Ohio State, Syracuse Set for Elite Eight Matchup
Deshaun Thomas averages 25 points in NCAA play this year.

March 23, 2012

Date: March 24, 2012
No. 2 seed Ohio State (30-7) vs. No. 1 seed Syracuse (34-2)
Site:    TD Garden (18,624)
Game Time:     7:05 p.m. ET
Television:    CBS
Talent:     Verne Lundquist (Play by Play)
               Bill Raftery (Expert Analysis)
               Lesley Visser (Sideline)
Radio:    OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Local Radio:    WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:    Paul Keels (play-by-play)
                      Ron Stokes (expert analysis)

Ohio State Notes Get Acrobat Reader

This is Ohio State’s 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 43-22 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in nine Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State has finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968). The Buckeyes have played in three-consecutive NCAA “Sweet 16s,” a feat last accomplished from 1960-62. The Buckeyes have made 14 “Sweet 16” appearances in NCAA Tournament play.

The 2012 NCAA Tournament
The  No. 2-seeded Buckeyes entered the 2012 NCAA Tournament after a 2-1 record in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Thad Matta, in his eighth year as head coach, has taken the Buckeyes to six NCAA tournaments during his time in Columbus, including a title game appearance in 2007.
    Ohio State enters the 2012 NCAA East Regional Final with a 30-7 overall record and as co-champions of the Big Ten with a 13-5 regular season record. Ohio State has won 20 Big Ten titles and is making its 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament.

The Elite Eight
Ohio State will take on Syracuse (34-2) in the 2012 NCAA Tournament East Regional Final at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The game is being played at the TD Garden in Boston. This is Ohio State’s second trip to the Elite Eight under the direction of Thad Matta. He led the Buckeyes to the 2007 NCAA Title game in 2007. Ohio State has made 10 previous Elite Eight appearances (1939, ’44, ’45, ’46, ’60. ’61, ’62, ’68, ’92, ’07). The Buckeyes are 9-1 in those appearances. The loss was in 1992 to Michigan in overtime (75-71).

Buckeyes vs. Syracuse
Ohio State is 4-1 in the all-time series vs. Syracuse. They Buckeyes and Orange have met the last two times on neutral courts, including the 1983 NCAA Tournament Second Round in Hartford, Conn., March 20, 1981. Ohio State won that game 79-74. The most recent meeting was in Madison Square Garden Nov. 21, 2007 in the National Invitation Tournament Season Tip-Off, a 79-76 win over the No. 21 Orange. Ohio State has never been ranked nationally when facing the Orange. The Buckeyes are 1-1 vs. ranked Syracuse teams.  Thad Matta is 1-0 vs. Syracuse.
The Ohio State vs. Syracuse Series
2/27/1911    W    Syracuse    48-17
1/4/82    W    Syracuse    67-57
12/14/82    L    @Syracuse    85-91(16)
3/20/83    W    1-vs. Syracuse    79-74
11/21/07    W    2-vs. Syracuse    79-65(21)
1-NCAA Second Round, Hartford, Conn.
2-Dicks Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off, New York

Last Time vs. Syracuse
Game 3
Ohio State 79, No. 21 Syracuse 65
Nov. 21, 2007, New York
NEW YORK- Kosta Koufos, a 7-0 freshman center for Ohio State, scored a career-high 24 points to help the Buckeyes beat No. 21 Syracuse 79-65 in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals. Othello Hunter added 15 points and Jamar Butler had 14 for Ohio State. Donte Greene scored 21 and Eric Devendorf added 15 for the Orange. Syracuse had won the NIT championship the previous two times the Orange made it to New York in 1988 and 2001. Leading 42-34 at the break, Koufos scored the first basket of the second half to extend the lead to 10 before Syracuse went on a 9-2 run to close to 46-43. The Buckeyes answered right back with an 8-1 spurt to take a 56-44 lead on Butler’s 3-pointer with 12:35 left. Ohio State increased the lead to 15, hitting three more 3-pointers, including another one by Butler that made it 67-52. Syracuse could get no closer than 11 the rest of the way. Ohio State was down 20-15 midway through the first half, before using a 16-4 run to take a seven point lead. Koufos scored the last six points of the spurt with a 3-pointer and a three-point play with 5:43 left in the half.

