BLOOIMINGTON, Ind. (WCMH) — The No. 13 Ohio Bobcats shocked the No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers 62-58 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Assembly Hall on Saturday night giving OU its first tournament win since 2012.
The Bobcats couldn’t generate much offense against the Cavaliers who rank top 10 in fewest points allowed per game in the country, but OU was able to pull off the win thanks to the late play of junior Ben Vander Plas.
Vander Plas scored when it mattered most dropping 10 points in a four-minute stretch late in the second half to give OU a seven-point lead. They would not trail the rest of the game.
Vander Plas nailed a three with 7:44 left in the game to give OU its first lead since it was 3-0 in the opening minute of the game.
Vander Plas led all scorers with 17 points while sophomore and Olentangy Liberty grad Ben Roderick finished with 15 points.
Jason Preston nearly recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
OU entered the game with a top 20 offense nationally, but poor shot selection and solid defense from the Cavs kept the Bobcats from getting into a rhythm. OU relied on the play of Vander Plas and hit a few key free throws late to pull off the upset.
Ohio made 13 of its 14 free throws, including six free throws from freshman Mark Sears, sophomore Lunden McDay and Preston with less than a minute left in the game to keep OU up by two possessions.
Virginia struggled all game from behind the arc with eight three pointers on 31 attempts.
Ohio is just the third team since 2012 to beat a No. 4 seed. The other two teams were North Texas who beat Purdue on Friday and the 2012 Bobcats who beat No. 4 Michigan en route to the Sweet 16.