Ohio State Basketball In The NCAA Tournament
Ohio State basketball has made their presence known in the NCAA tournament by consistently having games go down to the wire. The March 28th tilt against Arizona proved no different, as the Buckeyes downed the Wildcats by a slim margin of 73 to 70. Ohio State has won each game by last-second shots, this time proving triumphant due to power forward LaQuinton Ross's stunning three-point shot with only two seconds left on the clock.
Ohio State and Arizona entered the game as familiar foes. OSU coach Thad Matta and Arizona coach Sean Miller both worked together at Miami of Ohio in the 1990s, both working their way up to the ranks of NCAA basketball head coaches. Most recently, the two coaches faced each other in 2007 when Miller was at Xavier University. For this tilt in the West Region bracket in Los Angeles, both teams entered the Sweet Sixteen hoping to punch a ticket to the Elite Eight.
The crowd in Staples Center -- home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, and Kings -- was firmly behind the Arizona Wildcats, with only a token cluster of scarlet-and-gray Buckeye fans representing. The crowd may have energized the Wildcats, since they had a more impressive first period than their adversaries. The 'cats led by four points at the first buzzer, with shooting guard Mark Lyons scoring ten points. They capitalized each time on Ohio State's five turnovers.
The second half, however, as a different story entirely. Ohio State began with a ten-zero run, keeping the Wildcats scoreless for more than five minutes of possession. Once the Buckeyes had their lead, they kept pushing strong and did not let Arizona back into the game. Though they tied the game at seventy in the dying seconds thanks to a Lyon foul throw, the OSU buzzer-beater sent the Wildcats home and the Buckeyes into the next phase of the NCAA tournament.