The 11th-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes held on to upset the sixth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones 62-59 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday.
Kaleb Wesson led the way for the Buckeyes with 21 points and 11 rebounds, with Keyshawn Woods contributing 19 points to the victory.
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Marial Shayok had 23 points in a losing effort for the Cyclones.
Having entered the tournament losing seven of its last 10 games, Ohio State started the game strong, jumping out to an early 11-2 lead. That early outburst saw four different players get on the board.
Iowa State, though, was able to shake off its sluggish start and respond with a run of its own. The Cyclones would go on to score 15 of the next 17 points to move out in front, with Tyrese Haliburt putting an exclamation point on the run:
The back-and-forth first half was far from over.
Ohio State would go on a 13-5 run as Iowa State would go more than 11 minutes without a field goal, a drought that also included a four-minute scoreless streak.
Through all of that, the Buckeyes held a two-point lead at the break.
Led by Wesson and Keyshawn Woods, Ohio State came out of the locker room ready to play. Sophomore forward Musa Jallow gave the Buckeyes a boost with an electrifying finish off a lob from Woods:
Neither team was able to create much separation. Ohio State managed to extend its lead to seven at one point, but it would be a battle to the final buzzer.
With less than four minutes to go, the Cyclones finally pulled through to move out in front, marking their first lead since the 7:18 point in the first half. The Buckeyes managed to answer with a 5-0 run to regain control.
Even when Ohio State appeared to be in control up four in the final minutes, Iowa State continued to fight.
After the teams traded missed free throws in the final minute, Cyclones senior Nick Weiler-Babb—a 36.5-percent three-point shooter this season—had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. Unfortunately for Iowa State, the shot did not fall.
Given the way Ohio State backed into the tournament, this felt like a major upset:
Then again, the Big Ten has been one of the stories of the tournament to this point:
It wasn't the prettiest victory, but the name of the game in March is survive and advance. And that's exactly what the Buckeyes did.
Ohio State advances to the second round, where it will take on No. 3 Houston on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.