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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Two Big Ten guards attempt alley-oops … and hit threes instead

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Two of the luckiest plays of the college basketball season happened in the Big Ten within hours of each other Wednesday night.

With Ohio State already leading Penn State 35-15 late in the first half, point guard Aaron Craft attempted a lob pass to teammate Sam Thompson from a few steps inside mid-court that instead went straight into the net. Minnesota's Julian Welch duplicated that feat in the second half of his team's loss to Michigan State later Wednesday night when his attempted half-court alley-oop pass to Rodney Williams also fell in the bucket.

Since Ohio State easily won its game by 24 points, it was easy for Craft and Thompson to have a sense of humor about the play afterward.

"That's how we drew it up in the huddle," Thompson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer with a coy smile. "I was going to streak down the left side, Craft was going to throw it up from halfcourt and it was just going to go in. I was kind of like a decoy on the play."

Minnesota was in no laughing mood after having its three-game win streak snapped at Michigan State, despite pulling within five late in the second half. The Gophers still haven't won at the Breslin Center since 1990, easily the longest drought of any Big Ten team.

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