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Last updated: 03/26/2011 4:34 AM

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Men's Basketball
Buckeye Watch - NCAA Tournament - Kentucky
By Tony Gerdeman

Well, that could've gone better.

The Buckeyes lost 62-60 to Kentucky, but more devastatingly, they lost David Lighty, Jon Diebler, Dallas Lauderdale, and yes, even Eddie Days.

We got to see three of those guys emerge and mature as players and people. What they've done for the basketball program at Ohio State is hard to measure. Woody Hayes urged people to pay forward, and those guys set up a trust fund.

So now the season is over and there's a sucking void where the basketball team used to be.

In the past, we could absorb this loss much easier because spring football was right around the corner. But for a while, football might be a little too salty for most wounds around here.

The baseball team has their home opener next week. Though it's supposed to be in the low 40s.

Other than that, I got nothin'.

8:45 Charles Barkley just said that Kentucky's depth will wear out Ohio State's depth because the Buckeyes only go seven deep. Chuck, the Wildcats only go six deep.

9:45 Charles and Kenny Smith both pick Kentucky. We're good. When Charles and Kenny are against you, can't nobody not be for you.

9:49 I'm feeling better as we get closer, but it all comes down to which big man gets in foul trouble first—and there will be a big man in foul trouble.

9:51 Kentucky has only watched game film at the team meal. When I'm eating my meals, that's when I watch the Simpsons, and I know that show like the back of my hand, so Kentucky should be well-versed in the Buckeyes tonight.

9:54 Here we go.

9:56 Jared Sullinger is on Terrence Jones. He's not going to like running around the perimeter chasing him.

9:57 Doron Lamb just bounced off of Dallas Lauderdale like hail off of a tank.

9:59 David Lighty gets the first score of the game off of a baseline leaner. He was drilling them in warmups today, so hopefully that continues.

10:00 Terrence Jones just picked up his second foul. He gone! That's pretty big right there. There's still 16:51 to play in the first half.

10:01 If Kentucky continues not to double Sullinger, he'll either be living at the line, or scoring at will.

10:01 Sullinger has had two shots blocked already. That's his game though.

10:02 Gotta find Jon Diebler at some point. There's a steal by Aaron Craft on Brandon Knight. That's one. I didn't even see Craft get in the game, but I guess Thad snuck him in before the first media timeout. Good move.

10:04 I was told Kentucky's perimeter defense is lacking, but the Buckeyes haven't gotten any good looks from the outside.

10:06 There it is! Diebler squeezed through a screen, rose and fired. He shouldn't have made it, but he's Jon Diebler. Darius Miller answers with a three of his own. Buckeyes lead it 9-7.

10:08 Beautiful drive and dish by Buford leads to a Sullinger dunk. That's one way to loosen up these junk rims. And Craft forces another turnover on Brandon Knight. That's at least two.

10:09 Kentucky is fouling the Buckeyes routinely, and they're getting called for it, which is nice. David Lighty goes to the line for a couple of misses...

10:10 Huge offensive rebound and dunk for Sullinger. Okay, okay...the rim is plenty loose. Don't forget that Kentucky will be shooting at this rim in the second half.

10:11 Terrence Jones is back in the game. Don't let Calipari get away with it. Though he'll really have to foul to get his third in the first half.

10:16 The Buckeyes haven't even looked at Jones on defense to this point.

10:18 Brandon Knight finally gets the better of Craft and gets to the basket for a layup. Thad might want to call a timeout, Kentucky just beat the Buckeyes down the floor for another layup and have taken the lead 19-18. Not much rebounding going on for the Buckeyes right now.

10:19 Deshaun Thomas comes in for Buford. If Jones gets put on Thomas, it will get interesting. Oh, and the Buckeyes can't stop Harrellson. He scores every time he touches the ball.

10:20 We're at the under eight timeout and Kentucky leads it 21-20. Don't really like what I've seen from the Buckeyes right now, but offensively it's Kentucky's fault because they're playing tremendous defense. Ohio State could take a couple of tips from them.

