Going into Saturday's second-round games in Providence, there was really one headscratcher. How the Bobcats, who already had denizens of the MAC tournament reeling, dropped 97 points on a very tough Georgetown team was one of the greatest mysteries of Thursday's play (and let's face it, Thursday itself was one of the most mystical days of NCAA Tourney play in history).
Not that the Bobcats didn't deserve to be here. They did. A team that struggled during in-conference MAC play, John Groce's boys found a way to string together four games and win the MAC title and buy a bid into the proceedings. And while we're at it, let's call it like it was: they beat Georgetown legitimately.
Did Ohio have a shot running up against six-seeded Tennessee today? One thing was sure -- they'd get a chance to prove whether their defeat of the Hoyas was a fluke or not. After all, Tennessee this season isn't as good as the Hoyas probably were going into this tournament. As it turns out, though, the Vols were too much for the Bobcats as Tennessee sends Ohio packing with an 83-68 victory. And it's a good thing Tennessee didn't have to break too much of a sweat, because Wayne Chism's headband wasn't pulled down nearly far enough to handle that kind of action.
A back-and-forth game early with Tennessee pulling away late in the game and running off with the prize, J.P. Prince turned in 18 points -- with Brian Williams and Chism netting 12 rebounds apiece -- and the Ohio fairy tale was over in Providence. The Volunteers will head on to St. Louis, where Bruce Pearl can presumably sweat all over the St. Louis Arch, and play the winner of Sunday's Ohio State-Georgia Tech game, whom it is a given he will also sweat upon. As for Ohio, they'll go home with their hats in their hands -- but it was fun while it lasted, right guys?