The 11-seed Ohio State Buckeyes (20-14, 8-12) take on the 3-seed (ranked No. 9/No. 11) Houston Cougars (32-3, 16-2) in the second round of the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament Sunday night. Ohio State comes into this game following a 62-59 upset win over 6-seed Iowa State on Friday. Houston, meanwhile, comes into this game following a decisive 84-55 win over 14-seed Georgia State earlier that day. The last time these two teams met was 2004, with OSU coming out with the 78-61 win in the Guardian Classic in Kansas City.
Who: Ohio State vs. Houston
What: Men’s Basketball
Where: Tulsa, OK — BOK Center
When: Sunday, 8:40 pm (TNT)
Why: Because you can’t win six in a row without getting that second one.
Line: Houston -6
+ Ohio State is 4-0 all-time vs. Houston. The teams played a home and home series in 1963 and ‘64 with the Buckeyes winning at home 79-63 in the opener and then 77-69 at Houston in 1964. Ohio State defeated the No. 1 ranked Cougars in the 1968 Final Four third place game 89-85 in Los Angeles. The most recent meeting was in Kansas City Nov. 23, 2004 in the Guardians Classic, a 78-61 Ohio State victory.
Ohio State vs. Houston Series
12/23/1963 W Houston…. 79-63
12/7/1964 W @Houston …. 77-69
3/23/1968 W 1-vs. Houston …. 89-85(1)
11/23/2004 W 2-vs. Houston …. 78-61
1-NCAA Final Four, Los Angeles, Third Place Game
2-Guardians Classic, Kansas City, Missouri
+ In eight seasons as a head coach, three at Gardner Webb (2011-13), three at Butler (2015-17) and now in year two at Ohio State, Chris Holtmann is 17-27 overall against opponents ranked among the Associated Press Top 25. He was 0-2 at GW and 13-13 at Butler. His teams were 6-9 vs. Top 10 foes at Butler and 3-4 vs. Top 5 opponents. He is 4-12 at Ohio State.
Holtmann’s 5 wins vs. Top 5 Opponents
Date Opponent AP Rank Score
11/26/14 1-North Carolina No. 5 ….74-66
1/4/17 Villanova No. 1 ….66-58
2/22/17 at Villanova No. 2 ….74-66
1/9/18 Michigan State No. 1 ….80-64
2/7/18 at Purdue No. 3 ….64-63
1-Imperial Arena, Atlantis Resort, Nassau, Bahamas
+ After averaging 6.8 points per game over the Buckeyes’ first 29 games, graduate senior point guard Keyshawn Woods is averaging 15.4 points per game over OSU’s last five contests. In postseason play, he is averaging 17.7 points per game and is 21-of-37 (.567) from the field and 5-of-11 (.454) from three. He has made all six of his free throw attempts. The last time out, Woods played all 40 minutes in the 3-point win over Iowa State.
The Houston Cougars
What You Need to Know
+ Through games of March 22, Houston is tied for the national lead in winning per- centage (.914), leads the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.365) and ranks second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.275)… Cougars also third in total rebounds per game (41.2), sixth in scoring margin (+14.8), seventh in scoring defense (61.1), and eighth in rebound margin (+7.8).
+ Houston was well represented in the list of American Athletic Conference postseason honors released earlier this week. Senior guard Corey Davis Jr. earned a place on the league’s First Team, while junior guard Armoni Brooks was named to the Second Team. Guard Nate Hinton was named to the All-Freshman Team. Sophomore guard DeJon Jarreau was named The American’s Sixth Man of the Year. Was the second straight season a Cougar collected his accolade after Brooks received it for the 2017-18 season. Senior point guard and four-year letterman Galen Robinson Jr. received the Sportsmanship Award for a distinguished career, on and off the court. Head Coach Kelvin Sampson was named the league’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season. Became only the second coach in program history to earn the honor in consecutive seasons and the first since Hall of Fame Coach Guy V. Lewis in 1983-1984 in the Southwest Conference.
+ Senior guard Corey Davis Jr. scored 26 points to help the third-seeded Cougars beat Georgia State 84-55 in the Midwest Region on Friday. Sophomore forward Fabian White had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and senior forward Breaon Brady added 13 for Houston. Houston rolled out to a 15-3 lead in the first five minutes, and the rout was on. The Cougars shot 52 percent to lead 40-31 at halftime, and then opened the second half on a 10-2 run to put the game out of reach. Houston held the Panthers to 30-percent shooting, an impressive effort against a squad that entered averaging 75 points per game.
+ Junior guard Armoni Brooks has emerged as an offensive and defensive leader for the Cougars in 2018-19. Brooks leads the Cougars with 6.5 rebounds per game and ranks second with 13.3 points per contest. The Round Rock, Texas, native is one of three players to rank among the American Athletic Conference Top-17 leaders in both scoring AND rebounding.