Buckeyes vs. the Big East
The Buckeyes are 70-49 vs. current members of the Big East Conference. The Buckeyes have played every member of the Big East Conference and own winning records against 13 of 16 Big East schools. Ohio State is 0-1 vs. Rutgers, 0-2 vs. South Florida and 8-8 vs. West Virginia.
Ohio State vs. the Big East
Cincinnati    6-4
Connecticut    3-1
DePaul    5-4
Georgetown    3-2
Louisville    4-3
Marquette    5-4
Notre Dame    7-4
Pittsburgh    15-10
Providence    1-0
Rutgers    0-1
St. John’s    4-2
Seton Hall    3-2
South Florida    0-2
Syracuse    4-1
Villanova    2-1
West Virginia    8-8
Totals    69-49

Paulus and Syracuse University
Greg Paulus, Ohio State’s video coordinator, is a Syracuse, N.Y., native and a former quarterback for the Orange. After completing his basketball playing career at Duke following the 2008-09 basketball season, Paulus transferred to Syracuse to play one year of football in 2009-10. He threw for 2,024 yards and 13 touchdowns in 12 games. He was the 2005 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year in football.

Buckeyes in the 2012 Postseason
In six postseason games, three in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament and three in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, both Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger are averaging more than 20 points a game. Thomas leads the team with 21.7 points a game while Sullinger contributes 21 points and 8.8 rebounds. Thomas has made 53-94 field goal attempts (56 pct.) and 12-16 free throws (75 pct.). Sullinger is making half his shots in 2012 postseason play (44-86) while knocking down 32 of 37 foul shots (.865). Senior William Buford averages 11.0 points a game and has made 13 of 17 FTs (77 pct). Aaron Craft has 34 assists and 19 steals.

All-Time Postseason Numbers
Ohio State is playing in its 24th NCAA tournament. The Buckeyes are 44-22 all-time. Thad Matta has directed Ohio State to six NCAA tournaments in eight years at Ohio State. In 12 years as a head coach, one at Butler, three at Xavier and eight with the Buckeyes, Matta has guided teams to 10 NCAA tournaments. His overall record is 20-9, 13-5 at Ohio State. Senior William Buford has appeared in four NCAA tournaments and 10 total games as a Buckeye. He has scored 130 points for an average of 13.0 points a game. In six career NCAA games, Jared Sullinger has scored 103 points (17.2 ppg.) with 59 total rebounds (9.8 rpg.). After a career-high 31 points vs. Loyola University, sophomore Deshaun Thomas has scored 95 points in six NCAA games for an average of 15.8 ppg.

Thomas’s outing among OSU Best in NCAA
Deshaun Thomas’ career-high 31 points vs. Loyola Maryland was the seventh 30-point effort in Ohio State’s NCAA tournament history. Jerry Lucas owns the record with 36 points vs. Western Kentucky March 11, 1960. He also had two games with 33 points, both vs. Kentucky in 1961 and 1962. Brian Brown scored 33 against Davidson March 14, 2002. Dennis Hopson, Ohio State’s all-time leading scorer, tallied 32 points vs. Kentucky March 13, 1987. Evan Turner was the last to reach 30 points with 31 vs. Tennessee March 26, 2010.

