Men's Basketball

O-H-L-A: Buckeyes Face Arizona In NCAA Sweet 16

Aaron Craft
Aaron Craft

March 25, 2013

No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (28-7) vs. No. 6 seed Arizona Wildcats (27-7)

Date: March 28, 2013
Site: Staples Center (18,118)
Game Time: 7:47 p.m. ET
Television: TBS
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Ohio State and The NCAA Tournament
This is Ohio State's 25th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 47-23 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in 10 Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968). The Buckeyes have played in four-consecutive NCAA "Sweet 16s," a record accomplishment for Ohio State. Ohio State had last accomplished three-consecutive "Sweet 16s" from 1960-62. No remaining team in the 2013 NCAA Tournament has played in the last four "Sweet 16s." The Buckeyes have made 14 "Sweet 16" appearances in NCAA tournament play.

Ohio State In The NCAA Tournament

Year Region/Seed Rcd Round
1939 Eastern * 2-1# Finals
1944 Eastern * 1-1# Semifinals
1945 Eastern * 1-1# Semifinals
1946 Eastern * 2-1# Semifinals
1950 Eastern * 1-1 Reg. Finals
1960 Mideast * 4-0# Finals
1961 Mideast * 3-1# Finals
1962 Mideast * 3-1# Finals
1968 Mideast * 3-1# Semifinals
1971 Mideast * 1-1 Reg. Finals
1980 West/4 1-1 Reg. Semifinals
1982 East/8 0-1 First Round
1983 East/3 1-1 Reg. Semifinals
1985 Midwest/4 1-1 2nd Rnd.
1987 Southwest/9 1-1 2nd Rnd.
1990 West/8 1-1 2nd Rnd.
1991 Midwest /1 2-1 Reg. Semifinals
1992 Southwest/1 3-1 Reg. Finals
2006 Minneapolis/2 1-1 2nd Rnd.
2007 South/1 5-1# Finals
2009 Midwest/8 0-1 1st Rnd.
2010 Midwest/2 2-1 Reg. Semifinals
2011 East/1 2-1 Reg. Semifinals
2012 East/2 4-1 Semifinals
2013 West/2 2-0  
Totals   47-23 (.671)  

* Teams were not seeded prior to 1979.
# Final Four Appearance

Final Four Appearances: 10 (1939, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1968, 2007, 2012)
NCAA Championships: 1 (1960)

Record by Region:
In East: 14-8 (.636)
In South/Southeast: 9-3 (.750)
In Midwest: 5-4 (.556)
In West: 4-2 (.667)
In Mideast: 14-4 (.778)
Minneapolis: 1-1 (.500)

Record by Seed:
As No. 1 seed: 12-4 (.775)
As 2 seed: 7-2 (.778)
As 3 seed: 1-1 (.500)
As 4 seed: 2-2 (.500)
As 8 seed: 1-3 (.250)
As 9 seed: 1-1 (.500)

The 2013 NCAA Tournament
The No. 2-seeded (West) Buckeyes entered the 2013 NCAA Tournament after winning the 2013 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago with a 3-0 record. Thad Matta, in his ninth year as head coach at Ohio State, has taken the Buckeyes to seven NCAA tournaments during his time in Columbus, including a title game appearance in 2007. The Buckeyes have appeared in the last five NCAA tournaments.

Ohio State enters the game vs. Arizona with a 28-7 overall record and as 2013 Big Ten Tournament Champions. The Buckeyes finished the Big Ten regular season with a 13-5 record, good for a tie for second with Michigan State. Ohio State was the No. 2 seed in the league tournament last week. The Buckeyes have won 20 Big Ten titles and are making their 25th appearance in the NCAA tournament.

2013 Buckeyes in the NCAA Tournament: Deshaun Thomas is averaging 23.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in NCAA tournament play this year. Sam Thompson has contributed 13.5 points along with a team-leading 6.5 rebounds a game. LaQuinton Ross (12.0 ppg.) and Aaron Craft (11.0 ppg.) also are in double digits offensively. Shannon Scottand Craft each have 13 assists. Craft has a team-high eight steals. As a team, Ohio State is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field (59-120/.492) while averaging 86.5 ppg.

