It'll be the first time Tech will make back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament since the 1985 and '86 seasons.
The Buckeyes (24-8) are making their 28th NCAA Tournament appearance and finished tied for second in the Big 10 standings. And when the bracket was finally revealed, the Buckeyes found themselves as a 5-seed in the West region. As a team, Ohio State is scoring 75.8 points per game on 48.6% shooting from the field, 35.4% from behind the arc and 72.6% from the foul line this season. In their 10 previous appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats have tallied a 7-10 record. Mike Daum led the Jackrabbits by averaging a double-double per game with 23.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while Brandon Key led South Dakota State in assists with 3.3 assists per game this season.
Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, the 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year, averages a team-high 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for Ohio State while senior Jae'Sean Tate adds 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. The Jackrabbits were 12-2 in conference play during the regular season and have won 10 of their past 11 games. (16.1), Reed Tellinghuisen (12.0) and Tevin King (9.3).
The Buckeyes open tournament play on Saturday, March 17 at 1:30pm at St. John Arena. Freshman Kaleb Wesson is the only other Buckeye with postseason experience after going for five points and three rebounds in Ohio State's Big Ten Tournament loss to Penn State. The last two were wins over Buffalo and West Virginia in the first two rounds of the 2016 tournament. Give Ohio State credit, for hanging with and taking down some tough competition like North Carolina, Clemson, Butler, Stanford and Gonzaga.