The 2020-2021 Ohio State men’s basketball season was quite a ride, with many ups and certainly a few downs. The team was buoyed by two main contributors in E.J. Liddell and Duane Washington Jr., but nearly every player on the roster had a moment during the season where he played the hero.
As it goes every season, there were a few moments and plays that stuck in my mind well beyond the season’s conclusion. They made me jump up, cover my eyes, or forced me to use colorful language. Yelling “Oh shit!” doesn’t always mean something bad has happened. As Americans, we’ve found a way to turn nearly every curse word into both a good and bad modifier of something else.
With that said, I’ve decided to list out the top “Oh shit!” moments from last basketball season, both good and bad. These are the moments from last year’s almost-Big Ten Championship season that are seared into my mind, for better or for worse.
1) E.J. Liddell blocks Kofi Cockburn’s potential game winning dunk in the B1G title game
I mean, are you kidding me? Cockburn has at least five inches on Liddell, and a made basket would have won Illinois the B1G Tournament right there. Liddell timed it perfectly, sent that shit packing, and the game went to overtime.
2) Eugene Brown cans back-to-back three-pointers late against UCLA
Eugene Brown averaged 1.2 points per game last season. He made seven three-pointers all season long. Two of them came on back-to-back possessions late in Ohio State’s win against UCLA, who if you didn’t notice, ended up being a Final Four team. Legendary.
3) Seth Towns returns
Seth Towns IS BACK ‼️— Zach Fleer (@ZachFleer270) December 20, 2020
For the first time since 2018, Towns appeared in a college basketball game ❤️
Towns’ almost three-year long recovery from multiple knee surgeries has been well-documented and we don’t need to hash the whole story out, but his return in December was a very special moment. Good for Seth for never giving up. He’s going to be an integral part of the 2021-2022 team as well.
4) Washington Jr.’s game-tying three-point attempt is no good, Oral Roberts upsets Ohio State
MAJOR UPSET: No. 15 Oral Roberts beats No. 2 OSU in OT pic.twitter.com/i2aAymPCxj— Sideline Sports (@sportsideline) March 19, 2021
Pretty sure I said more than just “Oh shit” when this shot didn’t fall, but I don’t need to repeat all those words here.
5) Kyle Young suffers second concussion of the month vs Purdue
Trevion Williams charges through the lane. Kyle Young is called for the foul, and he's down right now holding his head.— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) March 12, 2021
There’s not video online of the elbow Young took to the head against Purdue, but the “oh shit” was due to the fact that he had just recovered from a concussion he sustained a few weeks prior against Michigan. The Buckeyes needed him on the floor, but more importantly, getting your brain sloshed around like a shake weight twice in one month is very concerning. Young wound up missing the rest of the season.
6) Justin Ahrens “dunks” in the Big Ten Tournament
Justin Ahrens attempted 127 three-point shots and seven two point shots last season. One of those seven was a clean steal and dunk in the Big Ten Tournament. What a treat.
7) Jaden Ivey’s game-winner in Columbus
Freshman Jaden Ivey with ice in his veins!— FOX Bet (@FOXBet) January 20, 2021
Unranked Purdue (+4.5) goes on the road to Columbus and knocks off No. 15 Ohio State pic.twitter.com/CGxrDXHtG2
Ohio State had the lead most of the night and failed to put Purdue away. This one kind of felt inevitable when the Buckeyes let Purdue dribble it down to that final possession. Pain.
8) Whatever the hell Justice Sueing did with the ball behind his back against Michigan
My Miller's Tavern play of the game goes to Justice Sueing for his unbelievable behind the back pass to Isaiah Livers. I think he should get an assist on that basket. Good call on that @dgalv22 pic.twitter.com/3skJ30UpLS— Tom Armbrustmacher (@tommya14) February 21, 2021
Disregard the TTUN fan’s tweet, this was the only video I could find of the actual play online. With the Buckeyes trailing by three and only a few minutes left in the massive 3 vs 4 battle, Sueing apparently thought Liddell was going to step behind him, so he went behind the back with the pass. The problem was that Liddell was not there, and Isaiah Livers opportunistically grabbed the ball and went coast to coast for a bucket, only to be fouled by.....Sueing.
All things considered, this is my number one “oh shit” moment of the season.