Buckeyes iN 18 Games vs NCAA Field
The Buckeyes are 11-7 against the 11 teams on the schedule this year that qualified for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State entered the NCAA tournament on a six-game winning streak against teams in the 2013 NCAA field before the wins over Iona and Iowa State last week. Four of those wins were against Associated Press Top 25 teams. In the 18 games Ohio State played vs. the 2013 NCAA field, Deshaun Thomas has led the way with an average of 19.9 points per game. Aaron Craftaveraged 11.9 ppg. Thomas has made 87 percent of his free throws (66-76) while Craft was 40-54 at the line (.741).

Ohio State on 10-game Win Streak
Ohio State enters the Arizona game on a 10-game win streak, including five victories to close out the regular season and three wins in the Big Ten Conference Tournament. Four of the wins were against ranked opponents and three were against Top 10 squads. Deshaun Thomas has led the Buckeyes over the course of the streak with 18.7 points per game while Aaron Craft has pitched in 11.7 ppg. Craft has made 53 percent of his shots from the field (44-83) during the win streak while handing out 56 assists and recording 26 steals. Sam Thompson (33-61/.541) and LaQuinton Ross (31-63/.492) also made significant contributions to help the Buckeyes finish second in the 2013 Big Ten standings, earn a No. 2 seed in the league tournament and ultimately win the 2013 Big Ten Tournament title. Shannon Scottalso has been a key to Ohio State's success down the stretch. During the win steak he handed out 45 assists and has 23 steals.

Four Average 10+ pts in Postseason
Deshaun Thomas (19.6 ppg.), Sam Thompson (12.4 ppg.), Aaron Craft (11.6 ppg.) and LaQuinton Ross (10.2 ppg.) all average in double figures during postseason competition this year. Thomas leads the way with 6.2 rebounds a game for the Buckeyes. Thompson scored a career-high 20 points to go with a career best 10 rebounds vs. Iona March 22. He has made 22-of-35 (.629) shots from the field, 6-of-10 treys (.600) and 12-of-13 foul shots (.923). Ohio State is holding opponents under 40 percent shooting (105-265/.396) and to just 29 percent from 3-point range (30-104). Craft has handed out 31 assists to move to the No. 2 spot all-time in career assists at Ohio State (523). He also has 14 steals in the last five games. Shannon Scott has dished out 25 helpers to go with eight steals in postseason play. Evan Ravenelowns nine blocks.

Ohio State is 18-2 in Ohio in 2012-13
The win over Iowa State Sunday improved Ohio State's record to 18-2 in the state of Ohio this year. The Buckeyes finished the regular season 16-2 at home and 2-0 in the 2013 NCAA Second and Third Rounds in Dayton. Deshaun Thomas averages 19.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in Ohio this year. Lenzelle Smith Jr., adds 10.1 ppg.

Craft, Thomas Honored for Success During 2013 B1G Tournament Title Run
Aaron Craft was named the 2013 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and along with Deshaun Thomas, earned a spot on the 2013 All-Big Ten Tournament team. Craft averaged 12 points on 16-27 shooting (.593). He also handed out 18 assists and recorded six steals. Thomas averaged 17.3 ppg and 7.7 rebounds. Sam Thompson made 70 percent of his shots during the BTT (14-20), including 5 of 7 from 3-point range (.714). LaQuinton Ross made 10-18 field goals (.556), which includes 6 of 9 shooting from long range (.667). Shannon Scottagain made his presence felt with 12 assists and seven steals in Chicago.

