Ohio State’s Evan Turner is one of the top basketball players in the country, averaging 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists per game this season. But even superstar talent struggles to win against a group of stingy, defensive-minded players.
The No. 6 seeded Tennessee Volunteers proved that on March 26 as they survived Turner’s 31 points, seven rebounds and five assists to steal a 76-73 upset win over the No. 2 seed Ohio State during the Midwest Regional semifinals in St. Louis.?
Tennessee assigned one of their best defenders, J.P. Prince, to guard the explosive Turner. Prince took the responsibility seriously, focusing all his energy on containing Ohio State’s best weapon.?
“I was tired ,” Prince said. “I just said, I’ll save it all for defense. That’s all I did. I know those last two minutes I was going to make them work. I knew nobody wanted it more than I did.”?
Prince blocked Turner’s desperation shot at the buzzer, securing the win. Tennessee (28-8) will now face Michigan State on Sunday, March 28, and is two wins away from a National Championship appearance.?
“It sounds real good, and we’re livin’ it up right now,” said Wayne Chism, who led Tennessee with 22 points and 11 rebounds.?
Ohio State (29-8) was favored by many experts to reach the national title game, especially after No. 1 seed Kansas was surprisingly eliminated earlier in the NCAA Tournament.?
“Obviously, it hasn’t hit me to the point where I think it’s over,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “ distraught because this isn’t where they thought it was going to end.”