10:21 You can't let young teams gain confidence. Look at Arizona last night.

10:24 Kentucky has made eight shots in a row? That's bad defense.

10:25 Wide, wide, wide open three for Diebler to tie the game at 23-23. Is Kentucky out there with four players?

10:27 Diebler to the rack! Brushed off a missed three with a reverse layup. Keep that confidence where it needs to be. Buckeyes lead it 25-23 with 5:22 to play.

10:28 Brandon Knight gets his second foul pushing Sullinger down low going for a rebound. Love it. Knight “knocked him to the ground”. And Terrence Jones takes Knight's place.

10:30 The Buckeyes are flopping all over the place. That's not defense.

10:31 Whoa. Harrellson was fouling out of bounds, and actually stepped out, and threw the ball off of Sullinger's chest. Business is about to pick up. Sully's just lucky that pass didn't go off of his face, because it honestly could have been deadly. Oh by the way, Harrellson has ten points and five rebounds and has yet to miss from the field. Buckeyes lead it 27-25 with 3:33 remaining in the first half.

10:35 Jones hits a three to give Kentucky the lead. They have yet to go at him on the other end to give him a third foul.

10:37 Sullinger is now 2-8 from the field. Trying to draw fouls instead of trying to finish.

10:39 There's a foul on Harrellson, charging into Sullinger. He's got two as well. That's five Wildcats with two fouls. Hopefully they'll turn this foul trouble into actual trouble in the second half.

10:40 Diebler hits one of two free throws to tie the game with 25 seconds to play. Kentucky will have the last possession. And they get nothing but a forced shot from Jones with Lighty smothering him. We go to the half tied at 30-30. The Buckeyes have not played well. They'll have to make those fouls pay off in the second half. Or maybe just score more points.

10:41 The Buckeyes have shot 59% from the field in the tournament. They're barely above half of that right now at 30.8% (8-26). Amazingly, their free throw shooting (12-15) is keeping them in this game.

10:50 Barkley just said that Harrellson is outscoring and outrebounding Sullinger. Harrellson has twelve points, Sully has ten. They both have seven rebounds. It's probably pretty easy to be a terrible analyst when you don't know what numbers are.

10:57 William Buford is 1-6. They need to free him up and get that defense spread out more. Lighty needs to keep working the curl—just don't charge.

11:02 Here we go...again. Buckeyes get the ball.

11:03 Buford hits a three after an offensive rebound by Sullinger! Interesting that he passed it out and didn't go back up with it. Playing smarter this half.

11:04 Lighty hits a three from the top of the key! Calipari calls an immediate timeout. Buckeyes lead it 36-32. Coach Cal ain't messing around. Lighty hit that with a hand in his face. The Buckeyes aren't messing around either.

11:08 Diebler picks up his second foul, both in the past two minutes. Interesting tactic by Calipari. Calculated. Will it continue?

11:10 Sullinger now gets called for a foul. Harrellson tripped over Sully's foot. The calls are evening out. Buckeyes lead it 36-35.

11:11 Doron Lamb hits a three to put Kentucky up 38-36. After the quick start, the Wildcats have gone on a little run. Great timeout by Calipari to settle his guys down, and slow the Buckeyes down. They took Ohio State's punch, and came right back at 'em.

11:17 Harrellson knocks half of the players on the court down, which somehow leads to an open Diebler three, which he makes.

11:18 Nobody can stop DeAndre Liggins right now. He's abusing Diebler and Buford, but you can't put Lighty on him because then there's nobody to take Jones. Buford needs to snap out of it. He's sleep walking.

11:20 Buford and Liggins are yacking at eachother. I like it. Let's go Willy Bu. It's 41-41 right now. 13:12 to play.

11:21 Kentucky is blocking every shot near the rim, but Sully finally gets a call and will go to the line. They have nine blocks now. Can't get tentative though. Gotta stay strong. Sully makes one, Buckeyes lead it 42-41.

11:22 Steal by Craft leads to a fastbreak foul by Lighty after he airballs a layup. Yes, you read that correctly.

