Two-Minute Drill: Inside Ohio State’s Postgame Locker Room
By Brandon Castel
BOSTON — The Buckeyes finally conquered their nemesis Thursday, getting by Cincinnati and out of the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2007.
Ohio State had lost in the round of 16 in each of the past two seasons—first to Tennessee and then to Kentucky last season. Many were projecting the Buckeyes could be in danger against UC after Michigan State and Wisconsin both fell to Big East teams in earlier games.
The Buckeyes will face one of those teams Saturday (7:05 p.m. ET) in their matchup with 1-seed Syracuse, but first, here is a look at what Thad Matta and his players had to say after the game.
* Lenzelle Smith said this game was about physical and mental toughness.
* Deshaun Thomas said when OSU got the big lead, they started feeling they were "cool." Matta told them I don't need "cool guys, I need winners."
* Jared Sullinger said OSU has two different versions of itself: "the cool guys and the blue collar guys."
* Aaron Craft said he thinks everything OSU has been through this year prepared them for this moment.
* Matta: "If you would have told me in Nov. this team was going to win 30 games, I would have said there's no way."
Deshaun’s Big Night
* Asked how OSU did such a good job against UC zone, Craft said, "Well Deshaun certainly helped with that."
* Buford said Thomas is "feeling it right now" and he's out there having fun and letting the game come to him.
* Thomas said his career-high at any level was 52 points.
* Deshaun Thomas thought this was the best he and Jared had played off each other.
* Asked about Deshaun's big half, UC coach Mick Cronin responded, "Guys are on scholarship, if you don't guard him, they're going to shoot it in."
* Buford seemed upbeat, although he said he wasn't having a lot of fun with his struggles.
* Buford said all he cares about is that this team is advancing to the Elite 8, but they aren't celebrating yet.
* Buford said he will have to look at the tape to see why he struggled, but a lot of times he's not following through on his shot.
* Matta also said Buford played the best defensive of his career in 1st half on Sean Kilpatrick.