Just like we did for the Loyola (MD) game, it’s time to briefly look back on OSU’s victory over Gonzaga before we look ahead to the Sweet Sixteen. I managed to get lucky again with a close score prediction, only missing by a couple of points either way, but was shocked to see a couple of things turn out the way they did in this matchup.
I predicted that Pangos would struggle with the intense pressure from Craft, and his 3-13 shooting line would indicate that he did. However, the most surprising thing about this head-to-head battle was what Aaron Craft was able to do on the offensive side of the ball. The Findlay native achieved his first collegiate double-double, tying his season high of 17 points, and dishing out 10 assists. The Buckeye point guard never left the court, played one of his best games of his career, and easily won this matchup. And yes, CBS managed to bring up the Rubik’s cube thing yet again.
#2 Guard (Gary Bell, Jr. vs. Lenzelle Smith, Jr.)
I admit it; I swung and missed on this one. I had given the edge to Lenzelle Smith, Jr. in this on-court matchup, but Gary Bell, Jr. was a force to be reckoned with. He shot 60% from behind the arc, had 5 assists, and led the Zags with 18 points. LSJ played his normal game, grabbing 5 rebounds and finishing with 7 points, but in the battle of the #2 guard, GBJ topped LSJ on Saturday.
#3 Forward/Guard (Guy Landry Edi vs. William Buford)
In all, Gonzaga played a smart game against OSU, banging them in the paint and running a solid offensive game plan. OSU’s defense, along with some clutch shots, was able to keep the Bulldogs at an arm’s length late in the game, and hold off a potential upset. And just like that, the Buckeyes are back in the Sweet Sixteen!
Predicted Score: OSU 75 – Gonzaga 68
Actual Score: OSU 73 – Gonzaga 66
Tags: Aaron Craft Deshaun Thomas Elias Harris Gary Bell Gonzaga Basketball Guy Landry Edi Jared Sullinger Jr. Kevin Pangos Lenzelle Smith Jr. Ohio State Basketball Robert Sacre Sam Dower Thad Matta William Buford