By Ari Wasserman
Thad Matta anticipated Cincinnati would play zone defense.
Perhaps thats how Ohio States head coach was able to justify glancing a game forward when thinking about Syracuses notorious 2-3 zone defense even before the Buckeyes advanced past the Bearcats in Thursday nights Sweet 16 matchup.
We spent a majority of our time this week (before getting to Boston) going against zone, Matta admitted after second-seeded Ohio State beat No. 6 Cincinnati 81-66 in the TD Garden. And I told our guys, trying to motivate them, when we play Syracuse on Saturday, this will pay off for us.
Matta didnt mince his words when addressing his team. He didnt bother entertaining the fact that Ohio State wouldnt be advancing past the Bearcats, nor did he think his team would have the luxury of advancing to the Elite Eight and playing anyone other than the East Regions top seeded team.
Syracuse held on to knock off No. 4 Wisconsin Thursday night to set the showdown Matta ...