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Ohio State basketball might be back after win over Michigan State

The basketball program has had several down years, but a corner might have been turned.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“This is what you work for. This is why we took the risk that we took. ... It’s today, it’s today. Everything we’ve been working toward, this is it right here. It’s just flashbacks of where it’s supposed to be. I’m proud of Chris and happy for these guys. This is what we can do. This is what we can do.”

- Gene Smith via Doug Lesmerises,

Ohio State basketball has been far from the minds of top collegiate teams and fans alike over the last few years, and for good reason: The Buckeyes simply weren’t getting the job done anymore. Now, with the help from a blowout win over No. 1 Michigan State, it might signal that Ohio State is back. First-year head coach Chris Holtmann helped guide the Buckeyes to a much better record thus far than in Thad Matta’s past few seasons and with a healthy squad featuring Kieta Bates-Diop, things are looking up. If you ask any of the players on Ohio State’s roster, they knew this was possible and are excited at the chance of potentially making the NCAA Tournament once again.

Of course, there’s still roughly two months to go before all of that’s decided, but a strong start from the Buckeyes has certainly helped their chances. Having to only play the Spartans once is helpful, but Ohio State will still have to do some work in the Big Ten. Should they also make a decent run in the Big Ten Tournament, the Buckeyes would have a great chance to make the Big Dance. But, the signature win of the season couldn’t have been better than over Tom Izzo’s squad.

“In the first half Monday, Hurts completed 3 of 8 passes for 21 yards and Alabama trailed Georgia 13-0. In the first half of Ohio State’s game with Oklahoma in week two, Barrett completed 5 of 11 passes for 25 yards and Ohio State was tied at 3 with the Sooners.

Saban made a change. Meyer wasn’t close to it.”

- Doug Lesmerises,

Even the biggest Ohio State fans still like to keep an eye on Alabama, as much as it can pain them to watch the success that the Crimson Tide have. With that said, eyes were certain to be glued as Nick Saban led his team to another national championship Monday night against Georgia. Perhaps the biggest moment in the game came at halftime, when Saban made the risky decision to bench his starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in favor of a true freshman, Tua Tagovailoa. Hurts, after all, had come a Clemson drive away from winning the national championship last season, and has been 25-2 as a starter for the Crimson Tide over the past two seasons.

But Saban went with what he thought was right, and the ability to throw downfield consistently helped change the game in the second half as the Tide erased a 13-point deficit and ended up winning in overtime on a deep TD throw from Tagovailoa.

The question for Buckeye fans, is if Urban Meyer had been in that position against Georgia, would he have made the call to replace J.T. Barrett (another running quarterback with an impeccable starting record) for Dwayne Haskins? I think most Ohio State fans would say no, he wouldn’t. But it’s an interesting thought nonetheless.

“[Top 10 college football national championships] 3. Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2OT)”

- Chris Low, ESPN

With another classic national championship game in the books, Chris Low of ESPN broke down his top 10 national championship games in college football history. Ohio State’s win over the Miami Hurricanes in the 2002-03 national championship game came in ranked third on his list. The double overtime game where the Buckeyes were 11.5-point underdogs was an instant classic and will always be remembered in Ohio State history. The Hurricanes were riding a 34-game win streak and were winners of the previous national title.

Craig Krenzel, Maurice Clarett, and the Ohio State defense pounded back and forth with Miami until the fireworks started going for the Buckeyes. One of the biggest moments of the game was a pass interference call at the end of the first overtime that helped Ohio State stay alive in the contest until Clarett had the go-ahead touchdown.