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Ohio stuns Virginia to advance in 3rd straight NCAA Tournament

Virginia falls in first round for second time in three tournaments

Ohio v Virginia Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

You’re not going to get a better story than Ohio this month (unless Norfolk State does something crazy). The Bobcats’ star averaged two points per game his senior year of high school. Their head coach is an alum of their best team ever. Now, they’ve beaten the defending national champions.

Fulfilling one of the more popular upset picks this year, the Bobcats beat Virginia, 62-58, on Saturday in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

It was all Wahoos out of the gates, despite not even arriving in Indianapolis until Friday.

Virginia had a 28-27 lead at the break in large part thanks to a lack of turnovers. On the other end, the Cavaliers were getting owned on the boards. Ohio made that even worse in the second half.

The Wahoos went up by as many as seven in the second half, but a big 10-minute field goal drought allowed the Bobcats to get back into the game. Then came two big threes from Ben Vander Plaas. He finished with 17 points.

Ohio went ahead and pushed its lead to seven late, but a Virginia push made things interesting at the end. The defending national champions fell.

The player who only averaged two points per game in high school, Jason Preston, got a double-double — and near triple-double — in his first NCAA Tournament appearance. 11 points, 13 rebounds, and eight rebounds for him.

Jeff Boals has his alma mater in the second round for its third tournament in a row. The MAC champions will face former mid-major Creighton on Monday for a berth in the Sweet 16.