Buckeyes In The NCAA Tournament

  • Aaron Craft: Averages 8.2 points in 10 NCAA tournament games over his career ... owns seven starts ... 15 of his 63 assists in NCAA play set an Ohio State record for helpers in a game when he dished out 15 assists against George Mason as a freshman in 2011 in Cleveland ... shoots 76 percent from the free-throw line in NCAA play (29-38) and has 31 steals.
  • Deshaun Thomas: Seven starts in 10 career NCAA games ... averages 16.2 points and 5.6 rebounds ... scoring at a 23.0 point-per-game clip through first two rounds of 2013 tournament ... shooting 62-122 (.508) from the field and 22 of 26 (.846) from the foul line ... led all players in the 2012 NCAA tournament in scoring with 19.2 ppg.
  • Lenzelle Smith Jr.: Nine games played, seven starts in NCAA tournament play ... averages 7.5 ppg., 3.7 rebounds ... scores on 50 percent of his field goal attempts (25-50).
  • Sam Thompson: Seven appearances with two starts in NCAA play ... second on team in scoring with 13.5 ppg. and first in rebounds (6.5) through first two 2013 NCAA games.
  • Amir Williams: Five appearances with two starts and six total points.
  • Shannon Scott: Has 11 steals and 16 assists in six NCAA tournament game appearances ... produced career-high tying 10 assists against Iona and finished with 13 through first two rounds.
  • Evan Ravenel: Averages 9.7 minutes over seven NCAA tournament appearances ... scored 11 points in win over Iona.
  • LaQuinton Ross: Made first two NCAA appearances in Dayton ... averaging 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game ... had 17 points against Iowa State, including 10 in a row in the second half.

    Craft Working on Historic Career
    In the near future, junior Aaron Craftwill become the first Buckeye in history to record 500 assists, 200 steals and 1,000 career points. He also could reach 500 career rebounds as well. Craft already is the Ohio State career record holder in steals with 245, only the second Buckeye with 200 or more. He became the third Buckeye in history to reach 500 career helpers with eight assists vs. Nebraska March 15. He added nine assists in the win vs. Michigan State March 16. He now has a career total of 523 after handing out 13 assists last week in Dayton. With 50 points, Craft will become Ohio State's 49th Buckeye to reach 1,000 career points. Over 111 career games, he has averaged 3.2 rebounds a contest for a career total of 353.

    Big Road Wins Lead to Titles
    Thad Mattateams have won five or more road games in the Big Ten six times in his nine years at Ohio State, including the five road wins this season (Purdue, Penn State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Indiana). In the five previous seasons with five or more road wins (2006-5, 2007-7, 2010-6, 2011-7, 2012-6) in league play, Ohio State won or shared the Big Ten regular-season title. The Buckeyes won the 2013 Big Ten Tournament title this year. Ohio State has won five or more on the road in each of the last four years. Factor in neutral site games and Ohio State is 12-5 away from Columbus this year, including a 7-0 mark on neutral courts.

    Thomas a Finalist for Wooden Award, Robertson Trophy
    The United States Basketball Writers Association announced the 14 finalists for 2013 Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year March 4. Ohio State junior Deshaun Thomasmade the 14-member list as the leading scorer in the Big Ten with 19.5 points per game. He was named one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award March 9. The winner of the Robertson Trophy will be announced April 5. The Wooden Award winner will be announced April 12 in Los Angeles.

    Matta Among Best in March
    Thad Mattahas put together one of the best records nationally when it counts the most - during the months of March and April. Entering March for the ninth time as head coach of the Buckeyes, Matta has compiled a record of 52-12, the third-best record by percentage (.813) among active coaches. The record is the best among Big Ten coaches as well.

    Thomas Named TO Naismith Awards Midseason 30 List
    Deshaun Thomas was named to the Midseason Top 30 list for the Naismith Awards Men's College Player of the Year Feb. 26. The preseason Top 50 watch lists for both the 2013 Wooden Award and the 2013 Naismith Player of the Year included Thomas and Aaron Craft, both juniors. Thomas also was named to the Midseason Wooden Watch List, containing the Top 25 student athletes at the midway point of the 2012-13 season. The 36th annual Wooden Award ceremony will take place at the men's Final Four Weekend (April 6-8) in Atlanta. Ohio State has been well represented among finalists for the Wooden Award over the last several years. Greg Oden was a finalist in 2007. Evan Turner was the 2010 Wooden Award winner and Jared Sullingerwas a finalist in both 2011 and 2012. The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award will be handed out April 7 in Atlanta as well.

