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Ohio State Makes East Final, Beats Cincinnati 81-66

William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes handles the ball against Dion Dixon #3 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during their 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional Semifinal game at TD Garden on March 22, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes handles the ball against Dion Dixon #3 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during their 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional Semifinal game at TD Garden on March 22, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) — Deshaun Thomas scored 26 points and Jared Sullinger had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead second-seeded Ohio State to an 81-66 victory over No. 6 seed Cincinnati on Thursday night, putting the Buckeyes in the East Regional finals.

Aaron Craft added 11 points — all in the second half — with five assists and six steals, taking charge during a 17-1 second-half run that turned a four-point deficit into a double-digit lead.

Cashmere Wright scored 18 and Sean Kilpatrick had 15 for the Bearcats, who were attempting to match Big East rival Syracuse by beating a Big Ten opponent to advance to the round of eight. The top-seeded Orange advanced earlier Thursday by beating fourth-seeded Wisconsin at the TD Garden.

It’s the first trip to the regional finals for Ohio State (30-7) since 2007, when it lost in the national championship game to Florida.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)