By Matt McCoy
Last March, ESPN the magazine did a feature on Aaron Craft, crowning him the nation's most hated college basketball player ...That is, everywhere except Columbus where he will be arguably the most beloved basketball Buckeye when he finishes his career this spring.
The Buckeyes lost for the first time this season Tuesday night, falling at Michigan State 72-68 in overtime. Despite the loss, Ohio State put together a remarkable comeback, rallying from 17 points down with a 20-3 run in the final 7:00 to tie the game at 58.
During the run, the reason Craft is hated by fans outside of Columbus and loved by those here was defined in back-to-back plays that helped Ohio State trim the deficit from three points to one.
During a wild sequence with the Buckeyes down 57-54, Craft ended up diving to the floor to secure a loose ball and call a timeout. Out of that timeout, it was Ohio State ball under the basket. Michigan State's Adrien Payne was defending the inbounds pass but had his back turned and Craft smartly passed the ball to himself by throwing it off Payne's back and then scoring a lay-up to cut the lead to 57-56.
They were two brilliant plays that a pesky, hustling, smart player like Craft makes all the time. While Buckeye fans are cheering, opposing fans are shouting four-letter words. Check out these two Craft defining plays...and enjoy them. His career unfortunately, is down to its final three months.