Thanks to Aaron Craft, the Ohio State Buckeyes have survived and advanced, and my heart rate has just about returned to something approaching its normal rhythm.
What a great game this was, and what an impossible game to watch if you were a fan of either team! Iowa State had the advantage early, and the Buckeyes clawed their way back. Ohio State took control in the second half, Iowa State counterpunched, and then the Buckeyes rolled out to a big lead. But then, it was Iowa State’s turn. They made incredibly tough threes, erased a 13-point Buckeye lead in the blink of an eye, and left me and every member of Buckeye Nation shaking our heads at an epic collapse. But Aaron Craft, who had missed the front ends of two one-and-ones to expedite Iowa State’s comeback, wouldn’t give up. He made the big plays down the stretch and then, with the final seconds ticking away, swished a three-pointer to put the game on ice for the Buckeyes.
Kudos to Aaron Craft — the baby-faced assassin — and Deshaun Thomas and LaQuinton Ross, all of whom made big shots in the second half. And kudos, too, to the Iowa State Cyclones, who were tough, dogged, and determined not to give up. I’m glad the Buckeyes won, of course, but I have a huge amount of respect for Iowa State and their classy coach. Great game, Cyclones! I hope you will turn out to be the toughest team the Buckeyes have to play, because I don’t think Ohio State — or its fans — could survive a tougher game than this one.