Noting the Cincinnati Game (March 22)
•    This is the fourth-consecutive season Ohio State has participated in the NCAA tournament.
•    With the win, Ohio State advances to its first Elite 8 since the 2006-07 season (national championship game).
•    It is the seventh time Ohio State has won at least three games in the NCAA tournament.
•    Ohio State moves to 6-4 all-time vs. Cincinnati.
•    The Buckeyes are now 70-49 vs. schools from the Big East Conference.
•    The 30 wins this season are the third most in Ohio State history (35 in 2006-07, 34 in 2010-11). All three 30-win seasons have been with Thad Matta at the helm.
•    Against the East Bracket, Ohio State is now 122-84.
•    Against the tournament field, Ohio State is now 554-486.
•    Ohio State is participating in its 24th NCAA tournament.
•    Ohio State is 44-22 all-time in NCAA tournament play.
•    The Buckeyes are 5-1 this postseason (3-0 in NCAA tournament, 2-1 in Big Ten tournament).
•    As a ranked team, Ohio State is 425-116 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 304-66.
•    As the Associated Press No. 7 team, Ohio State is 30-9 overall.
•    The Buckeyes move to 23-1 this season and 182-21 all-time vs. unranked opponents under Matta.
•    Ohio State has had a player record a double double in 844 games. The Buckeyes are 583-261 in those contests. Jared Sullinger (23 points, 11 rebounds) had his 34th career double-double in the game vs. Cincinnati.
•    This is the 299th-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
•    The starting lineup of Buford, Craft, Smith, Jr., Sullinger and Thomas is 28-6 this season.
•    As a team Ohio State had 14 assists, six more than the Bearcats.
•    Ohio State has three players score at least 500 points in a season for the first time in team history (Sullinger – 615, Thomas – 598, Buford – 534).
•    Ohio State went 19-27 from the free-throw line. They now have attempted 789 free throws this season, while only allowing its opponents to attempt 560 from the stripe.
•    For the season, Ohio State has 547 assists, while its opponents only have 374.
•    23 of Ohio State’s 30 wins have been by double-figures.
•    The Buckeyes went on a 10-0 run to lead 65-53 near the 5:00 minute mark in the second half.

Thad Matta
•    Thad Matta moves to 4-1 all-time vs. Cincinnati.
•    Matta moves to 13-5 in the NCAA tournament at Ohio State.
•    Matta is 34-10 in postseason tournaments at Ohio State.
•    Matta’s career record moves to 322-95 overall and 220-64 at Ohio State.
•    Matta is 107-19 vs. non-conference opponents at Ohio State including a 15-1 mark this season.
•    Ohio State is 44-11 in March under Matta.
•    When leading at the half Ohio State is 27-1 this season and 185-21 under Matta.
•    Ohio State is 30-1 this season and 205-6 under Matta when leading with five minutes to go.
•    When limiting its opponent to under 50 percent shooting from the field, Ohio State is 29-5 this season and 206-51 under Matta.
•    When Ohio State shoots better than its opponent, it is 29-2 this season and 196-20 under Matta.
•    When Ohio State scores at least 70 points in a game it is 25-2 this season and 154-13 under Matta.
•    When Ohio State’s opponent scores less than 70 points, it is 24-4 this season and 195-27 under Matta.
•    When Ohio State has 15 or fewer turnovers it is 24-6 this season and 185-51 under Matta. The Buckeyes had 11 vs. the Bearcats.
•    When the Buckeyes outrebound their opponent, they are 25-5 this season and 136-22 under Matta. Ohio State outrebounded Cincinnati 33-26.

Jared Sullinger
•    Sullinger had 23 points for the Buckeyes. It is the 32nd time this season and 65th time in his career he has scored in double figures. He has 615 points this season.
•    With 23 points, Sullinger added to his 1,000 point club total (1,250). He is one of seven total players in Ohio State history to score at 1,000 or more points in two years.
•    Sullinger had 11 rebounds to push his career total to 699. That is good for 15th place all-time in Ohio State history.
•    Sullinger passed Larry Siegfried (1,228) and Ronnie Stokes (1,240) for 29th place in Ohio State career scoring. He is 35 points behind Clark Kellogg for 28th.
•    With 23 points and 11 rebounds, Sullinger earned his 34th career double-double and 16th this season.
•    Ohio State is 31-3 in games Sullinger scores a double-double.
•    With 23 points, Sullinger now has posted back-to back 600 point seasons in his first two years at Ohio State.
•    Sullinger had three assists, an NCAA tournament high for the sophomore. It is the sixth time this season he has had at least four assists.

