BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Vee Sanford’s driving bank shot with 3.8 seconds left against Ohio State’s best defender gave Dayton a 60-59 upset of the Buckeyes today in the teams’ NCAA tournament opener at the First Niagara Center.
Dayton called a timeout with 10.8 seconds left after a layup by Aaron Craft had put Ohio State, the sixth seed in the South Regional, ahead by a point with 15.5 seconds remaining.
Sanford got the ball at the top of the key, matched up against Craft, drove to his right and banked the ball in for the winning shot.
Craft, who scored seven of the Buckeyes’ last nine points, rushed the ball upcourt in the final seconds and got a shot up between two defenders before time expired, but the ball rolled across the rim and fell to the floor as Dayton players erupted off the bench and ran on the floor to celebrate.
The loss is Ohio State’s first to another Ohio team in the NCAA tournament since a defeat against Cincinnati in the 1962 NCAA championship game.
Sam Thompson scored 18 points and Craft 16 to lead Ohio State (25-10). The Buckeyes were beaten in their tournament opener for the first time since 2009, when they lost to Siena.
Dyshawn Pierre had 12 points, Devin Oliver 11 and Sanford 10 for 11th-seeded Dayton (24-10). The Flyers advanced to a third-round game Saturday against the winner of Syracuse-Western Michigan.
Ohio State’s defense failed to disrupt Dayton in the first half. The Flyers assisted on nine of their 13 field goals and had only five turnovers in taking a 33-30 lead.
The Buckeyes’ deficit was 43-37 when coach Thad Matta went with a smaller lineup, and the response was immediate. Ohio State forced three consecutive turnovers that sparked a 8-0 run and gave the Buckeyes their first lead since late in the first half, 45-43 with 10:24.
Dayton tied the score off a turnover, and it was a one-possession game to the finish.