Friday night, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Iowa State Cyclones meet, once again, in the NCAA Tournament. The last time that these two met was in 2013 in the “Third Round” of the NCAA tourney — also known as the Round of 32 — in Dayton, Ohio.
That Ohio State squad was very different from this season’s squad. The Buckeyes were the No. 2 seed in the West Region, and touted scorers Deshaun Thomas and LaQuinton Ross. But on that day, March 23, 2013, the Bucks had an 18-point effort from guard Aaron Craft, with his final three points being the most important of the game.
In a contest that was close at halftime, the Buckeyes began to run away with it late in the second half. Leading by as many as 13, head coach Thad Matta and company were cruising onward to another Sweet 16 appearance. However, the Cyclones rallied, going on a 13-0 run down the stretch. ISU would even lead the game 72-71.
With the game all knotted up at 75-75, Craft held the ball on the near wing, and after a switch by the Cyclone defense that put Georges Niang on the OSU guard, he let the ball go with about two seconds left in regulation.
The rest is history.
After this game-winner, OSU would win their Sweet 16 game against Arizona on a last-second shot by Ross before falling to Wichita State in the Elite 8.
Nearly six years later, there’s no Matta, no Craft, and Jim Nantz won’t be on the broadcast tonight in Tulsa. But, Chris Holtmann has this edition of the Bucks dancing. And who knows? Maybe we’ll see heroics from the likes of C.J. Jackson, Keyshawn Woods or Justin Ahrens.
Ohio State-Iowa State is slated for an approximate 9:45 p.m. ET tip-off from the BOK Center. The game will be broadcast on TBS, with Brad Nessler leading the play-by-play call.