Mar 23, 2012, 12:42 AM EDT
BOSTON – Currently the school’s fourth all-time leading scorer player, William Buford has certainly left his mark on the Ohio State basketball program.
The player who holds the distinction of starting more games than any other player to pass through Ohio State, Buford has played alongside college basketball superstars Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger and been a part, if not the centerpiece, of many great and important games.
But he’s never been to a regional final, instead ending his first three seasons in Columbus with heartache and under-achievement.
Despite another unimpressive performance in the Sweet 16, Buford, speaking in terms of team, got the monkey off his back, as No. 2 seed Ohio State advanced past a pesky No. 6 seed Cincinnati Bearcat squad with an 81-66 victory.
Buford finished with just four points on 1-8 shooting. He also committed four fouls and five turnovers.
His numbers in the game’s box score are nothing which would be something to write home about, and aligned with Buford’s two previous Sweet 16 performances.
“We advanced,” said Buford after the game. “And that’s all that matters.”
Last season, Buford finished with nine points on 2-16 shooting in a Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky.
In 2010, he was inefficient against Tennessee, as the two-seed Buckeyes were defeated by the Volunteers.
The year before, he was the victim of a first round defeat to mid-major Siena.
His NCAA Tournament life has been anything but pleasant.
“It feels great just to say I’m in the Elite Eight,” he said. “I’ve never been this far. Nobody on this team has ever been this far. All the hard work is paying off but we got a long way to go to get where we want.”
So regardless as to how it’s done, the Buckeyes advance, so does Buford.
He gets a chance to play for the Final Four and a shot at redemption. At being the guy everyone points to in the locker room as the star of the game; something he’s shown to be more than capable of doing, just maybe not when the lights are brightest.
As a senior whose name is prominently plastered on the school’s record book, Buford deserves the chance to cut down a net or two this spring.
With the Buckeyes still standing, Buford is just 40 minutes away from doing just that.
- Auburn will not appeal Bruce Pearl’s show-cause penalty 3
- Kentucky freshman Julius Randle entering NBA Draft 0
- ACC’s league schedule highlights the flaws of massive power conferences 4
- Report: Tennessee hires Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall 1
- Rice transfer Sean Obi commits to Duke 1
- Adam Silver says raising NBA’s age limit a top priority 7
- NCAA council aims to change immediate eligibility waiver policy 0
- #UMassUnited: Thousands show to support Derrick Gordon during Westboro Baptist Church protest (18)
- Reports: Missouri’s Frank Haith agrees to take the Tulsa job (11)
- Jabari Parker is headed to the NBA (9)
- Adam Silver says raising NBA’s age limit a top priority (7)
- Former Marquette commits Ahmed Hill, Satchel Pierce follow Buzz Williams to Virginia Tech (7)