Going Beyond The Everyday: Ohio Basketball Makes Improbable Run To Sweet 16

The Ohio Bobcats entered the 2012 NCAA Tournament as the No. 13 seed in the Midwest region after winning the Mid-American Conference tournament. In the first round of action, the Bobcats were set to face off against the fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines. Ohio was able to jump out to an early lead on Michigan and go into halftime up 35-29. The Wolverines rallied back, but the rally was killed when Ohio's Walter Offutt sank two free throws with just seconds left to put the game out of reach.

The Bobcats got a bit of a break in the second round, as Ohio took on the South Florida Bulls. The Bulls pulled an upset of their own after earning a No. 12 seed, winning the play-in game against California. South Florida then took down fifth-seeded Temple in the next round and led the Bobcats 27-21 at the half. Late in the game, the Bobcats trailed by two until another basket by Offutt set in motion a rally by Ohio. Offutt hit a three-point shot, giving the Bobcats a one-point lead, and kicked off a 10-0 run by the Bobcats for a 54-46 lead with under four minutes left in the game.

The Bulls tried to rally back after connecting on a late three-point shot, but USF missed three shots in the final 35 seconds of the game. The Bobcats once again held to for a win, putting themselves into the Sweet Sixteen against No. 1-seeded North Carolina. The Bobcats are the latest in a long line of mid-major teams to bust some brackets and try to make their way to the Final Four. Ohio will likely be facing a North Carolina basketball team without its point guard, Kendall Marshall. Marshall fractured a bone in his wrist in Sunday night's win over Creighton.

Even with the upsets Ohio has pulled and the likely loss of North Carolina's point-man, the Bobcats enter the game as 10.5 point underdogs. Through the course of the tournament thus far, the team from the MAC has gone beyond the everyday. To continue on their journey through the tournament, they'll need to go beyond once again and pull another upset.

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