Ohio State 92, Memphis 76

Saturday, March 24th 2007, 6:10 pm
By: News On 6

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Greg Oden wasn't going to let foul trouble stop him, not with a chance to take Ohio State to the Final Four.

Frustrated by fouls for a third straight game, Oden made the most of his time on court during a key stretch of the 2nd half, carrying the top-seeded Buckeyes past Memphis 92-76 Saturday in the South Regional finals.

Oden's numbers weren't huge: 17 points, 9 rebounds.

The 7-footer's impact was.

The Buckeyes (34-3) went from up 5 points to down 5 deficit during the 4:42 the fabulous freshman was on the bench after getting his third foul early in the 2nd half. The moment he returned, everything changed. His presence on offense and defense sparked a 20-8 run that ultimately sent Ohio State to Atlanta for a showdown next weekend with the winner of the North Carolina-Georgetown game Sunday.

The Buckeyes last made the Final Four in 1999, when a team led by Michael Redd and Scoonie Penn lost to eventual national champion Connecticut. That trip later was expunged from the records because of NCAA violations, making their last official appearance in 1968.

2nd-seeded Memphis (33-4) fell a game shy of the Final Four for a second straight season. The Conference USA champs were riding a 25-game winning streak and were plenty confident they could handle the Big Ten champs -- and were doing just fine until the 260-pound future NBA lottery pick flexed his muscles.