"I think people missed the boat on Tennessee's defense," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "It's one of the best defenses we've gone against this year. How they use their length and the switching that they were doing was very, very effective. A lot of times it looks like something's easy, but it really isn't."
Sounds a lot like Tennessee's year.
Williams, Tyler Smith, Cameron Tatum and Melvin Goins were stopped for speeding on Jan. 1 and police found a gun and marijuana. Pearl kicked Smith, Tennessee's top scorer last year, off the team, and suspended the other three. Nine days later, Tennessee stunned then-No. 1 Kansas.
Now the Volunteers are one of just eight teams left.
"It sounds real good, and we're livin' it up right now," said senior Wayne Chism, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Chism, who seemed to get a boost when he took off his bright orange headband at halftime, gave the Vols a 72-70 lead with 1:39 to play. Turner came up with yet another big play, swishing a 3 from just beyond the arc with less than 42 seconds to go. But Williams, a big, bruising center, tipped in Prince's miss on a layup.
Turner missed at the other end and Kyle Madsen lost the ball under the basket. With less than 13 seconds left, Turner fouled Bobby Maze, who after a timeout, coolly blew a kiss to someone in the Tennessee fan section and knocked down both shots.
Tennessee knew Ohio State would try and get the ball to Turner, but Prince was ready.
With Prince shadowing him, Turner missed a shot from the deep left corner. He got the ball back, but Prince blocked the shot at the buzzer.
"I knew nobody wanted it more than I did," Prince said. "He's going to have to earn it if he's going to make that shot."
As the Tennessee players celebrated, Turner walked off the court with his head bowed.
"I can't give a percentage right now," a red-eyed Turner said when asked if he'll return to Ohio State for his senior year. "I really don't want to go out like this."