Ohio State took a double digit lead into the locker room at halftime, but Cincinnati stormed back to take a brief lead in the second frame. That did not last long though, as sophomore forward Jared Sullinger powered the Buckeyes to an 81-66 victory.
Aaron Craft boosted the offense with 11 points in the second half. He also generated key turnovers and displayed toughness on defense. Ohio State and Cincinnati met for only the second time since the 1962 NCAA championship game.
The Buckeyes have now beaten three straight opponents with a higher seed, but they will take on the No. 1 Syracuse Orange in the Elite Eight on Saturday. Center Fab Melo was ruled academically ineligible before the tournament, and that might mean trouble for Syracuse as it tries to slow down Jared Sullinger.
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