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Home Sports Originally published March 23, 2012

No. 1 Syracuse to Face No. 2 Ohio State in Elite Eight

NCAA Basketball Tournament (Men) – East Region

by AFRO Staff

    Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas (1) celebrates in front of Cincinnati's Yancy Gates (34) and JaQuon Parker (44) as time winds down in an East Regional semifinal of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Thursday, March 22, 2012, in Boston. Ohio State defeated Cincinnati 81-66. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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No. 2 seed Ohio State took care of business as they easily beat No. 6 seed Cincinnati, 81-66, in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament March 22 at TD Bank Garden in Boston, Mass.

Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger, one of the premiere big men in the country, led Ohio State with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow sophomore Deshaun Thomas added 26 points as the Buckeyes went on a 17-1 run to close out Cincinnati, advancing to the Elite Eight round.

Ohio State (30-7) will face Syracuse March 24 at 7 pm for a slot in the Final Four.

“[Ohio State] Coach (Thad) Matta has been through two Sweet 16s where the train kind of stopped. And we wanted to make sure that this train was going to keep rolling,” Sullinger told reporters after the game. “It’s tremendous to be in a situation like this, and it's a blessing. But at the same time we can't lose focus.”

Meanwhile No. 1 seed Syracuse barely survived No. 4 seed Wisconsin, 64-63. Wisconsin senior guard Jordan Taylor missed a three-point attempt as time expired, giving the Orangemen the victory.

“We were just trying to get an open shot and try and make them rotate in the zone,” Taylor told ESPN. “We did a little bit, but they did a good job of recovering to open guys there. They used the length that they have and kind of forced us into a tough shot, and it obviously didn't go down. So it was tough. Hats off to them.”

Syracuse sophomore forward C.J. Fair led his team with 15 points and seven rebounds. Taylor led the game with 17 points despite the game-losing shot.