Saturday, March 10, 2012

Buckeyes Blast Boilermakers, Set Up Tourney Semi-Final Against Ann Arbor

The Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team pulled away in the 2nd half of Friday nights B1G quarter-final game for a much easier win over Purdue than in the last meeting in Columbus, where the Buckeyes escaped a near upset with an 87-84 win.

Jared Sullinger grabbed 12 boards and paced OSU with a season-high 30 points to lead all Buckeye scorers, followed by Deshaun Thomas with 22, William Buford and Lenzelle Smith Jr with 11 each, and Aaron Craft with 10 points, as No. 7 Ohio State dropped Purdue, 88-71.

With the win, Ohio State advances to Saturday's semi-finals where they will face that hated team from the north at 4:00PM. The season series, and more importantly, where one of the B1G Tournament Championship game finalists will be decided.

On January 29th, OSU cruised to a 64-49 home victory over Ann Arbor, but in their February 18th meeting in Ann Arbor, the Buckeyes never led and fell, 56-51, to a then-undefeated-at-home AA squad.

The public address announcer threw a little gas on the flames of the already-heated rivalry when true freshman, Trey Burke — Sullinger's HS teammate — was introduced to the fired-up AA crowd as "The pride of Columbus, Ohio."

Winning on the road in the B1G is no easy task, so it's no huge surprise the Buckeyes lost a close one in AA.

Now on a neutral court and with a trip to the title game on the line, we'll see who truly stands as the pride of Columbus on Saturday at 4PM.

Burke, like most AA players from OHIO, is very talented, but Saturday, the smart money is on Sullinger.

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