COLUMBUS - One game doesn't make up for 12 months of agony, three defeats and two lost championships.
Still, Ohio State will take some comfort in Saturday's 62-49 victory over Florida, sort of a first installment payment on all the payback the Buckeyes figure they owe the Gators.
The game was a rematch of the schools in last year's national championship games in basketball and football, matchups the Gators won handily.
It was a showdown between two young, unranked teams, but that didn't make it any less meaningful to Ohio State coach Thad Matta or captain Jamar Butler, the only remaining starter from either team in last April's national championship game.
“I said in front of the team to Jamar the other day, 'They don't know what we've had to live with,”' Matta said of the lingering memories of losses to Florida. “I view Florida as one of the premiere teams in college basketball right now. Last year we won 35 games and lost four - and two of them were to them. This meant a lot to me.”