10th-seeded Ohio State upset 7th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth University 75-72 in overtime Thursday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Treveon Graham started the game with two 3-pointers and Mo Alie-Cox dominated on defense as VCU bolted out to a 25-13 lead to start the game. After a 9-0 Ram run, Ohio State coach Thad Matta put the Buckeyes in a 2-3 zone and started using a full-court press. The Rams hit a wall.
Ohio State finished the half on a 16-5 run to trail by one point heading into the locker room before using a 10-0 spurt to thoroughly knock VCU on its heels in the second half. First-team All-American D’Angelo Russell started heating up. He ultimately finished with 28 points (6-13 2PFG, 4-7 3PFG), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.
The plot thickened as VCU was forced to use a five guard lineup with Mo Alie-Cox in foul trouble and Ohio State responded with its own five guard lineup. Four straight 3-pointers from sophomore Doug Brooks tightened up the game.
Melvin Johnson, who was 0-of-6 from 3-point range, hit two 3-pointers with two minutes remaining before an Amir Williams dunk knotted the game at 66. Coach Smart pulled 2-3 zone out of his pocket, a trick that worked in the final minute of the Atlantic 10 Tournament finals, and VCU picked up the stop. Smart elected to not call a timeout and Treveon Graham drove to the basket as time expired but missed the shot through heavy contact.
On the first possession of overtime, he nailed a layup while attacking the rim, but VCU fell apart. The Rams tallied two avoidable turnovers that bookended five quick points by Ohio State and the Buckeyes became the fourth double-digit seed to win in the first eight games of the field of 64.
Melvin Johnson (4-6 2PFG, 2-8 3PFG) finished with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Doug Brooks finished with 14 points (1-2 2PFG, 4-7 3PFG), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal while defending D’Angelo Russell. Treveon Graham added 10 points (1-7 2PFG, 2-5 3PFG), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers.
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