The No. 5 seed Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the No. 12 seed South Dakota State Jackrabbits in a first-round matchup in the West Region on Thursday. The game will be played at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho. Tip time is set for approximately 4 p.m. ET.
Preview: Ohio State finished second in the Big Ten this season. First-year head coach Chris Holtmann led a major resurgence after the Buckeyes missed the NCAA Tournament the previous two seasons. All-America candidate Keita Bates-Diop is the go-to guy for OSU.
South Dakota State, winners of the Summit League, has its own go-to guy: big man Mike Daum, who is averaging 23.8 ppg and 10.4 rpg.
Date: Thursday, March 15
Time: Approximately 4 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TNT
Location: Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho
Announcers: Brian Anderson / Chris Webber / Lisa Byington
Opening Betting Line: Ohio State -7 1/2 via 5Dimes
The Buckeyes are making their 32nd NCAA Tournament appearance. They have made 11 Final Fours and won one national title.
The Jackrabbits are making their fifth all-time tourney appearance. They are still looking for their first win.
Prediction: This game looks like it will be fun. The 12-5 upset is in play, and you have a pair of major stars in Bates-Diop and Daum.
We'll take the Buckeyes in a close one.