Two-Minute Drill: Inside Ohio State’s Postgame Locker Room
By Brandon Castel
DAYTON, Ohio — Deshaun Thomas made the steal and Aaron Craft it the game-winning shot at the buzzer Sunday. With that, Ohio State advances to the Sweet 16 for the fourth-straight year.
They are the only team in college basketball with that on the resume. Thad Matta and the Buckeyes will face 6-seed Arizona on Thursday at the Stapes Center in Los Angeles.
Here’s what Matta and his players had to say about that matchup, and the last-second win over 10-seed Iowa State Sunday at UD Arena.
Welcome to March Madness
* Deshaun Thomas said the final play was drawn up for him to come off a screen for the last-second shot. His guy fought through the screen.
* Matta said he's 100% fine with any decision Craft makes at all times, but especially with what happened on that final play.
* With Deshaun's guy fighting through the screen and Craft's man going under it, Matta said Craft became the No. 1 option on the final play.
* Matta said Craft didn't wave Deshaun off because he suddenly decided to change the play. He waved it off because he saw the mismatch.
* Thomas said he probably would have been mad about not getting the final shot before this year. But now he's more mature.
* Matta on Craft showing the resolve to hit that last shot after the missed free throws: "That's just who he is."
* Matta said some guys would let those missed free throws effect them at the other end. Not Craft, he only plays harder.
* Craft quick to praise his teammates after hitting the shot. Said DT and Ross both capable of making it too, but tonight it was him.
* Craft said he used to practice buzzer-beaters in his backyard as kid. Only he was the one taking a charge to win the game.
Call Him Crime-Stopper
* Thomas on his steal at the end: "That was probably the best defensive play of my life. I guess they should call me the crime-stopper now."
* Sam Thompson said Iowa State had burned them a few times with that action to Clyburn on the break. If DT doesn't get the tip, it's an easy layup.
* Lenzelle Smith said he told Deshaun before the defensive possession to jump the pass to Clyburn if they ran that same play again.
The New Q
* LaQuinton Ross said he is starting to feel like he did in high school again. Starting to get that swagger back in his game.
* Matta said he was proud of the way Ross responded to missing those early shots. "He gives us something we didn't have before."
* Assistant Jeff Boals said they liked what Ross gave them defensively. He played well in the post because he’s strong and has good hands.
Facing Arizona Next
* Matta said Arizona coach Sean Miller texted him last night to let him know "we're waiting for you in Los Angeles."
* Matta was adamant after the game Arizona is "the best team in the West Coast." Said he didn't care about rankings, "they're loaded."
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