The Buckeyes didn’t make it to Monday’s NCAA championship game in New Orleans.
But a piece of Ohio has.
The maple hardwood floor at the Superdome for the NCAA Final Four was sanded and finished — including hand painting of the logos and a large border — by The Ohio Floor Co. employees in northern Holmes County.
“It’s exciting knowing it was finished at our facility in little Apple Creek, Ohio, and here it is on the big stage,” Ohio Floor co-owner Kevin Miller said Monday afternoon from New Orleans.
The championship game featured Kansas vs. Kentucky.
“I wish Ohio State were here ,” said Miller, a Buckeyes fan who first saw his floor in Final Four action Saturday, when the Buckeyes lost to Kansas.
“The floor should have helped (Ohio State),” Miller said dryly.
The Final Four floor’s journey began weeks ago, in the woods of Wisconsin, where timber workers cut down hardwood maple trees. The logs were then shipped to a Conner Sports Flooring mill in Michigan, where they were turned into 4-foot by 7-foot floor panels.
Connor Sports Flooring then shipped the raw wood panels to Ohio Floor’s warehouse in Apple Creek.
There, Ohio Floor workers assembled the floor and sanded it, in preparation for the application of NCAA graphics and the border — a step involving more than 30 hours of hand-painting.
The floor’s television appearances aren’t limited to the Final Four games.
The court also is the star of a CBS College Sports documentary, which captures the floor’s journey from the felling of maple trees in Wisconsin to its debut in New Orleans. Much of the tale was shot at the 20-employee Ohio Floor operation.
Ohio Floor began as Bear Floor Sanding in the 1960s. Steve Yoder bought the company in 1983, expanding the company’s gym floor business and eventually named the enterprise The Ohio Floor Co.
Miller bought into the business, with main offices in Holmesville, in Holmes County, about 12 years ago, becoming a co-owner.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com