenty confident they could
handle the Big Ten champs - and were doing just fine until the
260-pound future NBA lottery pick flexed his muscles.