Ohio State Buckeyes Come Up Short In Bid To Make Final Four

By Brian Lester
Richard Mackson – USA TODAY Sports Images

Ohio State was the team I thought had the best chance to represent the Big Ten in the Final Four.

It seemed the Buckeyes had gotten hot at the right time and had hit the stride they needed to hit to fuel a run to Atlanta, especially after winning the conference tournament.

Yet, Ohio State ran into what appears to be a team of destiny on Saturday. The Buckeyes were beaten 70-66 by the Wichita State Shockers in the Elite Eight, unable to overcome a sluggish start to the game as their bid for a national championship came to a close.

Still, head coach Thad Matta was pleased with what his team was able to accomplish this year, especially after things looked so bad back in February when the Buckeyes were beaten down 71-49 by Wisconsin on the road.

”I’m proud of the way our guys came back, dug down,” Matta said in an Associated Press article. ”Everybody remembers the last game. I’m not going to. I’m going to remember this season, because I’m very, very proud of what these guys have accomplished this year.”

It will be interesting to see what happens Ohio State next season. Certainly they will be a contender for the conference title and there is no question that they will be back in the NCAA tournament.

How far the Buckeyes go, however, will depend on what Deshaun Thomas decides to do. If he bolts for the NBA, the Buckeyes will have a decidedly different look next season.

As for this season, well, it wasn’t bad. The end, however, was a surprise as I expected Ohio State to reach the Final Four.

Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.

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