Ohio State No. 17 In AP Poll Heading To NCAA Tournament

Ohio State No. 17 In AP Poll Heading To NCAA Tournament

For the first time in three years, the Buckeyes are headed to the NCAA Tournament, where they'll take on South Dakota State in the first round on Thursday in Boise, Idaho. Redshirt junior guard Macy Miller leads a high-powered South Dakota State offense which is averaging 78.3 points per game.

The matchup with South Dakota State is Ohio State's first tournament game since 2015, when they were one of the last at-large teams picked by the selection committee.

The 2017-18 Ohio State roster has seven games of NCAA Tournament experience and two starts, both by Jae'Sean Tate, entering the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The Buckeyes haven't played a basketball game in nine days, and while they will have to wait four more before they hit the hardwood again, they finally know their opponent. Villanova was previously a No. 8 seed when it last made the tournament five seasons ago. Junior forward Keita Bates-Diop led the Big Ten on the defensive glass and ranked 20th in the nation in that category.

This will be the 12 time that the Buckeyes will host NCAA Tournament opening round games at St. John Arena.

Not that it matter much because of this whole tournament thing going on, but the latest AP Poll is out and Ohio State remains at No. 17 heading into the NCAA tournament. Ohio State also must find a way to stop South Dakota State's 6-foot-9 forward Mike Daum, the conference player of the year after averaging 23.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

First and second round games are March 15 and 16. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Villanova-South Dakota State game on Sunday, and that game's winner will advance to a regional semifinal in Spokane, Wash. on March 24.

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