Scores

Final

(10) Iowa State 75

(23-12, 11-7 Big 12)

(2) Ohio State 78

(28-7, 13-5 Big Ten)

Coverage: CBS

12:15 PM ET, March 24, 2013

University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio

1 2 T
#10ISU 36 3975
#2OSU 38 4078

Top Performers

Iowa State: K. Lucious 19 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast

Ohio State: D. Thomas 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Stl

Aaron Craft's 3-pointer with half-second left lifts Ohio State

Associated Press

DAYTON, Ohio -- Aaron Craft dribbled in place at the top of the arc, watching to see if any of his Ohio State teammates were getting open near the basket for a game-winning shot.

Nothing there.

The point guard had a clear look at the clock as it raced toward zero atop the backboard. He realized what he had to do -- take a little Ohio State tournament history into his hands.

Craft held the ball until he had no other choice, then swished a 3-pointer with a half-second left Sunday for a 78-75 victory over Iowa State, sending the Buckeyes to a school-record fourth straight trip to the round of 16.

No. 2 Ohio State had managed to escape as the lone high seed left in the NCAA tournament's most-busted bracket.

"The moment's a lot bigger than me," said Craft, who had allowed Iowa State to catch up with missed free throws and an errant jumper. "It just happened to be in my hands at the end."

Ohio State (28-7) needed Craft's fearless shot -- over 6-foot-7 defender Georges Niang -- to avoid yet another upset in the oh-so-wild West Regional. Four of the top five seeds fell fast and hard in the first weekend.

The Buckeyes' 10th straight win sent them to Los Angeles for a game on Thursday against sixth-seeded Arizona.

"With all that's gone on in college basketball, anything's possible," Craft said. "You can see it with what's gone on in our bracket right now."

Tenth-seeded Iowa State (23-12) overcame a late 13-point deficit by hitting 3s -- the Cyclones' specialty -- but wound up beaten by one, a tough way to have their upset bid end.

"We played our hearts out," said Will Clyburn, who scored 17 points. "It was a tough game and he made a tough shot. He made a great play."

Craft's missed free throws helped Iowa State catch up. He missed the front end of a pair of one-and-one chances and was off on a jumper from just inside the arc with 29.2 seconds left and the score tied.

The Cyclones knocked the ball out of bounds while trying for the rebound, setting up the final chance. Coach Thad Matta called a timeout and went over the options.

"I told 'em, 'Hey, let's get the last shot; let's play for the win here,' " Matta said.

When the Cyclones switched coverages to take away leading scorer Deshaun Thomas and put their tall freshman on Craft, the point guard decided to take it himself.

Not a bad outcome, Iowa State thought.

"He had a tough shot," said Korie Lucious, who led Iowa State with 19 points. "He hadn't hit a 3 all game."

The officials reviewed the play to confirm that Craft's foot was behind the arc when he shot. Lucious didn't come close on a long heave as the final half-second ran off.

Lucious stood on the court after the buzzer sounded, stung by the final half-second. Coach Fred Hoiberg was unable to make an opening comment during the postgame news conference, the pain etched all over his face.

Thomas led Ohio State with 22 points, and Craft had 18. LaQuinton Ross scored 10 straight for the Buckeyes as they built that second-half lead.

The Buckeyes escaped Dayton -- the scene of a couple of recent NCAA tournament disappointments -- as the lone high seed left in the West.

No. 3 New Mexico, No. 4 Kansas State and No. 5 Wisconsin were knocked out right away, losing their openers. No. 1 Gonzaga joined them Saturday night, shocked by ninth-seeded Wichita State 76-70.

The Buckeyes had opened the tournament in Dayton twice previously under Matta and lost despite thousands of fans providing a home-court feeling.

Perhaps it was fitting that this one was decided by a 3.

The Cyclones lead the nation in 3-pointers, with nearly 44 percent of their attempts coming from behind the arc. Defense has been Ohio State's foundation during its late winning streak, which included the Big Ten tournament title.

With Craft anchoring Ohio State's perimeter defense, the Cyclones had trouble getting open shots and missed eight of their first 12 from behind the arc. They finished 12 of 25 on 3-pointers.

The Cyclones also lost one of their best perimeter defenders and their second-best 3-point shooter late in the first half. Guard Chris Babb got treatment on his left leg in the final minute of the half and went to the locker room early. Babb sat on the bench for the rest of the game.

The Buckeyes pushed the lead to six points at the start of the second half, but Melvin Ejim's putback cut it to 52-51. He and Craft bumped into each other and traded words heading into a timeout with 11:43 left.

Neither side was budging.

Coming out of the timeout, the Buckeyes put together their best run of the game. Ross hit a pair of 3s, a layup off a steal and two free throws for a 65-53 lead with 8:18 to go.

The Cyclones turned to the 3 -- both versions -- to pull even. Lucious' three-point play tied it 69-all with 3:53 left, completing a 13-0 run. Craft missed the front end of a pair of one-and-one chances during that spurt.

Craft tried not to think about his previous misses as he watched the white numbers on the clock tick down and squared up to decide the game.

"If I miss, we still have overtime," he said. "So it's not as big of a pressure situation."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ISU
OSU
Points 75 78
FG Made-Attempted 23-52 (.442) 25-49 (.510)
3P Made-Attempted 12-25 (.480) 9-18 (.500)
FT Made-Attempted 17-23 (.739) 19-26 (.731)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 5 13

Series

DATEGAMELINKS
» Mar 24, 2013 @OSU 78, ISU 75Recap

Research Notes

Deshaun Thomas now has 162 career points in the Men's Basketball Championship, tied for the 2nd-most in Ohio State history.
  [+]
Iowa State had 12 3-pointers vs Ohio State, the 2nd-most vs any Buckeyes team in the Men's Basketball Championship.
  [+]
With his game-winning 3-point field goal against Iowa State, Aaron Craft joins Vander Blue as the only players in the last two Men's Basketball Championships to make a potential game-tying or go-ahead field goal in the final 10 seconds of a game. Players are a combined 2-for-20 on such attempts.
  [+]
Ohio State scored 18 points off 16 Iowa State turnovers in its 78-75 win Sunday. The Buckeyes are now 19-1 this season when they score at least 15 points off turnovers. The one loss was to Kansas on Dec. 22.
Ohio State shot 51 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the 3-point line in its 78-75 win against Iowa State. Ball movement was the key. The Buckeyes shot 65.4 percent when having three or more passes on a play. When Ohio State did not have three passes before a shot, it made less than 35 percent.
  [+]
Aaron Craft was a 29 percent 3-point shooter this season entering today. That was his first 3-point attempt of the game. Craft was 4-for-15 on 3-pointers in the NCAA Tournament in his career before that shot.

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