College basketball fans would be hard-pressed to script a more heartbreaking way for Aaron Craft to end his college basketball career than what we saw against Dayton in the NCAA tournament Thursday.
In the round-of-64 game, Craft hit a reverse layup in the lane after contorting his body around a much larger defender to give Ohio State the one-point lead.
For a brief moment, he was a hero.
However, Vee Sanford answered right back for the Flyers and hit what ultimately proved to be the game-winning shot. The fact that Sanford’s shot came over Craft right before the Buckeye guard missed his subsequent attempt at the buzzer only makes the ending that much crueler.
It is easy to get caught up in the moment as sports fans and declare that Craft’s failure to hit the final shot and come through on the defensive end in the waning moments should impact how he is remembered.
What’s more, the point guard coughed the ball up five times against Dayton and didn’t control the tempo of the game like he typically does—something that was magnified by the NCAA tournament stage.
Letting this loss impact your opinion on Craft’s Ohio State legacy would be a mistake, though.
Just like we didn’t crown him the clutchest Buckeye of all time when he hit the game-winning three against Iowa State in last year’s NCAA tournament, we aren’t going to let this one contest paint him in a negative light.
If we are talking Ohio State history,…