Men's Basketball

Buckeyes Are In — Will Play Iowa State In First Round of NCAA Tournament

Ohio State will play Iowa State in the first round of the 2019 Men’s Basketball NCAA Tournament.

The Buckeyes are an 11-seed in the Midwest Region and will play the 6-seed Iowa State (23-11) in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday. Should OSU win, they would take on the winner of 3-seed Houston and 14-seed Georgia State.

Ohio State was one of the last handful of teams rewarded with an at-large bid, entering the tourney with a 19-14 record overall and 8-12 finish in conference play. The Buckeyes won one game in the Big Ten Tournament, but fell to top-seed Michigan State in the quarterfinals.

Their overall performance this season provided just enough of a method to land in the Madness.

Ohio State finished eighth in the Big Ten during the regular season, going 3-7 over their last 10 games.

The Buckeyes have been led in scoring (14.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) this season by sophomore center Kaleb Wesson. Wesson’s three-game suspension to begin the month of March saw the Buckeyes lose consecutive games against Purdue, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. He returned in time for the Big Ten Tournament and was instrumental in the second round win over Indiana with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Ohio State scored 56 points per game in Wesson’s three-game absence. As a comparison, over the last three games with Wesson in the lineup, the Buckeyes have scored 79.7 points per game.

This is the second-consecutive season Ohio State has made the NCAA Tournament. Last year they were a 5-seed and defeated 12-seed South Dakota State in the first round. They fell to 4-seed Gonzaga 90-84 in the second round.

Head coach Chris Holtmann and a couple of players will meet with the media later Sunday night to discuss the matchup and the tourney bid.

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