|Written by Michael|
Bet on NCAABNow that the Ohio State Buckeyes have taken care of the UT-SA Roadrunners, they go on to face No. 8 seed George Mason at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Sunday afternoon game tips off at 5:15 PM ET and will televised on CBS. Can George Mason repeat their 2006 Cinderella trip in the NCAA tournament, or will the Buckeyes get another easy victory?
The Patriots knocked off Villanova in the first round after the “First Four” round by a close score of 61-57. George Mason trailed that whole game, going into halftime down by ten points. It was not until the clock read 1:34 left in the second half that the Patriots tied the game, until forward Luke Hancock buried a three-pointer to put them ahead for win.
But the Patriots will have a much more difficult time against the Buckeyes, who are 3-0 against George Mason overall. The main challenge for Ohio State will be to focus on this game, rather than looking ahead to more formidable opponents deeper into the tournament. Such losses of focus have eliminated elite teams in the past, including a close call for the Buckeyes in 2007 against OSU.
The Buckeyes are coming off of a 75-46 blowout of UT-SA, and leads the Big Ten Conference. The team is strong both on offense and defense, hitting 41.6 percent of their three-point attempts, and pull down an average of 15.0 defensive rebounds per game. The team has a successful record against the elite teams in the nation, going 9-2 against teams ranked in the Top 50. The Patriots are ranked No. 25.
This is the first time these two teams have played since 1996. The sportsbook lists the Buckeyes as 11 point favorites to win the game. The total is set at 138. The only real question is whether or not Ohio State can focus enough on this game to cover the spread, or whether George Mason will surprise them with a game that does not result in a double-digit margin of victory for the Buckeyes.