11:23 Doron Lamb with a wing three in transition to put Kentucky back up 44-42 with 11:50 to play. Shots aren't falling for the Buckeyes right now. Gonna have to keep making free throws apparently.

11:25 Well, the Buckeyes are actually shooting worse in the second half than they did in the first half. No team goes through a tournament with zero tough wins.

11:27 There sure are a lot of arms swinging whenever Ohio State takes it to the basket. How can there be no fouls? Buckeyes have missed seven straight shots.

11:28 Technical foul on Kentucky.. The score is 44-42 Wildcats. Diebler misses the first, makes the second.

11:29 Craft steals it after getting stuck on Jones down low! Great defense. And another missed shot for the Buckeyes. Buford had a three blocked. They're blocking everything. Can't even get a shot to the rim. Unbelievable.. Great defense.

11:30 Boom!! Over the top pass to Sully, who dunks it on Jones while getting fouled. He lets out a yell Moses Scurry would be proud of. Now make your free throws. Nope. Still, Buckeyes lead it 45-44 with 9:53 to play. They finally got Jones his third foul, he said sarcastically.

11:32 Huge putback dunk by Sully on a Lighty miss. He looks pretty freaking serious right now. Buckeyes lead it 47-46 with 7:57 to play.

11:33 Deshaun Thomas is in for William Buford. Interesting. Though 2-12 will do that for you.

11:37 Sully again, this one over Harrellson. I think he may be taking the game over? Nevermind, Jones just hit a three to get the lead back.

11:38 Beautiful fader in the lane by Lighty to make it 51-50 with 6:45 remaining. This team is so much better when he involves himself on offense.

11:39 What? Harrellson just plowed through Craft for an and-one. Good call, he was under the basket. Kentucky leads 53-51.

11:40 Great steal by Craft on a rebound by Knight, and Craft gets fouled and will go to the line for one and one. Biggest free throws of his life...with 5:38 to play. Makes the first. And the second. Tied ballgame. 53-53.

11:42 Gigantic three for Brandon Knight, just hanging out on the wing. And a charge on Sully, running over Liggins. Not a good time to get frustrated. Kentucky leads by three with 4:55 to play and the ball.

11:44 Five-second call on Liggins! Wow. I'll take it.

11:45 Buford misses another. He has no follow through on his shot tonight. There's 3:33 to play. The Buckeyes are down by three.

11:49 Craft airballs a three and Sully cleans it up for two.

11:50 And now Buford loses a rebound. Then Craft forces a tie up on his own on the ensuing possession. The guy is unbelievable. Buckeye ball with 2:25 to play. Down one.

11:51 Lighty drives and scores!! Buckeyes lead it 57-56 with 2:00 to play. Calipari calls timeout. Great drive by David, there was nobody there to stop him.

11:52 Somehow, some way, Buford is going to do something to win this game. That's just how these stories go. They're very cliched.

11:53 Liggins runs Sully over as Sully was sliding over. That's four on Sullinger. Liggins shoots two. Makes the first. There's 1:36 to play. And the second. 58-57 Kentucky.

11:53 Sullinger misses a wild shot. Just a forced offensive possession by the Buckeyes. Harrellson has had him one-on-one all day. Frustrating. Kentucky ball.

11:54 Calipari calls timeout with 41.8 remaining. Would have preferred to see Lighty take it to the rim again.

11:55 Liggins scores again. They're up three with 34.8 remaining. Timeout Thad. If Diebler doesn't tie this thing up right now, forget about it. Ballgame. They can't stop Liggins from scoring or getting fouled.

11:56 And he does!!! Diebler from the top of the key ties it with 21.2 to play. No timeout for Calipari. He wants to run it. Knight sinks it with 5.4, the Buckeyes run the court and get it up to Buford for the Ballgame. Kentucky wins it 62-60.

11:59 These seniors deserve something better than I can say right now. I got nothing.

12:00 At least now we can get back to focusing on Tresselgate.

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