Originally created 12/16/06

Buckeyes, Bearcats set to renew rivalry



INDIANAPOLIS - Ohio State and Cincinnati are finally getting back together on the basketball court.

Ohio's two most prominent programs will play today in the Wooden Tradition, their first meeting since 1962 when the Bearcats beat the Buckeyes in the national title game for the second consecutive year.

Forty-four years ago, the lineups were littered with names like Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, Tom Thacker and Tony Yates. Now, they include Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. on one side and virtual unknowns such as John Williamson and Deonta Vaughn on the other.

It appears to be a mismatch. No. 4 Ohio State is 8-1, its only loss coming at North Carolina, while the unranked Bearcats are 7-2 and still trying to find an identity.

But the matchup could give Cincinnati the boost it needs.

"They're ranked really high and we're not ranked at all, so we want to make a name for ourselves," said Williamson, a Columbus native who starts at forward for the Bearcats.

The feud has gone on so long that no players on the current roster were even born when the rivalry really mattered.

"There's a lot of excitement because we haven't played since the '60s or something, I guess," Williamson said. "Coach was telling us how good a game the '62 championship was."

Game 2 features No. 18 Butler (10-1) and Purdue, two schools that haven't met since 2001 when the Bulldogs snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Boilermakers in West Lafayette.