It’s the Ohio State Buckeyes. They’re not used to being a double-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament, but considering the team head coach Chris Holtmann has this year, making the Big Dance is quite the feat as it is. Sunday night, the Buckeyes found out that they will be the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament and will take on No. 6-seed Iowa State in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday in the opening round.
Here are the top-five seeds in the Midwest Region:
- North Carolina
Following a season filled with plenty of ups and downs and with the Buckeyes going 19-14, including 8-12 in the Big Ten, some didn’t believe that the scarlet and gray deserved to be one of 68 teams in the tournament. In what many deemed a play-in game, Ohio State beat Indiana in the second round of the Big Ten tournament this past Thursday, essentially punching their ticket into the NCAA Tournament. While there was still some doubt, many college basketball analysts believed not only that the Buckeyes were in with their win over the Hoosiers, but that they were no longer even on the bubble as well.
“I feel confident,” Holtmann said following Friday’s loss to Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. “But I think you’re always a little … You’re excited, for one, excited and anxious for Sunday and for what that show’s going to be. Like I said, I feel good about our body of work.”
Prior to the season, many analysts didn’t believe Ohio State had what it takes to make a run at a spot in the NCAA Tournament. It’s almost as though those analysts didn’t take into consideration what Holtmann did during his first season with the Buckeyes when the scarlet and gray completely outplayed any and all preseason expectations and projections. It’s obvious that Holtmann is beginning to build something really, really special in Columbus.
Even if the Buckeyes are one-and-done and lose to the higher-seeded Cyclones in the first round, making the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years is quite an accomplishment in Holtmann’s first two seasons in Columbus. This year has been quite a success for the Buckeyes, anything else that happens in the tournament is just a bonus.