Buckeyes Advance to 4th Straight Sweet 16

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(Courtesy: MGN Online)

Iowa State gave the Buckeyes all they could handle in the NCAA tournament Sunday. But Aaron Craft led Ohio State to a last-second win, advancing the Buckeyes to their fourth straight Sweet 16.

The Cyclones hit 12 three-pointers, including five from former Michigan State star Korie Lucious.

Deshaun Thomas was his usual, steady self. The Big Ten’s leading scorer poured in a game-high 22, and Ohio State led by two at the half.

Sophomore Laquinton Ross took over in the second half. Ross scored 17 points, including 10 straight over a two-minute span as Ohio State built a 12-point lead.

But the Cyclones kept firing from deep, and Tyus McGee’s huge three-pointer gave Iowa State the lead with three minutes left.

That set the stage for Aaron Craft’s finest hour as a Buckeye.

First he drew a controversial charge, and then he made the biggest play of his career. A three-pointer with less than one second to play gave the Buckeyes a 78-75 win.

And when Craft blocked Iowa State’s desperation shot at the buzzer, the Buckeyes survived and advanced to their fourth straight Sweet 16.

Los Angeles is the Buckeyes’ next stop on the road to the Final Four in Atlanta. They’ll play the Arizona Wildcats in the West Regional Semifinal next Thursday at Staples Center.