Ohio State Buckeyes: Indiana Hoosiers


DAYTON, Ohio -- With less than 5 seconds left in a tied game, perhaps the best pure scorer in the country came off a pair of screens that did exactly what they were designed to do: get him open.

Deshaun Thomas called for the ball -- screamed for it, waved his hands high above the 6-foot-7 inch frame that had made him essentially unguardable for the first 39 minutes and 55 seconds of his team's second-round NCAA tournament thriller -- but the pass never came.

Instead, a 6-foot-2 point guard -- who spent most of the second half turning the ball over and missing key free throws, who was being guarded by the opposing team's tallest player, who hadn't attempted a 3-pointer all afternoon and averages just 29.3 percent from beyond the arc this season -- looked him off.

To say Aaron Craft faced pressure in the final seconds of Ohio State's 78-75 win over Iowa State Sunday is to state the incredibly obvious, but that pressure wouldn't have come solely from Buckeyes fans, who would have surely blamed him for a heartbreaking second-round upset loss. Craft would have had one unhappy teammate, too.

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Former Indiana coach Bob Knight is obviously known as, well, that: The legendary former Hoosiers coach with three national titles, a 1984 gold medal, 902 NCAA Division I basketball wins and, at the height of his powers -- before his eventual controversial dismissal from Indiana in 2000 -- a rigorous, discipline-based cult of personality the state of Indiana wholeheartedly embraced.

[+] EnlargeBob Knight
AP Photo/Garrett EwaldFormer coach Bob Knight has little or nothing to do with Indiana University these days.
Which is exactly why the last 12 years have been so thoroughly awkward. Knight moved on -- first to Texas Tech, then to the ESPN airwaves -- without ever seeming to care one iota for the basketball program he built or the university that housed it for the previous 30 years of his life. At first, a clean split was understandable. Lately, though, despite the repeated efforts of Indiana coach Tom Crean and athletic director Fred Glass -- including and up to an IU athletics Hall of Fame ceremony honoring the coach himself -- the former coach has refused to budge.

In the meantime, Indiana fans eager to see Knight back in Assembly Hall, red sweater and all, have looked on in horror -- and by “horror” I mean “at least marginal annoyance” -- as Knight has strengthened his ties with a less well-known portion of his basketball past: His time at Ohio State.

The latest development? This weekend, OSU announced it had created a “lifetime achievement” category for OSU alums that go on to great achievement in their post-Columbus careers. Its first honoree? None other than Knight:

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