Deshaun Thomas
•    Deshaun Thomas finished with a game high 26 points. It is the 44th time in his career he has scored in double figures and 33rd time this season. He now has 876 points in his two-year career.
•    Thomas has scored in double figures in 33 of the Buckeyes 37 games this season, the most of any Buckeye, including all six postseason contests.
•    Thomas has scored 20 points in nine games this season, including four this postseason.
•    Thomas scored 20 of Ohio State’s 37 first half points on 8-12 shooting (3-5 from behind the arc).
•    In three tournament games, Thomas has scored 75 points, averaging 25 per game, the most by any player still in the tournament.

Aaron Craft
•    Craft had 11 points. He now has 585 in his career. It is the 18th time this season the Findlay, Ohio, native has scored in double figures.
•    Craft had six steals, tying a season high (6 at Minnesota, 2/14/12). He has 167 for his career. He has had at least one steal in 35 of 37 games this season. It is the fourth game this season the sophomore has grabbed at least five steals. He’s had 20 games with at least three thefts, including five-consecutive and seven of the previous eight games.
•    The six steals are an Ohio State record for most in an NCAA tournament (previous record was four (5X).
•    Craft passed Dennis Hopson (164) for third place in career steals at Ohio State.
•    Craft’s season total of 94 thefts is the most alltime in a single season (Mike Conley, Jr. – 87 in 2007). Craft is just the second Buckeye to reach 80 steals in a single season.
•    The six steals are the most Craft has had in six NCAA tournament contest (4 vs. Kentucky, 3/25/11).
•    Craft had five assists to push his season total to 174 and his career total to 351.
•    Craft has had 15 games this season with at least five assists and 33 with at least three, including seven in a row.
•    In six career NCAA tournament games, Craft has dished out 43 assists. (He set an OSU single game record with 15 vs. George Mason in the 2011 NCAA Third Round in Cleveland. The 10 helpers vs. Gonzaga are the second most in his career and in an Ohio State NCAA tournament game).

William Buford
•    The start was Buford’s 135th donning the Scarlet and Gray, the most by any Buckeye in history.
•    Buford has been a part of 115 of Matta’s 220 career wins at Ohio State.
•    The game was the 143rd that Buford has played in, which is third all-time at Ohio State in games played.
•    Buford has been a part of 115 wins at Ohio State, which is second all-time by senior class.
•    Buford is just the fourth Buckeye in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Buford’s current totals are 1,958/650/358.
•    Buford scored four points for the Buckeyes, improving his career total to 1,958, 32 behind Jerry Lucas (1,990) for third place in Ohio State history.
•    Buford had five rebounds to push his career total to 650. He is one of 17 former Buckeyes in the prestigious 1,500 point and 500 rebound club.
•    Buford became the fifth player in Ohio State history to join the 400 (made field goals) and 4,000 (minutes played) Club. After the Cincinnati game, Buford has now tallied 735 made field goals and 4,653 minutes played in 143 career games (J. Diebler, D. Lighty, J. Butler and H. Williams are the other Buckeyes to achieve this feat).
•    Buford had one assist in the game for a career total of 358.
•    With one made field goal, Buford now has 735 for his career, the fifth most in Ohio State history.

Lenzelle Smith, Jr.
•    Smith, Jr. had 15 points, a tournament high for the sophomore from Zion, Ill. It is the seventh time this season Smith, Jr., has scored in double figures, including three during the postseason.

Shannon Scott
•    Scott had three assists vs. Cincinnati. It was the freshman’s first assists in NCAA tournament play. It is the fourth time this season he has had at least three assists in a game and first time this postseason.