After losing Jared Sullinger to the NBA, it was thought Ohio State might experience a drop-off in its performance on the court during the 2012-13 season. But after a second place finish in the Big Ten regular season and a conference tournament championship, the Buckeyes had quieted many of the skeptics.
A two seed in the NCAA tournament, Ohio State made a march to the Elite Eight. The team never would have gotten that far, however, if not for the defining play in then-junior point guard Aaron Craft's career in scarlet and grey. In the round of 32, locked in a tough matchup against Fred Hoiberg's Iowa State Cyclones, Craft found himself with the ball as time wound down.
The game was tied at 75, and the rosy-cheeked Buckeye dribbled at the top of the arc, looking for an open teammate to pass to. Finding no one with the clock hurtling towards zero, Craft had only one option:
Over the outstretched hand of Iowa State's Georges Niang, Craft hit nothing but net, propelling Ohio State to a 78-75 victory and a trip to the Sweet 16. A poor second half from the Findlay, Ohio native, in which missed free throws allowed the Cyclones to get back into the game down the stretch, was erased in one moment.
"The moment's a lot bigger than me," Craft said after the game. "It just happened to be in my hands at the end."
While Craft's NBA prospects are murky, there is no denying he put together a stellar collegiate career. And the shot he knocked down against Iowa State in the heat of March Madness will live on in Buckeye lore for years to come.