Pain. It is something everyone is familiar with. As Ohio State fans, we experienced it on Saturday after the football team dropped a tough one against the Ducks. So we figured we would bring the pain to the hoops realm and discuss which Ohio State loss on the basketball court has brought you personally the most pain.
Last week, thanks to the full schedule being released, we discussed what we believed to be the hardest game on the Buckeyes’ schedule. Connor won with 57% (30 votes) with his pick of the game at Purdue. Justin got 30% (16 votes) with his pick of the battle against Michigan in Ann Arbor (is a whore). And other got 13% (7 votes) but again, the others did not listen and tell us who they picked (except one for vote for Illinois which is hard to argue against).
After 19 weeks:
(There has been one tie)
Today’s Question: Which Ohio State basketball game has hurt you the most?
Connor: Penn State 82, No. 13 Ohio State 79 (January 25, 2018)
The 2017-18 Ohio State men’s basketball team — Chris Holtmann’s first team — had a knack for falling behind early and digging themselves out of it in the final few minutes. They did it against Purdue on the road. They did it against Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament. And they did it against Penn State at home.
The Buckeyes were 9-0 in Big Ten play heading into this one, surprising many pundits and experts who penciled them into the middle to bottom of the conference before the season started.
Armed with the future B1G POY in Keita Bates-Diop, a future NBA starter in Jae’Sean Tate, and the almighty Andrew Dakich, this team (in hindsight) was fantastic. Having risen from unranked all the way up to No. 13 in the country by January, the Buckeyes were an actual, legitimate threat to win their first B1G title in six years. Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue were tangling with Ohio State at the top of the standings. Penn State was not.
This Nittany Lion team in particular was only 3-5 in conference play leading into that fateful night, but they also had two future pros in Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr — who we’ll talk about in just a moment. New Ohio State point guard Jamari Wheeler was a freshman on this Penn State team, too. They truly were not a bad team, and actually wound up finishing sixth in the conference that year and won the NIT.
Regardless, Ohio State was in the top-25 and riding some serious momentum, having won eight straight games. A home matchup with Penn State was merely a blip on the radar. Fans trickled in as the ball tipped off in the Schottenstein Center, but neither the home team nor the home crowd seemed too concerned about Penn State.
The Nittany Lions responded by putting on a shooting clinic the likes of which we have never seen, going 11-14 from beyond the arc (79%) and pulling ahead by as many as a dozen points in the second half. Each time that Ohio State scored a bucket to begin the climb back, Penn State responded. Stevens scored 15. Shep Garner — who is Flavor Flav’s cousin, believe it or not — had 14. Carr dropped a team-high 28. It was like trying to keep a boat afloat that just kept springing a new leak every few seconds.
The Buckeyes shot the ball well themselves, shooting it at a 56% clip overall and 46% from deep. Normally, this would suffice. Not on a night when Penn State was putting on the most impressive shooting clinic we’ve seen in years.
Down by nine with two minutes left, our good friend Keita canned back-to-back triples to make it a one-possession game with 1:14 to go. He finished the game with 25 points. After a Penn State miss, Tate took Mike Watkins down low and scored easily with the left hand, making it a one-point game with 19 seconds remaining. The Buckeyes had no choice but to foul, so C.J. Jackson picked up the foul and sent the man of the hour — Carr — to the line. He hit both, unsurprisingly, making it a three-point, 79-76 Penn State lead with 14 seconds remaining.
And then it happened.
The most exiting, heart-wrenching, rage-inducing, show-stopping, scream-at-your-TV ending that I can recall in recent memory.
INSANE FINISH IN COLUMBUS!— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 26, 2018
Tony Carr and Keita Bates-Diop were unstoppable down the stretch, and Carr had the final answer for @PennStateMBB at the buzzer to seal the upset over No. 13 Ohio State: pic.twitter.com/aoDBprnPRG
Bates-Diop connects on a long triple with five seconds left, tying the game at 79. He landed doing the splits, something a 6-foot-9, 240 pound man should not be able to do. His teammates wanted to rush the court, mob him, and celebrate overtime, but first they had to make sure Penn State didn’t do the impossible. Well, they did.
Carr nonchalantly brought the ball down the floor and tossed up a prayer from a few feet in front of the half-court line. It caromed off the glass and into the basket just before the horn sounded, and Penn State escaped Columbus with one of the most exiting — and impressive — wins of the season.
The Schott went from utter mayhem following Bates-Diop’s make to dead silence on Carr’s buzzer-beater. The student section stood with their hands on their head, in disbelief.
Final score: Penn State 82, Ohio State 79. The Buckeyes would go on to finish in second-place in the Big Ten... just one game behind Michigan State.
Justin: Oral Roberts 75, Ohio State 72 (March 19, 2021)
When it comes to pain, there is one game that stands out. And this picture says it all. It is a game that I honestly didn’t think I would ever have to think about it again. It’s the last game that the Ohio State men’s basketball team has played, and it is one that made people on the internet really lose their mind. It is when the No. 2 seeded Ohio State Buckeyes fell to the No. 15 seeded Oral Roberts Eagles 75-72.
The game that made someone on the internet go as far to call me a coward and other mean words because I jokingly quoted a meme to him. He obviously had not seen the meme. The game that made a lot of people question Chris Holtmann as a coach, despite the fact that many people directly involved in the game will call him one of the more underrated coaches in the country.
The game that made people forget exactly how good Duane Washington Jr. is and actual cowards on the internet threatened E.J. Liddell; as if he wasn’t the sole reason the Buckeyes were in the game in the first place.
This game hurt for a number of reasons. The main one being that every single person who is not an Ohio State fan had the best day of their lives because — for some odd reason — they hate Ohio State and enjoyed seeing 18-21 year old men having one of the worst days of their lives. I think that is weird behavior, but I digress. I can’t tell you how many text messages I received. Not. Fun.
The other reason was that I truly believe that this Ohio State team could have made a deep run. I do not think they would have gotten past Baylor in the Elite Eight, but I do think that they could have fairly easily made it that far. Heck, Oral Roberts almost did.
Not to mention, the Buckeyes got really unlucky. It is not an excuse; it is a fact. Oral Roberts was a disastrous matchup from the start and the Buckeyes went into that game without Kyle Young, who would have made a huge difference on Kevin Obanor down low. Not to mention, as we have since learned, Young did not play and Seth Towns and Liddell were not fully healthy. With hindsight, you could almost see this coming.
This game was a strange one because — to be very honest — I never thought the Buckeyes were going to lose until the final buzzer sounded in overtime. It just felt like one of those games that they would struggle, but ultimately live to fight another day. Who knew it was more like a last stand. I just feel bad for the players. It is hard to have your failures unfold on national TV and it is even harder when you are 18-21 years old and everyone is enjoying it.
Some might call this regency bias. I say, “Who cares?” Pain.
Which Ohio State basketball loss has hurt you the most?
This poll is closed
Tony Carr’s 2018 buzzer beater (Connor)
Oral Roberts winning this March (Justin)
A different game hurt worse and I can’t believe you didn’t mention it