One of the best finishes of the college basketball season featured a pair of spectacularly difficult long-distance shots.
For a few fleeting seconds, Ohio State thought it had forced overtime on an off-balance 28-footer from star Keita Bates-Diop. Then Penn State’s Tony Carr one-upped Bates-Diop with an even tougher shot, a banked-in pull-up jumper at the buzzer from closer to the mid-court stripe than the 3-point arc.
WHAT A FINISH!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 26, 2018
Carr’s circus shot sealed an 82-79 victory for Penn State, easily the Nittany Lions’ most impressive win of the season so far. While Penn State is a respectable 14-8 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten play, this is the first top 50 opponent the Nittany Lions have beaten all season.
Ohio State entered the season expected to finish in the lower half of the Big Ten, but the Buckeyes have vastly exceeded expectations in new coach Chris Holtmann’s debut season. They were unbeaten in Big Ten play prior to Thursday’s loss, which dropped them a half game behind first-place Purdue in the race for the league title.
It was fitting that Bates-Diop and Carr delivered big shots in the final seconds Thursday because both had carried their teams the whole night.
Carr scored 28 points as Penn State built a 67-54 lead with less than eight minutes remaining in the second half. Bates-Diop shook off an illness to tally 25 points of his own and spearheaded a late rally that ultimately fell just short.
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