Chris Holtmann Becomes 1st Coach to Beat No.1 Team at Two Different Schools Since Thad Matta in 2004-2005

By Ramzy Nasrallah on January 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm
chris holtmann and thad matta

Thad Matta's first season featured a signature win for the ages.

His Buckeyes took down undefeated top-ranked Illinois 65-64 in the final game of his first regular season in Columbus:

The previous season, his Xavier Musketeers ended St. Joseph's perfect season in far less dramatic fashion, 87-67. No coach had beaten No.1 teams with different teams in successive tries since.

Well, until tonight.

Last year the Butler Bulldogs beat defending national champion Villanova 66-58 to end the WIldcats' 20-game winning streak. Their coach, Chris Holtmann, left the school after the season to take over for Matta in Columbus.

Tonight Holtmann's Buckeyes ended No.1 Michigan State's 14-game winning streak with a commanding 80-64 win on the same floor where Matta's Buckeyes ended Illinois' perfect season 13 seasons ago.

Ohio State is now 4-0 and atop the Big Ten standings with Purdue. This team, which lacks depth and has plenty of roster holes, does not quit, has arguably the most improved player in the conference in C.J. Jackson and quite possibly its player of the year in Keita Bates-Diop.

Matta went on to win the conference five times while making the program a fixture in the NCAA Tournament. Thus far, his successor is matching his fast start in Columbus - and in at least one case, historic fashion.

The 1st place Buckeyes host Maryland this Thursday. 

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