Craft > Pangos

By Jason Priestas on March 17, 2012 at 5:13p

Thanks to a balanced team effort that saw four Buckeyes in double figures, the good guys edged Gonzaga 73-66 to advance to the Sweet 16.

Deshaun Thomas led all Buckeyes in scoring with 18 points, but it was Aaron Craft's work on both ends of the court that powered the Buckeyes to the win. The sophomore point guard finished with 17 points and 10 assists -- good enough for the first double-double of his career -- and held hyped Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos to 3-14 shooting and one lonely assist.

Happy St. Matta Day, everyone.


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Rooster Buckburn's picture

Wow those guys from Vegas are uncanny at setting spreads

Jason Priestas's picture

Unreal, isn't it?

Bucks's picture

Let's find some incredible odds (or insider in Vegas) and bet the Basement Fundraiser! ;)

Baroclinicity's picture

Wow.  Not slamming this, and I'm not the betting type... but it is intruiging.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Jason Priestas's picture

But if we lose... :(

Baroclinicity's picture

Oh I know.  There would be some questions to answer :)

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

osukdawg76's picture

A bit of an ugly game, but "survive and advance" is the name of the game now.

I, for one, welcome our new coaching overlords.



Buckeye06's picture

Good win; and proving we can win without Sully on the court is huge at this point.  Bring on the cats or the seminoles

billjones's picture

Great to see Craft asserting himself on offense in the first half.  Would like to see more of that, please.

Bucks's picture

For a while there, I was pretty convinced Craft would surpass his 19 mark. A little shy of it but another down, S16 here we come.

Baroclinicity's picture

Just win, baby.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

JakeBuckeye's picture

I'm not going to be able to take another Sweet 16 heartbreaker. So instead, New Orleans here we come!

Colin's picture

Good job to the Shamrock club to celebrate the win and the blessed holiday

LadyBuck's picture

Craft has 88 steals this season. Just beat Conely for the most steals in a single season.

LadyBuck's picture

Thanks! I knew he was getting pretty darn close, and up to the Loyola game he had 86. Add the two from today and that's 88 (just in case, I added all the steals this season myself).

Congratulations to Craft.

Bucksfan's picture

Does that send him back to the future?

NilesPacMan's picture

I just read on ESPN that this was the first time in school history we've made a SS three straight seasons. That's surprising...

RedStorm45's picture

Well I guess '60-'62 wouldn't count (or however long that streak was) because the tournament was 64 teams then.

osubuckeye4life's picture

Thanks for the information LadyBuck!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Great win. They got battle-tested and rose to the occasion, which might help them going forward.

Three weeks ago, they probably would have got tight (puckered up) in the last few minutes. Instead, they tightened up the defense as the game went on, after playing poor defense the first 15 minutes.

Good confidence builder for Craft, too. Sully hung in there great when things we're going so well for him; Buford went from having a quiet decent game to making sneaky good plays in the last few minutes. A couple bench guys played meaningful minutes and delivered.

They can use the rest - well earned. But hopefully they have a better plan for ramping the team back up this coming TH/FRI than they did last year.    

TNbuckeye91's picture

Craft is damn bad ass. But other than that. They got that ass. And if there's a way to take the cry babies off of the live blogs we should do that. Im sick of the shit fans. It makes real fans look bad

I come from a long line high, low, and in-between, the same as you. - TVZ

JakeBuckeye's picture

And if there's a way to take the cry babies off of the live blogs we should do that. Im sick of the shit fans. It makes real fans look bad

Amen. I only go on the live blogs at halftime and certain TV timeouts, but some people's incessent bullshit on how much they basically hate this team and how this team can do nothing right gets on my nerves. Sometimes I think some fans are meant to stick to football.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I also tend to check-in only during stopages, etc., so I didn't really notice it so much, or skipped over it. I did comment in the thread, during the first 15 minutes, that I thought the Buckeyes were playing poorly defensively (which they were), but that was my only negative comment not involving the refs. Where do you draw the line on negativity?

JakeBuckeye's picture

Fido you're good. I'm not talking about basic commentary. I'm known to call out Sully and co. when they're playing bad. I'm talking about the contigent of smart ass fans that make little slights and comments on Buford, Thad's game management, Sully being too soft, etc. etc. on a non-stop basis. No win or player will ever be good enough for those fans.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Cool. Actually, because I drop in during TOs, it's hard to read everyone's comments. Like, I'll go back a little and read comments from you, LadyBuckeye, squirrel, others I know will say something worthwhile; otherwise, I tend to gloss over it and thus many of the negative nellies slip my attention.

Bucks's picture

Understand where you're coming from and tend to agree with you. From a moderating standpoint though (can't speak for all), I'm not going to censor or stop someone from stating their opinion even if I think it is bonkers. We keep the trolls out & try to ensure there are no personal attacks. Obviously if a debate heads towards hostility between a couple people, we tend to send some private messages but otherwise ... I don't think any person here wants to be censored just b/c a majority disagrees.

With all the above being said, there been some truly knowledgeable commenters in the blogs & absolutely love it. There are a few things that do truly drive me nuts with this team but I take every basketball game a few minutes at a time. I missed most of the first today & had I projected that performance for the full game, it would be an ugly loss. Adjustments were made and the good guys prevailed over a good Zaga team.

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Cmon Jake - your the biggest smartass on here. You are the reason I stopped reading the love feed.. Not sure when you became 11w staff... but thank God sully has you to hold his feet to the fire. REALITY CHECK!

Squirrel Master's picture

criticizing a bad play or getting a bit frustrated is acceptable. Straight up saying someone is horrible and shouldn't be on the team is wrong. The whole team plays hard.

