PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Tennessee junior Josh Bone had played two minutes over the past 11 games entering Saturday's game.
Once on the court, Bone knew what to do, sinking a 3-pointer one minute after substituting in and playing shutdown defense the 10 minutes he was in on the Vols' 83-68 win over Ohio in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Tennessee (27-8) advances to the Sweet 16 to play the winner of today's Georgia Tech-Ohio State game on Friday in St. Louis.
The Vols' bench figures to be a factor there, too, just as it was Saturday by out-scoring the Bobcats' bench 28-0.
"I just went with what has been getting the job done for us all year, and that's having confidence in our bench,'' UT coach Bruce Pearl said. "I trusted Josh, and Josh had stayed ready. I felt we needed a tough guy.
"Maybe I'm the bonehead for not playing him more.''
Bone has spent most all of the past 1 1/2 months emulating opponents' star guards on the scout team, working hard despite seldom getting any work with the regular rotation.
"That's the way my parents raised me, not to quit and to stay ready,'' said Bone, who was instrumental in tearlier season wins over Kansas and Ole Miss. "I'm not going to get down on myself and hang my head.
"Coach told me before yesterday's walk-through to be ready and to play hard.''
Pearl said the more he looked at Ohio's backcourt, with D.J. Cooper and Armon Bassett both boasting point guard skills, the more sense it made to play Bone.
"Cameron (Tatum) has been playing well, but he's been playing two positions, behind J.P. Prince (at the three) and behind Scotty (Hopson) at the two,'' Pearl said. "In a day-and-a-half to prepare, that's hard to do when you've got different matchups.''
Bone scored seven points while Tatum came off the bench to score nine, and Steven Pearl added six.
Fight Like Brothers: The cameras were there to catch it: Wayne Chism and Prince got animated with one another in the second half after an on-court disagreement.
"That's my roommate, and Wayne's like my brother, and we were just settling something real quick,'' Prince said. "It looked worse than it was.''
Chism laughed about it in the locker room.
"I told J.P. he had to come and get the ball,'' Chism said. "We were just on a different page.
"J.P. and me are tight, and we've known each other since we were little.''
No Plan B: When UT shut down Cooper and Bassett, the Bobcats didn't have a viable alternative, other than forward Tommy Freeman, who scored a game-high 23 points.
Post players Kenneth van Kempen and DeVaughn Washington were a combined 7-for-20 from the field. That was a significant comedown from their shooting against Georgetown (8-for-14).
"Ohio's bigs weren't good enough to take advantage of our coverage," Pearl said. "Our game plan was to make guys beat us that had not been put in that position all season long."
Orange Slices: Saturday marked Chism's ninth NCAA tournament game, breaking the UT record shared by Chris Lofton, JaJuan Smith, Dale Ellis and Steve Ray. ... Maze's nine assists matched his career high. ... UT improved to 15-18 all-time in NCAA tournament games. ... The Vols are 16-2 this season when Prince scores in double figures. ... UT's 27 wins are the second-highest single-season total in the program's history (31, 2007-08). ... Pearl is 7-4 in NCAA tournament games with the Vols.
John Adams contributed to this report.