Syracuse vs Ohio State Pick 2012 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Preview
For those of you that have been waiting for Syracuse to be eliminated since the second round, you might want to tune in for Saturday’s East Regional Finals game against Ohio State.
Listed as underdogs by three points, the Orange is sure to have a very tough time against the Buckeyes, who have proven to be one of the stronger teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The winner of this highly anticipated matchup will move on to the coveted Final Four next Saturday and will face one of the four remaining teams from the Midwest: (1) North Carolina, (2) Kansas, (11) N.C. State, or (13) Ohio.
For Syracuse, this team is coming off a game in which Wisconsin’s only mistake cost them the game. With a chance to be the hero, Badgers senior point guard Jordan Taylor missed a good look at what would have been a game-winning three pointer.
“It was on line, and I felt like I got my legs into it,” Taylor said. “I knew it was a deep 3, but it felt good, and then to see it kind of come up short was kind of heartbreaking.”
It was a terrible ending to a perfectly played game by Wisconsin, as Syracuse did just enough to hold them off. And just like that, the most improbable of the top seeds positioned itself one win away from a trip to New Orleans. After the game, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim breathes a huge sigh of relief as his team lives to fight another day.
“I can’t tell you how good it feels to win a game like this,” Boeheim said. “This was a great, great game.”
For The Ohio State, this team has been the most dominant squad in this year’s tournament. When you look at what the Buckeyes have done thus far, you can clearly see that this team hasn’t even been challenged just yet. With all of its tournament wins coming by an average of 14 points, OSU is up there with Kentucky as the clear frontrunners to win this thing.
“It feels good to be in the Elite Eight; hopefully the train doesn’t stop here,” said 2011 Big Ten Freshman Of the Year, Jared Sullinger. “We wanted to make sure this train kept rolling.”
One of the biggest challenges for the Buckeyes will be dealing with Syracuse’s length and the 2-3 zone Boeheim is likely to implement at some point in the game. It’s going to be interesting to see how OSU shoots the ball from the perimeter after a blistering 8-for-17 shooting from three-point range against Cincinnati in the Regional Semifinals.
“They’re very long, very athletic, and they can get up and down (the court) with the best of them,” Sullinger added. “We’re going to have to try to control the tempo. We’ve got to throw the first punches. Not literally, but you know what I mean.”