Walter Offutt and Ohio are moving on in the NCAA Tournament.
Step aside, VCU. Enjoy your memories, Butler. The Bobcats are becoming the midmajor darlings of this March Madness.
Offutt scored 21 points, D.J. Cooper had 19, and No. 13 seed Ohio beat No. 12 South Florida 62-56 on Sunday night in advancing to the Midwest Regional semifinals.
The Bobcats, 29-7, who opened the tournament with an upset against fourth-seeded Michigan, will play No. 1 seed North Carolina in St. Louis on Friday in their first trip to the round of 16 since they lost to the Wolverines in the regional finals in 1964.
Ohio trailed by two when Offutt swished a three-pointer, launching a 10-0 run for the Bobcats. Two free throws by Cooper made it 54-46 with 3:28 left.
The Bobcats had a 59-53 lead when Toarlyn Fitzpatrick connected for South Florida’s first three-pointer of the half. But Cooper went three for four from the line while the Bulls missed three shots in the final 36 seconds.
Victor Rudd Jr. and Anthony Collins scored 13 points apiece, and Augustus Gilchrist had 12 for the Bulls, 22-14.
South Florida, though, was playing in its third game in five days with a travel day in between. South Florida beat California on Wednesday and Temple on Friday night in the second round.