COLLEGE
03/21/2011 02:27 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ohio State Basketball Stars Graduate Before Moving On To Sweet 16

Sunday was a special day for Ohio State University basketball stars Jon Diebler, Nicola Kecman, Dallas Lauderdale and David Lighty -- not only because it marked OSU's victory against George Mason University and progression to the Sweet 16, but because of the special graduation ceremony held for the players in lieu of the one they missed on campus.

According to the Rivals.com, Diebler, Kecman, Dallas and Lauderdale were all supposed to walk in the OSU winter graduation ceremony, but were unable to make the Columbus event because they were prepping for a game in Cleveland that evening. But the four still received their diplomas on Sunday at the Quicken Loans Arena, where they sported silver sashes and mortarboard caps in a ceremony attended only by teammates, family and coaches.

The four spelled out "OHIO" with their arms before tossing their caps.

Lighty, who went on to make seven of seven three point shots -- a school record for most 3-pointers scored without a miss, reports the Lantern -- told the Columbus Dispatch that the ceremony made for an even more emotional day. "Coach would always tell us that once you get that diploma, there's no greater feeling than to have it in your hand," he said. "You listen to him and it's like, OK, but when it actually happens you find out he was right."

OSU beat George Mason University 98-66. They will play the Wildcats on Friday and will continue onto the Elite Eight if they win that game.

Check out footage of the ceremony below. Congrats, grads!