53-48, suckers. Yes. This is an even more satisfying win than the Michigan State win from a few weeks ago. Last time, it was a fluke-filled flaming upset. This time, Iowa earned the victory and played like they belonged in the Big Ten conversation. It was by far the bigger "statement" win.
This Iowa team scarcely resembles the one from the beginning of the season. Hell, it scarcely resembles the one from the beginning of the Big Ten season. What was, by all accounts, a ragtag, woefully undermanned team that'd be lucky to go 3-15 in the BXI is now 4-6 and two points away from 5-5.
Your man of the match is probably Justin Johnson--Iowa needed every one of his career-high eight 3s--but you absolutely cannot overestimate the effect Seth Gorney had on the game.* He was, without exaggeration, the most active player on the court for the Hawkeyes. He made plays that only he's capable of, and on a consistent basis. Look at his scramble for the loose ball and the timeout. Look at the dribble drives to the hoop from the FT line. Look at that left-handed scoop to keep Iowa ahead in the first half. He was outstanding.
Sure, Ohio State fans can claim that the Buckeyes were "just cold" from downtown and Iowa wasn't. But that doesn't quite accurately reflect what happened on that court. Most of OSU's attempts from long range were forced and off-balance. They were low-percentage shots. Meanwhile, most of JJ's shots were squared-up, open, and perfectly timed within the flow of the offense. They were high-percentage shots.
Last, Koufos can declare for the NBA at any point, and we'll be fine with it. That guy is going to be scary good. The guy's like Tim Duncan with a longer jump shot. Why Ohio State didn't abandon their 3-21 long range game and just feed him in the paint over and over will baffle us for weeks.
We're going to go celebrate the win tonight, and we hope you do too. Be safe, don't drive, stay away from the needle, etc. etc. And GO HAWKS!
*Go back to November, and imagine the odds you'd have placed on ever hearing that statement.