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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Matta nearly part of a 1-16 upset

By Marla Published: March 17, 2011

No No. 1 seed has ever lost to a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but Ohio State coach Thad Matta nearly saw it happen. He was an assistant on a Western Carolina team in 1995-96 that lost to top-seeded Purdue 73-71.

"None of us never knew about it until he mentioned it a couple nights ago,'' OSU senior Jon Diebler said.

"That team was so unique because we started out 0-6. We lost to a Division II team,'' Matta recalled. "And they started to mold together. When Kentucky went up there, they're the team that won it, our fan base cheered because we didn't have to play Kentucky.

"Those guys had a unique way about them. They're probably the most innocent team I ever coached. They had never been to the NCAA Tournament. They were just sort of, 'Hey, let's go out and have fun.'''

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