- He can't do it again, can he? (Photo: Associated Press)
NCAA East Regional--(8) George Mason (27-6) vs. (1) Ohio State (33-2)
Time: 5:15 p.m. Place: Cleveland, Ohio. TV: CBS. The Line: Ohio State by 11.5
Storyline: After a thrilling come-from-behind win over Villanova in Friday afternoon's second round match-up, the sentimental types and fans of George Mason are getting that 2006 feeling, remembering when the Patriots knocked off Michigan State, North Carolina, and Connecticut en route to the Final Four.
However, this afternoon in Cleveland, George Mason will be faced with their toughest test of the season, as they face the consensus No.1 team in the nation in their home state. There will be very little sentimentality in Cleveland this afternoon as a partisan Buckeye crowd watches Jared Sullinger and company take on the Patriots.
Key Player--George Mason: Luke Hancock, who led George Mason with 18 points and 10 rebounds in Friday's win over Villanova. He'll have his hands full trying to contain Ohio State's frontcourt this afternoon.
Key Player--Ohio State: Jon Diebler,a 50% three-point shooter for the Buckeyes this season who was last held under 10 points in Ohio State's 71-67 loss to Wisconsin on February 12. The Patriots will have to hope that they limit Diebler's opportunities from downtown, otherwise it could be curtains early.
The Pick: Ohio State. On another day, perhaps George Mason could pull off a miracle. But the ability of Sullinger, Diebler, and David Lighty, as well as what will essentially be a homecourt advantage for Ohio State will see the Buckeyes through.