Fresh off of its third Big Ten tournament title in four years, the No. 2 Ohio State basketball team had less than an hour to savor the moment before it watched the Sunday evening’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show reveal the next challenge.
The Buckeyes were awarded a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s West Region and are set to face No. 15 Iona in the first round on Friday in Dayton. If Ohio State wins, it will play the winner of the matchup between No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 10 Iowa State.
If the higher seed wins each game in the region, the Buckeyes’ route to the Final Four in Atlanta would be achieved with wins over Iona and Notre Dame in Dayton and No. 3 New Mexico and No. 1-seeded Gonzaga in Los Angeles the following weekend.
A month ago, Ohio State was on its way to a much lower seed when it was blown out by Wisconsin 71-49 in Madison, but the Buckeyes (26-7) responded with eight straight wins to close out the season, culminating with a 50-43 win over the same Badgers in the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday evening.