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Six for Saturday: Ranking Thad Matta's Best Buckeye Teams
By Tony Gerdeman

You're going to have to forgive me for talking about Buckeye basketball during March, especially since I'm so out of practice doing it, but the NCAA Tournament has gotten the juices flowing, so I thought it might be a good time to look back on an era that so many are ready to move on from.

Thad Matta has been at Ohio State for 13 seasons now, with nine of those seasons ending in the NCAA Tournament. It has been two years since the Buckeyes' last victory in the tourney, however, which understandably has everybody a bit on edge.

So in order to dull that edge, why don't we take a trip down memory lane and rank Matta's six best Ohio State teams and also ponder what they might have done against the 2016-2017 edition. I'm sure this is exactly what everyone needs to calm down and move on from a very forgettable season.

No. 6 -- 2012-13 | 29-8 (13-5) | t2nd in B1G

The 2012-2013 Buckeyes were led by Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas, and Lenzelle Smith. Craft (10.0 ppg) and Thomas (19.8 ppg) were the only two players in double figures, but on any given night they could also get a nice game from Lenzelle Smith (9.2 ppg), LaQuinton Ross (8.3 ppg), or Sam Thompson (7.8 ppg). Unfortunately, also on any given night, the only scoring could come from Thomas.

This team made it to the Elite Eight, where they lost 70-66 to Wichita State. Looking back, it may have been the beginning of the end, because it was the last season for Thomas, leaving Craft to try to lead "the Amir Williams class" the following season.

How would this team do against the 2016-2017 team? The leadership of the 2012-2013 team alone would have given them a significant advantage at the end of the game, not that the score would have been that close. Thomas would have Marc Loving or Jae'Sean Tate fouled out or on the bench for most of the game.

I see Craft, Thomas, Smith, and Ross pushing the offense to the tune of an 81-60 type of game. Heck, how would this year's team even get an offense going with Craft hassling whoever is bringing the ball up the court?

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