I hope nobody thought I was bagging on Thomas. I don't think he will get drafted high but that doesn't mean I think he shouldn't be drafted high. I think he can do very well in the NBA. He just needs some more polish.

Buford can be frustrating at times but we gotta stick with him because like it or not, he is the starting SF and will stay that way. The team played tough today. They shot much better than Thursday but did have other difficulties. I will say Gonzaga gave it their all and they were no slouches. I am very happy with this win.

I said even during the lull during the regular season they would make the Sweet Sixteen. I love being right!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Exactly my point- it's apparent some 'fans' either have a low basketball IQ or just a low IQ (or both)

LadyBuck's picture

I think what's happening is that people are expecting perfection. People who are not used to watching college basketball or haven't watched this team the whole season pop in and have unreasonable expectations. This causes people to whine and complain on things that are not that big of a deal in the scheme of things. What really bothers me is when people start insulting players and coaches personally. Saying a play is stupid or that a pass was stupid, that's understandable as they happen. Stating that our team is stupid, and picking on players themselves is when I take offense. There has been too much of that recently. 

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Well said. Someone called Buford a pos after he missed his first two shots not even two minutes into the game. That kind of junk needs to go away.

jkrk's picture

Buford was heroic down the stretch. Seemed like he had three rebounds in the last few minutes that in the first half would have been offensive boards. 

And kudos to Matta for actually calling a timeout during gameplay. 

Bucks43201's picture

I would like to see Amir Williams on the floor at the same time with Sully, when facing a big team, like Gonzaga. It was too perimeter-oriented for OSU today. They need to keep the other team honest with another threat inside. Williams was much more effective than Ravenel, too.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

madhatterhater's picture

Williams appeared to be more confident then he has in the past.

go bucks

yrro's picture

I'm another guy excited to see some quality minutes from Amir. He's really filled out and looks a lot less lost on defense than he did in the early games.

Gonzaga was a big part of why we were looking bad on defense. We played excellent perimeter defense for 25 seconds, but they didn't try to force anything and eventually found cracks. Some really excellent play out of the bulldogs today.

Rather_Be_Golfing's picture

Not to pile on, but I will add my 2 cents.  I have quit going on the Live thread for the reasons mentioned above.  Too many bogus comments from fans on the live thread.  I also drop in to take a look and once I see a few wild comments, I go away.


Anyway, back to real comments.  At this point in the season, all that matters is winning (book of obvious).  We look so much more like we did earlier in the season, where a different person is stepping up at different (4 minute) segments.  Sully the 1st four, DT last 4 mins of 1st half, Craft totally dominating the game first 4 mins of 2nd half, and Sully finishing the game strong at the end.

Mix in WB at many spots in the game and a critical Lenzelle Smith 3 pointer (shot of the game, imo), and there you go.  Our team is back.

As I have mentioned in the past, OSU is a tough out for anyone to prepare for them.  There are so many options that you cannot take them all away.  Gonzaga is an athletic, well-coached, and disciplined team.  OSU showed how seasoned we are by having our goto player sit for 12 mins in a half and not miss a beat.

For the idiots out there, we are never and I mean never a better team without Sully.  I hope he continues to play both away from the hoop (first half) and back to basket (second half).  Again, he is a load to prepare for since he is such a good ball player.

All this team is missing is a shot blocker.  I hope Williams can continue to get 2-3 minutes a game to change things up.  Matta needs to trust him a little bit.

BuckeyeNation, this team has come together.  I am not saying they are going to win it all.  I will say we will be favored in both games (next weekend), should we advance past FSU/UC winner.  With Melo out, even is Cuse wins their next game, their zone will be difficult for us, but think we'll be ok.  Obviously, first things first, we have to win that first game and break the current streak we are on with S16 losses.

Go Bucks...



thatlillefty's picture

well said. Go bucks indeed

osubuckeye4life's picture

Very solid showing by the good guys today against a tough team in the Zags.

Definitely, glad to see a team effort today.

Craft badger was amazing today! I would hate to be the guy matched up against him.

Tank was all over the place. He knocked shots down, grabbed boards, and is improving on defense.

Sully had a rough first half but calmed down and started to play solid when it counted.

Willy B had some struggles but made some great shots and had some key rebounds.

Amir put in some good minutes when Sullly was out and I hope to see him get more time.

Zell knocked down some big shots today!

Rav has a bunch of energy and he gets too excited at times. He's definitely improving from the beginning of the season though.

A very solid win that will help them continue to grow as a team. 

cbusbuckeye's picture

Writing the same comment on both posts, classic.

RedStorm45's picture

I know we've been hard on WB, but he's now a pedestrian 21-58 shooting in "post season" play (Big Ten Tourney and the 1st 2 NCAA Tourney games).  Averaging 12.2 points per game and has hit 8-27 from 3.  Need him to turn it around.  (Just throwing that in because I know some people were talking about the negativity thrown his way this year, but he hasn't even hit his averages from the regular season)

TNbuckeye91's picture

All I'm sayin is I don't wanna be on the live blog and within two minutes read, " THEY SUCK SOOO BAD, BLAH BLAH BLAH, I WANT PERFECTION, MIINNEEEE!" It just sounds like a bunch of self-entitled tittybabies, and that's not what i'm about. If they're not rebounding or shooting a high percentage, then of course you're gonna point out and rightfully so. But with the past year of football i've heard enough crying. I'm no fairweather fan, and I'm sure most people on this great site aren't. -OTHER THAN THAT, fun game to watch, and Craft on defense is almost funny to watch. Sweet 16, here we come!

I come from a long line high, low, and in-between, the same as you. - TVZ