NCAA Tournament: Turner, Diebler Push Ohio State Over Georgia Tech, 75-66

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Ohio State 75, Georgia Tech 66: Evan Turner, Jon Diebler Punish Yellow Jackets

For more, check out our Ohio State blog, The Buckeye Battle Cry, and our Georgia Tech blog, From the Rumble Seat.

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Evan Turner provided 24 points, nine assists and nine rebounds, as second-seeded Ohio State downed 10th-seeded Georgia Tech, 75-66, in second round play of the Midwest Region.

Jon Diebler scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half for the Buckeyes (29-7), who advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since reaching the title game in 2007.

David Lighty chipped in 18 points and William Buford netted nine with eight rebounds for Ohio State, which has won nine straight and next faces sixth- seeded Tennessee in St. Louis on Friday.

Georgia Tech's starting frontcourt, Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors, each committed three fouls in the first 22 minutes of the game but still finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.

Glen Rice Jr. added 10 points for the Yellow Jackets (23-13), who knocked off Oklahoma State on Friday and last made the Sweet 16 in 2004.

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NCAA Tournament Preview: Ohio State Faces Georgia Tech

It's Ohio State. It's Georgia Tech. Only one team leaves Milwaukee alive. Well, hang on, there isn't any actual... Look, you get what we mean.

The stakes here are higher than usual; the top and third seeds in the Midwest region have already been eliminated, which means whoever wins this game has a surprisingly low-seeded path to Indianapolis. The top seeds left (aside from Ohio State) are the 4-seed Maryland Terrapins and the 5-seed Michigan State Spartans, who are set to play later today. And there's no guarantee the winner of that game beats 8-seed Northern Iowa, who just dispatched Kansas yesterday in shocking fashion. Simply put: the Midwest is wide, wide open.

Our Ohio State blog, the Buckeye Battle Cry, has some trepidation about their star player and today's game:

Against UCSB, Evan Turner shot an ice cold 2-14 because he spent most of the game settling for jumpshots, one of the weakest aspects of his game. Much of this was caused by the 7-3 Greg Somogyi down low, but it was also caused by a particular defensive decision by UCSB to cut Evan Turner out of the game. If Georgia Tech attempts to mimic this defense, Diebler, Buford and Lighty are going to have to step up in a big way to keep the Yellow Jackets from running away with this one. Also important will be for the Buckeyes to continue to go down low to Dallas Lauderdale, who can clearly dominate his defender when he puts his mind to it. If the Buckeyes can do that, get some slashing layups, and put pressure underneath on the Yellow Jackets the outside will open up a bit for William Buford and Jon Diebler to get their sharpshooting on.

Our Georgia Tech blog, From The Rumble Seat, struggles to decide whether to be optimistic:

I think Tech has drawn a good #2 seed in Ohio State. A lack of an inside games bodes well and other indicators seem to point the Buckeyes out as a better version of Oklahoma State, which may or may not bode well for us.

The Sports Network preview is here. Tipoff is at 2:20 EDT, and like all other tournament games, this game will be televised on CBS and CBS' March Madness On Demand.

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