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Courtside blog: Ohio State 73, UM 68 (F)

BANKUNITED CENTER -- I'll be here to provide you with thoughts and highlights as the 21st-ranked Canes take on Ohio State tonight on national TV. Miami will be a man short at point guard with Eddie Rios suspended indefinitely. Look for Jack McClinton to spend a lot more time at the point. That could hurt this team tonight against a good Buckeyes zone defense.

Ohiostate> The Canes come out guns blazing. UM takes five three pointers and sinks three, going on a 9-0 run behind a Lance Hurdle 3 and back-to-back McClinton threes before OSU calls time out 15:55. Ohio State loves to play zone defense. Let's see if they keep it going.

> By the way, for the first time in a long time, every seat on media row has been taken. There has to be over 20 scouts here tonight to watch this game. Randy Shannon isn't one of them. But he's watching the game not too far from us. Maybe I should ask him about Patrick Nix.

> We've played four minutes since the last time out and each team has scored two points. Ohio State can't buy a basket. The Buckeyes have started 2 of 10 from the field.

> Got to give the student section some cred tonight. They've come with some creative taunts -- and it's not even ACC season yet. They keep taunting freshman B.J. Mullens shouting "BJ's ugly!"

> In probably the most strange play I've ever seen on a basketball court. Jack McClinton hits his fourth three-pointer of the game with 10:13 left in the first half to put UM up 19-7. Then, after review, he gets thrown out of the game for a flagrant foul (not sure if it was a slap or a punch because I couldn't see it from this angle). The Canes are now down two guards.

> The loss of McClinton has invigorated the Canes. After two OSU free throws and a three-pointer cut into Miami's lead 19-12, Miami responded with six straight points behind Dwayne Collins, James Dews and Brian Asbury.

> Freshman DeQuan Jones picked up his third foul with 5:33 left in the first half. That's going to leave Miami shorthanded at guard. Jones had been rotating Dews and Hurdle at guard to stay fresh. Tonight is the night this team's depth and mettle gets tested. No Jack McClinton and short-handed against a talented Buckeyes team.

> The Buckeyes trailed 36-22 at the start of the second half, but have come out determined here early and are doing a better job getting to the rim. They've opened with a 6-2 run to pull within 38-28 with 16:58 left.