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Ohio State-Gonzaga matchup


No. 2 Ohio State (28-7) vs. No. 7 Gonzaga (26-6)

2:55 p.m. (approximate), CBS

Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Marty Snider (sideline)

Tournament history: None


Last game: Defeated No. 15 Loyola (Md.), 78-59.

Coach: Thad Matta, eighth season (18-9 NCAA Tournament)

Shining star: Forward Deshaun Thomas had game highs of 31 points and 12 rebounds. He scored 13 points in a row for the Buckeyes during the second half.

Question mark: All-American forward Jared Sullinger shot only 4 of 14 from the floor and didn’t score after 5:53 remained in the first half.

On the line:  Aaron Craft, a 70.8 percent foul shooter during the season, was 6 of 6 against Loyola (Md.)

Stat watch:  Ohio State had an 11-6 record this season against 10 opponents that are in the NCAA Tournament field.

Coach speak: “I’ve always viewed Gonzaga as a top-20 program in the country because they’ve had the ability to sustain winning at the highest level. They’ve dominated their conference year in, year out.” – Matta, on Gonzaga’s sustained success as a mid-major.

Starting five

No.         Name    Ht. Pos.                Ppg.

0              Jared Sullinger   6-9 F      17.4

1              Deshaun Thomas             6-7 F      15.8

4              Aaron Craft         6-2 G     8.6

32           Lenzelle Smith Jr.             6-4 G     6.1

44           William Buford  6-6 G     14.8


Last game: Defeated No. 10 West Virginia, 77-54

Coach: Mark Few, 13th season (14-12 NCAA Tournament)

Shining star: Guard Kevin Pangos scored 13 points to help put West Virginia in a 40-22 halftime hole.

Question mark: Guards Gary Bell Jr. and Pangos are both freshmen and will be facing their stiffest test of the season.

On the line: Gonzaga made 12 of 16 free throws against West Virginia. Bell, a 73.4 percent shooter, made 4 of 5.

Stat watch: The Bulldogs are 2-1 against No. 2 seeds, their only defeat coming against UCLA in 2006. The wins came in 1999 (Stanford) and 2000 (St. John’s).

Coach speak: “This is a really, really good team that a lot of people picked for the Final Four, to win a national championship. I’d rather play Wisconsin-Platteville.” – Few, on the Ohio State matchup.

Starting five

4              Kevin Pangos     6-1 G     13.8

5              Gary Bell Jr.        6-1 G     10.1

10           Guy Landry Edi  6-6 G     5.6

00           Robert Sacre      7-0 C      11.8

20           Elias Harris           6-7 F      13.0

— By Joe Rutter



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