Craft Keeps Buckeyes Alive - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Craft Keeps Buckeyes Alive

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Dayton, OH (FOX19) - The game clock was winding down and maybe Aaron Craft could feel time running short on the Buckeyes chances at a fourth consecutive Sweet 16.

"The ball happened to be in my hands and God put it in." 

Craft buried a three pointer with less than a second left to lift Ohio State over a strong Iowa State team 78-75.  Craft finished with 18 points and six assists.

"I felt I had a mismatch.  The possession before I had the same mismatch and got a shot off.  Knew I was going to have space and not have to rush it and it was able to go in," said Craft.

Craft had struggled at times in the second half against the Cyclones.  He missed a couple of shots in the lane and was an uncharacteristic 7-11 from the free throw line.  It didn't matter to Craft.  After a defensive switch by the Cyclones, Craft waived off Deshaun Thomas as the final seconds of regulation ticked away.

Lenzelle Smith Jr wasn't surprised.  "As a kid, you know, you practice these moments.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and you put up a shot and you pray that it goes in.  And, that moment came true for him."

Craft added, "I always see Evan Turner's shot against Michigan and if I can get put in that category it's very humbling."

The Buckeyes move on to the Sweet 16 in Los Angeles where Matta will coach against his friend and former assistant Sean Miller whose Arizona Wildcats are the sixth seed in the west.

If Ohio State finds itself in another tight game, Sam Thompson says the Buckeyes would be confident in Craft again.

"We have all the confidence in the world in Craft.  When he started waving people off, I knew the pull up was coming."

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