The 2012 NCAA Tournament continued on Sunday with another full slate of games. Two of the teams hoping to pick up a win in order to advance to the Sweet 16 were the No. 13 Ohio Bobcats and the No. 12 South Florida Bulls. In the end, it was Ohio who picked up the 62-56 win.
The two teams appeared evenly-matched on paper and looked, for the most part, just as evenly matched on the court, with USF showing a slight edge in terms of ability throughout the first half. The Bulls stayed on top for a while in the second half, but the Bobcats took advantage of a big personal foul by sinking two free throws, retaining possession and nailing a huge three-pointer to tie the game up, 31-31.
South Florida attempted to stretch out another lead midway through the second half, but the Bulls tied it up once again and went ahead for their first lead of the half, 43-42. The teams took turns trading leads before Ohio was able to go up by eight points in the final three minutes of regulation. The woes for USF were manifest in their sudden inability to hit free throws. Case in point:
In the final two minutes, USF was able to cut the lead to five on this insane play by Anthony Collins.
USF nailed a three-pointer with 49 seconds left to cut the lead to just three points, but playing the foul game did not work out for them and Ohio held on for the win. The Bobcats will now go on to face the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels in the regional semifinals. This is the first time since 1964 that Ohio has made it to the Sweet 16.
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