The scarlet and gray may have fallen (again) in the poll, but they’re a lock to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years. While the Buckeyes continued to drop, Michigan did themselves plenty of favors. The Wolverines jumped from No. 15 to No. 7 after taking down both Michigan State and Purdue in back-to-back days to win their second-straight Big Ten Tournament championship. The Spartans (No. 4) and Boilermakers (No. 10) are the other two Big Ten teams in the Top 25. Those four are locks to make the NCAA Tournament. Both Nebraska and Penn State will be on the edge of their seats on Selection Sunday. The two could potentially make the tournament, but it will be tough and things will have to fall a certain way for one (or both) to make it.
Although the Big Ten Tournament may have concluded already, the rest of the major conference tournaments start this week. So, while most Power 5 teams will be continuing to play and try and either secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament or improve their resume, Ohio State, along with the rest of the Big Ten, will be stuck in practices. That’s thanks to the Big Ten, who (for some reason) thought it would be a good idea to not only move the conference tournament to New York, but to move it up a week as well. Luckily, they seem to have regretted the decision, so it all but certainly won’t happen again.
The Buckeyes will have 13-to-14 days off between their loss against Penn State and their first game of the NCAA Tournament, the fact that Ohio State is no matter what in it is always a plus. Now it just comes down to staying fresh and trying not to be rusty even though they’re off for two weeks. It will be a tough task for head coach Chris Holtmann and company, but he seems to have a plan in place in order to keep his team fresh and well prepared.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann joined 97.1 The Fan Monday morning. He stated that the Buckeyes are planning an off-campus scrimmage somewhere near Columbus. Will not only give the team more bonding time, but will also allow them to be in a different gym and see different rims while getting the players out of their comfort zones a bit, the same thing they will experience in the NCAA Tournament.
In their latest projections, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Buckeyes as a No. 5 seed in the South region in his Bracketology. CBS also has Ohio State as a No. 5 seed (in the West region), with FOX Sports projecting the scarlet and gray to be a No. 6 seed in the South region.
At this point, the AP Poll doesn’t mean much of anything. It gives us somewhat of a tool to see which teams are better than others, but then again, the seeding in the NCAA Tournament doesn’t have to follow the AP Top 25. Now, the Buckeyes must wait until Selection Sunday to see what region they’re in, where there first two games will take place, and who they will matchup against. The Tournament Selection Show is set to air at 6 p.m. ET on TBS Sunday night.
- Ohio State’s third loss against the Nittany Lions this season. Penn State is clearly the Buckeyes’ kryptonite this year. [↩]