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Buckeyes muzzle Hoyas' Green

Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he had a restless night's sleep Friday fretting about how his team would contain, not shut down, Georgetown forward Jeff Green.

By BRIAN LANDMAN
Published April 1, 2007


ATLANTA - Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he had a restless night's sleep Friday fretting about how his team would contain, not shut down, Georgetown forward Jeff Green.

Green, the Big East player of the year and the East Region most outstanding player, had a game-high and career-high-tying 12 rebounds, but he had nine points - five below his average - on just five field-goal attempts Saturday.

"I don't know if we did anything exceptional to only give him five" shots, said Matta, who showed a quartet of his players a 10-minute compilation of the Hoya star's moves Friday evening. "Let me put it this way: We were very aware and keyed to contain him. ... He's one of the best players I've seen in college basketball this year."

Green credited OSU's weak-side help that made it difficult for his teammates to get him the ball, and OSU's quick hands that knocked the ball from him at times.

"I didn't want to force anything, so I just took what they gave me," he said.

Which wasn't a lot.

BIG TEN IN BIG GAME: Ohio State becomes the fourth Big Ten team to reach the championship game since 2000. Michigan State won it in 2000 against Florida, and Indiana (2002) and Illinois (2005) lost in the finale.

NUMBERS GAME: Georgetown's bench was outscored 11-0. ... Georgetown had been 4-0 in the national semifinals ... OSU has won 22 straight, tying the 1961-62 team for second-longest streak in school history.

FACES IN THE CROWD: A number of famous Buckeyes were in the Georgia Dome, including football coach Jim Tressel, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith, Heisman Trophy-winning running back Eddie George, former quarterback and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, former receiver Michael Jenkins (Leto High) and former basketball star Jimmy Jackson. The Hoyas had some representation, too. Patrick Ewing was a few rows behind the Hoyas bench to cheer on his son, Patrick Jr.