Sweet 16: Breaking Down Ohio State Vs. Cincinnati

On Thursday, the No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes took on the No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2012 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. The Buckeyes pulled off the 81-66 victory and will now advance to the Elite Eight.

Fans on both sides have plenty to say following the game. Over at Buckeyes blog Along the Olentangy, Kyle Lamb reflects on how the win was anything but stress-free:

After being outscored 27-11 to begin the final 20 minutes, Ohio State closed the game on a 33-14 run behind a pesky Aaron Craft and a determined Jared Sullinger. Craft finished with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and six steals. Sullinger, meanwhile, turned in 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Ohio State led for 32 of 40 minutes, but the Cincinnati run seemed like an eternity. The Buckeyes came out firing on all cylinders in the first half, making easy work of Cincinnati's 2-3 zone. DeShaun Thomas, in fact, scored 20 points in the first half alone en route to the 37-25 lead.

As has become a bit too common, however, the Buckeyes relaxed on its comfortable lead.

Jared Sullinger described this phenomenon in the postgame press conference as acting like "cool guys" when they get the lead, then having to resort back to "blue collar" guys when they get soft. The blue collar guys are one win away from a Final Four.

Meanwhile, at Cincinnati blog Down the Drive, Matt Opper has this to say:

That went simultaneously better and worse than I expected, if that is even possible. Basketball is a tricky game it really is. Nothing personified that more than tonight. Ohio State won 81-66, but that isn't a team that is 15 points better than these Bearcats. Not when it took only 4 minutes to erase a 12 point half time deficit. What did UC in tonight was that for just the second time in the last 6 or so weeks this team did not come out with the usual laser like focus. That was ultimately the difference. UC was the more casual team and that doesn't cut it at this level.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub. There you'll find a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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