George Mason Patriots vs. Ohio St. Buckeyes
The No.9 seed George Mason Patriots will try and make another improbable run in a NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament when they take on the No.1 seed Ohio St. Buckeyes in Sundays third round of the East Region.Â The Ohio St Buckeyes are listed as 10-point favorites and the over/under total is set at 136.
George Mason made it into this tournament with an at-large bid out of the Colonial Athletic Association after compiling an overall record of 26-6 and 23-8 against the spread. The Patriots proved they belonged in the tournament with a dramatic 61-57 come-from-behind victory over No. 8 seed Villanova as a two-point underdog in Thursdays second round. If George Mason is to have any chance against the Buckeyes, it will need another huge effort from sophomore forward Luke Hancock. Not only did he hit a crucial three-point shot with 21 seconds left to put the Patriots up for good against the Wildcats, he led the team in scoring with 18 points. They will also need a better performance from senior guard Cam Long, who was held to seven points in Thursdays game. He is the teams leading scorer with an average of 15.3 points a game. George Mason shot just 40.4 percent from the field against Villanova, well under its 47.2 percent season average. They also struggled from three-point range, hitting just 28.6 percent of its attempts after averaging 39.4 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season.
Ohio State earned the No.1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament after rolling through the regular season with an overall record of 35-2 overall and 17-15 against the spread, which included a 71-60 victory over Penn State as a 10-point favorite in the Big Ten Tournament Championship. The Buckeyes’ second round game against No.16 seed UT-San Antonio amounted to a lopsided 75-46 win as a 24-point favorite. Much of Ohio States success this season can be attributed to the play of freshman phenom Jared Sullinger, who is averaging a team-high 17 points and 10.1 rebounds a game. The Buckeyes have the third-best shooting percentage in the nation at 49.4 percent and are averaging 77 points a game. They shot 55.8 percent from the field in Thursdays game and hit a deadly 50 percent from three-point range.
The Patriots bring a ton of guts and determination into this game against a Buckeyes team that is loaded with depth and talent. George Mason should be able keep this game competitive deep into the second half, but stick with Ohio State to pull away in the end to win and cover the 10-points.
Ohio St. Buckeyes -10 George Mason Patriots