Penn State basketball’s NCAA Tournament hopes are alive after a crazy win over Ohio State in the final seconds on Friday during the Big Ten Tournament.
Josh Reaves’ dunk with 3.1 seconds left — off a beautiful feed from Tony Carr — lifted the Nittany Lions to a 69-68 over the Buckeyes. Penn State, the No. 7 seed, moves on to the Saturday semifinals after its third win over Ohio State this season.
Josh Reaves’ clutch dunk gives Penn State 69-68 win over Ohio State
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 3, 2018
The win pushed Penn State to 21-12 on the season and put the Nittany Lions back on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Penn State was hobbling after a three-game losing streak to close out the regular season, but this win could change its postseason fortunes.
Carr had a spectacular game for Penn State, finishing with a team-best 25 points and 5 assists. He went toe to toe with Ohio State star Keita Bates-Diop, the Big Ten Player of the Year. Bates-Diop also notched 25 points and was the centerpiece of a late Ohio State run in which the team made 7 straight shots from the floor.
But Bates-Diop was stripped by Penn State senior Shep Garner in the Buckeyes’ penultimate possession, as Penn State regained possession down 68-67 with 16 seconds left. Carr found a wide-open Reaves, and the rest is history.
Penn State becomes the 7th team to defeat the same ranked opponent 3 times in a single season, all as an unranked team. The previous 6 all made the NCAA Tournament. pic.twitter.com/Ou9LVSorWp
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 3, 2018
It’s hard to say how big the victory is for Penn State under Chambers, who is looking for his first NCAA Tournament berth with the Nittany Lions in his seventh season. Penn State will try for another resume-building win Saturday afternoon (4:30 p.m. ET, CBS), against third-seeded Purdue.