What a win. Ohio State was on the ropes. They were down by 8 points with just a few seconds remaining. They were able to get a crucial basket, force turnovers, and convert again to not only get themselves back into the game, but also to get them the lead. Finally, they were able to prevent Notre Dame from getting a good look in order to come away with the victory. Fans like to talk about comebacks, but this was the definition of a comeback.
This win is important for multiple reasons. First, it keeps the Buckeyes undefeated. As people say all the time, "undefeated is undefeated." The timing of wins probably should not matter, but in reality, it is significant to be undefeated. The Buckeyes were able to extend their streak and are now 12-0. Along with this, OSU also secures their Top 5 ranking for at least another week and potentially a shot at #1 in the near future if things fall the right way.
Despite this, perhaps the most significant thing about this win will be seen in March. Right now, OSU is competing for a #1 or #2 seed. Sure, things will change dramatically by March, but these types of wins are the ones that separate the top seeds from the others. Notre Dame is not a powerhouse team right now, but they are a quality opponent that should make the NCAA Tournament. Beating them is no easy task and stealing a win in this fashion makes it even better.
LaQuinton Ross had an up and down night, but came up big by the end with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Perhaps the most significant player though was Aaron Craft. Craft had 10 points and 3 assists, but it was the last pass to Lenzelle Smith, Jr. that will be remembered by OSU fans. A great pass late to put the Buckeyes in position to ultimately win the game. All three were big contributors to the game, but the big thing to note is that OSU is gradually starting to develop more options offensively and becoming a very dangerous team.
Maybe this win is being overblown a little bit in the aftermath of the game, but for anyone that watched, any comments would not do the ending justice. This was a fantastic game that will pay OSU dividends all year long despite them having almost no right to win the game in the final minute. Regardless, OSU fans should celebrate tonight and I'm sure they will do just that.
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