Men's Basketball

Ohio State, Cincinnati to Start Basketball Home-and-Home Series in 2018-19

From an Ohio State press release.

Ohio State, Cincinnati to Start Home-and-Home Series in 2018-19

Bearcats to Open Renovated Fifth Third Arena against the Buckeyes

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s basketball program will start both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 men’s basketball seasons against the University of Cincinnati, the programs announced Tuesday. The Bearcats will open a newly-renovated Fifth Third Arena against the Buckeyes in 2018 with Ohio State playing host in Columbus in 2019. Although dates for the games have not been determined, the game will take place on the first allowable date of competition in each of the next two years.

Chris Holtmann, the first-year head coach of the Buckeyes, said the two historic programs opening the season against each other is a tremendous opportunity to showcase each program.

“We have great respect for the UC program and Coach (Mick) Cronin,” Holtmann said. “The idea of challenging ourselves in the nonconference while also providing an attractive game for our collective fan bases certainly made sense to us.  We understand the challenge of opening the season on the road vs. a high-caliber opponent with a younger team provides some risk but we felt like it was the right decision at this time.

“We will continue to work to put together a challenging and attractive nonconference schedule in the future within the constraints of the Big Ten schedule as well as the games that have already been contracted,” Holtmann said.

Mick Cronin, head coach of the Bearcats, echoed Holtmann’s excitement in getting the series scheduled.

“This is a great thing for Ohio, for basketball in Ohio and for the fans of these great universities,” Cronin said. “I want to thank everyone involved in making this happen. We are very excited about reopening our arena next season. Supporting this and agreeing to play Cincinnati in a home-and-home series is a first class move by Ohio State, Coach Chris Holtmann and the OSU administration.”


Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Bearcats 6-4. The teams have not met during regular-season play since 1921, which was the home opener for the Buckeyes and the only previous time the teams opened the season against one another. The Bearcats won that game 33-17. Ohio State played host to Cincinnati in five of the first six meetings, going 3-2 in those games. Ohio State has not played the Bearcats in Cincinnati since Jan. 3, 1920, a 35-13 win for the Buckeyes.

Three of the last four meetings have come during NCAA Tournament competition with all of the last four matchups contested on neutral courts. Ohio State was ranked No. 1 while the Bearcats were No. 2 in both the 1961 and 1962 NCAA National Championship games with Cincinnati winning the national title both times.

No. 4 Ohio State downed the Bearcats 72-50 in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis Dec. 16, 2006. The most recent meeting was in the 2012 NCAA East Regional Semifinals in Boston, an 81-66 win for the No. 7-ranked Buckeyes.

Date – Result

Feb. 4, 1905 – Ohio State won 42-6 in Columbus, Ohio
Jan. 15, 1907 – Cincinnati won 32-30 in Columbus, Ohio
Jan. 16, 1909 – Ohio State won 57-24 in Columbus, Ohio
Jan. 20, 1912 – Ohio State won 61-15 in Columbus, Ohio
Jan. 3, 1920 – Ohio State won 35-13 in Cincinnati
Dec. 10, 1921 – Cincinnati won 33-17 in Columbus, Ohio
March 25, 1961 – Cincinnati won 70-65 in overtime in the NCAA championship game in Kansas City, Missouri
March 24, 1962 – Cincinnati won 71-59 in the NCAA championship game in Louisville, Kentucky
Dec. 16, 2006 – Ohio State won 72-50 at the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis
March 22, 2012 – Ohio State won 81-66 in the NCAA East Regional Semifinals in Boston

NOTE: The NCAA is considering a change to the first contest date for men’s college basketball starting with the 2018-19 season.  The current rule states the first date of competition is the second Friday of November.  There is considerable momentum to change this date to the Tuesday prior to the second Friday of November.  No matter what decision is made by the NCAA, Ohio State and Cincinnati have agreed to play the first allowable date of competition in each of the next two years.