Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 24, 2013
Ohio State is headed to its fourth straight Sweet 16, the program's longest streak and the nation's longest current streak. How did it get there? Simple: Aaron Craft. The junior hit a buzzer-beating trey to make up for a trio of late missed free throws and send Ohio State past Iowa State, 78-75.
Read more about the game:
Why Ohio State won: Despite struggling late from the free-throw line and making some costly turnovers, Aaron Craft remain unmoved as the last few seconds ticked off the clock in a 75-75 game. That?s when the junior guard hit a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to push the Buckeyes to a 78-75 win. Ohio State advances to the Sweet 16 for a fourth consecutive season. The Buckeyes shot well, hitting 51 percent (25-of-49) of their attempts overall and 50 percent from 3-point range (9-of-18). They also made nine steals and forced 16 turnovers, which they time and again converted into hoops to negate Iowa State?s 39-26 edge on the glass.
Key moment: There were two in the final two minutes. With 1:41 left, Aaron Craft took a huge charge call that negated what could have been a three-point play for Iowa State. That play was a huge momentum-changer. Then, of course, the biggest moment of the game – if not the tournament – came on Craft's buzzer-beating trey to break the tie and lift the Buckeyes to the Sweet 16.
Key player: Deshaun Thomas led the way with 22 points; LaQuinton Ross tallied 17 off the bench. But this honor has to go to Craft. He finished with 18 points of 7-of-11 shooting and had six assists and three steals. Plus, one Titanic shot to win the game. Want more? Craft also took a huge charge late in the game that negated an Iowa State hoop and allowed OSU to set up for the winning bucket.
Key number: 19, bench points for Ohio State. Ross led the way with 17, as he continues to break out as an offensive force. The sophomore has a bright future.
What?s next: The Buckeyes will play No. 6 Arizona in Los Angeles in the Sweet 16 of the West Region, which has seen No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 3 New Mexico, No. 4 Kansas State and No. 5 Wisconsin all get knocked out already. The Wildcats dumped No. 11 Belmont and No. 14 Harvard to reach the Sweet 16. Ohio State is in pursuit of a second consecutive Final Four berth.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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