    Matta Continues to Build Impressive Ohio state Resume
    Thad Mattahas accomplished a remarkable list of accomplishments in nine years as head coach of the Buckeyes and the 2012-13 season is no different. Matta's teams have never failed to win 20 games, a record streak (nine seasons) in Ohio State history. In fact, Matta has never failed to reach the 20-win plateau in 13 years as a head coach. The Buckeyes are 28-7 to date in 2012-13 after the 78-75 win over Iowa State March 24 in Dayton, Ohio, to advance to the 2013 NCAA "Sweet 16." Ohio State has reached 30 or more wins three times, all with Matta at the helm. Back-to-back seasons with 30 wins in 2010-11 (34) and 2011-12 (31) only trail the 35 wins recorded in 2006-07, the Ohio State record for single-season victories. In addition, Matta has won five Big Ten regular-season titles, including three of the last four (2010-12), four Big Ten postseason tournament crowns in seven title game opportunities, seven NCAA tournament appearances, including four-consecutive runs to the "Sweet 16," a pair of Final Four trips (2007, 2011) and a title game appearance in 2007. Throw in a National Invitation Tournament title in 2009 and Matta has guided the Buckeyes to postseason play in eight-consecutive attempts and in every year in which Ohio State was eligible.

    Craft Earns First Team Academic All-America Honor for Second Time
    Aaron Craftwas named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team for the second time Feb. 21, becoming Ohio State's first two-time first team honoree. This season, Craft was named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year in Division I men's basketball. A nutrition (pre-med) major, Craft has an overall grade-point average of 3.92 while leading Ohio State to a 28-7 overall record. In three seasons at Ohio State, Craft has set the career record for steals (245) and has led the Buckeyes to 93 victories, a pair of Big Ten titles, three appearances in the Big Ten tournament title game, two BTT titles, three appearances in the NCAA tournament "Sweet 16," and a Final Four appearance. He also is No. 2 in career assists at Ohio State with 523.

    Thomas Reaches 600 points a 2nd Time
    Thirty Ohio State players have reached the 500-point mark in a single season at least once. Deshaun Thomas became the 14th player to do so multiple times with 18 points at Wisconsin Feb. 17. Thomas scored 619 points as a sophomore last year, the 17th best single-season scoring effort in Ohio State history. Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring with 19.7 points per game for a total of 690 points this season. William Buford (2009-12), one of three Buckeyes to score 500+ three times, and Jared Sullinger(2011-12), who did it twice, were the last to record multiple 500-point seasons at Ohio State. Thomas reached 600 points as a junior with 19 points vs. Nebraska March 19. Sullinger (635, 647) was the last Buckeye to post back-to-back 600-point seasons. Thomas' point total this season ranks tied for No. 7 in Ohio State history with Dennis Hopson in 1985-86. Michael Redd scored 709 points in 1998-99 to rank No. 6 in single season scoring at Ohio State.

    The Arizona Series
    Ohio State and Arizona have played just once previously, a 90-47 Ohio State victory in the UCLAN Classic in Los Angeles, Calif., Dec. 29, 1972. Ohio State was ranked No. 6 nationally in that game. Overall against Pacific-12 teams, Ohio State is 37-36 after a win over Washington (77-66) earlier this year in Connecticut. That game was part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. Thad Mattahas gone up against Arizona twice previously, both times during his one season as the head coach at Butler in 2000-01. The Bulldogs fell to No. 12 Arizona 72-60 in the Fiesta Bowl Classic in Tucson, Ariz., during the regular season and then in a 2001 Second Round NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City, Mo., vs. No. 4 Arizona, 73-52.

    A Look at the Arizona Wildcats
    Arizona enters the game with the Buckeyes with an overall record of 27-7. The Wildcats advanced to face the Buckeyes in the "Sweet 16" with wins over Belmont and Harvard. The Wildcats are led by Mark Lyons (15.4 ppg.), Solomon Hill (13.3 ppg.) and Nick Johnson (11.6 ppg.). Kaleb Tarczewski leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game. The Wildcats are coached by Sean Miller, an assistant with Thad Matta while the two were on the Xavier staff prior to each leaving to become head coaches. Matta has faced Miller once previously, a 78-71 Ohio State win March 17, 2007 in the Second Round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Ky. That game was decided in overtime. Danny Peters, the assistant director of basketball operations at Arizona, played for the Buckeyes from 2007-10. He appeared in 35 games as a Buckeye and was part of Ohio State`s 2007 team that played for the national championship before falling to Florida.

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