No. 11 Dayton gets March Madness started off right with upset of No. 6 Ohio State

by Mar 20, 2:39 PM

In the event you forgot how exciting and fun the NCAA Tournament was, No. 11 Dayton was sure to remind you quickly in the first game of the Round of 64 on Thursday.

The Flyers used some late-game heroics to knock off No. 6 Ohio State, providing the tournament's first upset.

With 59 seconds left, however, it didn't seem likely. Buckeyes forward Sam Thompson made a floater to give Ohio State a 57-55 lead (two of his game-high 18 points), and Dayton's offense had struggled for the last few minutes.

The team then made the strange decision to dribble down the clock rather than the safer two-for-one approach, only to be bailed out when Shannon Scott fouled Flyers forward Dyshawn Pierre on a 3-point attempt late in the shot clock. Pierre, just a 65.8 percent free throw shooter on the season, hit all three freebies to put the Flyers back ahead.

And then Aaron Craft, who had struggled some earlier in the game (he finished 6-of-9 from the floor for 16 points with four assists but had five turnovers), made an insane layup.

Once again trailing and possibly holding for the final possession, things looked bleak for Dayton.

Cue senior reserve guard Vee Sanford:

That same clip also shows Craft then attempt a buzzer-beating runner, only to miss in traffic.

For the first time since 2009, Ohio State will not make the Sweet 16. Craft's career also ends on a down note, with his 13th career NCAA Tournament game ending with him laying on his back, unable to leverage his "angelic countenance" (the earlier words of the announce crew) for one final bucket.

Dayton will now move on to face the winner of Syracuse and Western Michigan on Saturday in Buffalo.

Prospect Watch

Jordan Sibert, Dayton - A possible second round pick in June, Sibert was quiet Thursday, scoring nine points on 3-of-9 shooting with five rebounds.

LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State - The lone potential first round pick in this game was attacked on the defensive end, and he responded with a fairly ho-hum game, scoring 10 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

Aaron Craft, Ohio State - A potential second round pick, Craft flashed the good (leadership, toughness, defense) in his game but was sloppy with the ball and made a key poor decision late, intentionally fouling after a turnover.

Feature photo courtesy of Kevin Hoffman / USA Today Sports