It has certainly been an interesting season for the Ohio State basketball team. After starting the campaign 12-1, the Buckeyes unraveled a bit when faced with full-on conference play, finishing that part of the sector at 8-12, including dropping their last three games minus Kaleb Wesson.
Nevertheless, this team will go down as one that persisted. Their season certainly isn't over, and the Buckeyes could certainly still somehow make the NCAA Tournament.
Let's take a look at four moments that were pretty darn great.
4. Creighton Victory
Ohio State was close to hiring Greg McDermott before they ultimately picked Chris Holtmann as the next coach of the Buckeyes following Thad Matta's departure.
So, when the Buckeyes faced Creighton in the 2018 Gavitt Tipoff Games, it was a mini-storyline as to whether the Buckeyes "made the right hire."
Well, as it turned out, the Buckeyes did.
Ohio State won the game 69-60 on the road behind 19 points from Keyshawn Woods and 12 from Duane Washington. The Buckeyes improved to 3-0 at the time, and put a nice boost on their resume.
3. Opening With a Bang
All year, as a Cincinnati kid, I had to hear so much garbage from their fans (my friends) around the city about how UC was going to open a new arena and blow the doors off the Buckeyes.
Thank goodness that wasn't how it turned out.
Ohio State beat the Bearcats 64-56 on opening night behind 15 points from Kaleb Wesson. Three others scored in double-figures for the Buckeyes: Kyle Young (10), Luther Muhammad (11), and CJ Jackson (13).
It was a big win for the Buckeyes, and cemented UC's place underneath on the Ohio basketball totem pole. For now. The two will meet again next season in Columbus.
2. CJ Jackson's Heroics at Indiana
Last year, you may recall that CJ Jackson hit a big shot to beat the Hoosiers in their house. Well, they must really hate him now, because he did it again this season.
Jackson's late three-pointer enabled Ohio State to tie the game, and an Andre Wesson dunk off a beautifully-designed play gave the Buckeyes the eventual victory in Bloomington. Wesson dropped 15 points to lead the Buckeyes, while Jackson added 10.
The Buckeyes and Hoosiers will meet on a bigger stage on Thursday when they meet in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
1. Justin Ahrens Drops 29 Against Iowa
This has to be No. 1. Ohio State was reeling, and needed a big win to enhance their tournament resume, and they did just that, throttling No. 22 Iowa at home by 20 points.
Justin Ahrens was a machine in this one, as he dropped 29 points. This game also gave us the Fran McCaffrey outburst, which is always hilarious.
Uh, wow. Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey was just screaming at an official walking down a hallway of Value City Arena. "You cheating motherfucker! You're a fucking disgrace!"
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) February 27, 2019
But wait, there's more! There were some other pretty great things that happened this season.
- Andre Wesson gets three teeth knocked out, comes back into game.
- Thad Matta honored at halftime with banner, ceremony.
- Ohio State opened the season No. 1 in the new NET rankings.
- Buckeyes win in St. John Arena, Chris Holtmann wears Archie Griffin jersey to press conference.
- Luther Muhammad scored 24 points to help Ohio State beat Nebraska, end losing streak.
Hopefully, there is still a lot more to come the rest of the season. After all, there's a strong chance that Ohio State could be playing in the Big Dance when the field is announced this Sunday. All we can do now is watch and see.