DAYTON, Ohio Aaron Craft dribbled in place at the top of the arc, watching to see if any of his Ohio State teammates were getting open near the basket for a game-winning shot.
The point guard had a clear look at the clock as it raced toward zero atop the backboard. He realized what he had to do take a little Ohio State tournament history into his hands.
Craft held the ball until he had no other choice, then swished a three-pointer with a half-second left Sunday for a 78-75 victory over Iowa State, sending the Buckeyes to a school-record fourth straight trip to the round of 16.
No. 2 Ohio State (28-7) managed to escape as the lone high seed left in the NCAA Tournament's most-busted bracket.
"The moment's a lot bigger than me," said Craft, who allowed Iowa State to catch up with missed free throws and an errant jumper. "It just happened to be in my hands at the end."
Ohio State needed Craft's fearless shot over 6-foot-7 defender Georges Niang to avoid yet another upset in the wild West Regional. Four of the top five seeds fell fast and hard in the first weekend.
The Buckeyes' 10th consecutive win sends them to Los Angeles for a game against sixth-seeded Arizona on Thursday.
"With all that's gone on in college basketball, anything's possible," Craft said. "You can see it with what's gone on in our bracket right now."
Tenth-seeded Iowa State overcame a late 13-point deficit by hitting three-pointers the Cyclones' specialty but wound up beaten by one, a tough way to have their upset bid end.
"We played our hearts out," said Will Clyburn, who scored 17 points. "It was a tough game, and he made a tough shot. He made a great play."
Craft's missed free throws helped Iowa State catch up. He missed the front end of two one-and-one chances and was off on a jumper from just inside the arc with 29.2 seconds left and the score tied.
The Cyclones (23-12) knocked the ball out of bounds while trying for the rebound, setting up the final chance. Coach Thad Matta called a timeout and went over the options.
"I told 'em, 'Hey, let's get the last shot; let's play for the win here,' " Matta said.
When the Cyclones switched coverages to take away leading scorer Deshaun Thomas and put their tall freshman on Craft, the point guard decided to take it himself.
Not a bad outcome, Iowa State thought.
"He had a tough shot," said Korie Lucious, who led Iowa State with 19 points. "He hadn't hit a three all game."
The officials reviewed the play to confirm that Craft's foot was behind the arc when he shot.
Lucious didn't come close on a long heave as the final half-second ran off.
Thomas led Ohio State with 22 points, and Craft had 18.
La Salle 76, Mississippi 74 in Kansas City, Mo. Tyrone Garland banked home a scooping layup with two seconds left, vaulting the Explorers to their deepest run in the NCAA Tournament since they played for the title in 1955.
Ramon Galloway had 24 points for La Salle (24-9), which was playing its third game in five days. The Rebels (27-9) led 74-72 with 1:58 left but failed to reach the regional semifinals for the first time since 2001.
After Tyreek Duren's two foul shots tied it 74-74 at the 1:07 mark, Marshall Henderson failed to hit an off-balance bank shot that would have given Ole Miss the lead.
Henderson had 21 points in a game with 11 lead changes.
Duren had 19 points for La Salle and Garland had 17.