Buckeye Battle Cry: How Far Can Ohio State Go In The NCAA Tournament?

Buckeye Battle Cry: How Far Can Ohio State Go In The NCAA Tournament?

Basketball

Buckeye Battle Cry: How Far Can Ohio State Go In The NCAA Tournament?


It’s time for the writers of Buckeye Wire to sling mud at one another again, or at least have a somewhat civil discussion. It’s the weekly Buckeye Battle Cry, and this week we’re asking the question: How far can Ohio State go in the NCAA Tournament?


 

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Buckeye Battle Cry: How Far Can Ohio State Go In The NCAA Tournament?

After stumbling just a wee-bit in the latter part of the season, and bowing out of the Big Ten tournament early, Ohio State now awaits its destination and pairing for the Big Dance.

OSU has had an overachieving season, but has also shown some inconsistency and vulnerability at times. So just how far can Chris Holtmann’s team go in the NCAA tournament?

Contact/Follow Terry Johnson

I think the Buckeyes are a definite Sweet 16 team, with a realistic shot at the Final Four.

I realize that this looks like a “homer” pick. After all, a lot of skeptics aren’t giving Ohio State much of a chance. They’ll point out that Bucks lost to Gonzaga, UNC, and Clemson by double-digits at neutral sites. They also lost to Penn State three times, including in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. With losses like that, how could OSU be one of the four teams that cut down the nets a few weeks from now?

Simple: the Buckeyes always raise their level of play to the competition. Yes, the losses suggest that the team can’t win it all. But, you have to also consider some of the team’s wins as well. Ohio State throttled then-No. 1 Michigan State, which ended up winning the Big Ten regular season title. A few weeks later, it rallied from 13 down on the road to defeat Purdue – which had the nation’s longest winning streak at the time.

Given that OSU has shown that it could beat great teams when they were playing their best basketball, I have every confidence that this squad will advance through the first week of the Big Dance (even if Lunardi has them as playing Gonzaga in the second round). That would put the Buckeyes an upset or two from returning to the Final Four.

Contact/Follow Phil Harrison

I hate to be the voice of doom and gloom, but I think Ohio State will be doing well to get out of the first weekend. The Buckeyes are looking like a No. 5 seed more and more, and we all know the historical hanging chads of No. 12 seeds upsetting a five.

More than that, the team has faltered down the stretch because some noted deficiencies that has finally caught up to it. You need good guard to play to go far in the tournament, and this team falls a bit short in that department. The Buckeyes have turned the ball over far too often and have had an issue closing out on three point shooters.

(See Penn State. Rinse. Repeat. Three times.)

As a five seed, there’s going to be an underrated, yet solid opponent in round one, with a four seed in round two. As you start looking at potential four seeds, I’m afraid some of those matchups start to look daunting for Ohio State (Gonzaga, Michigan, Wichita State, Arizona).

However, me and countless others have been wrong about this team more often than not, so hopefully that’s the case here too. I will gladly eat my words if proven wrong.

Contact/Follow Mark Russell

Oh, c’mon Phil. Where’s your Buckeye spirit? Clearly, there are many factors that come into play when trying to predict the winners and losers in March Madness. What’s your seed? Who’s your draw? Are you close to home? Without having such information just yet, here’s my best guess on how far OSU can go… Final Four!

The question is not how far will the Buckeyes go, but how far can the Buckeyes go. Ohio State showed us on several occasions this year, they can play with anyone. A blow out over Sparty and a last second win in Mackey arena over Purdue told me all I need to know. See OSU’s best 3 wins this season.

However, with three losses to Penn State, the Bucks showed us they have a nemesis in guards who can shoot and rebound. PSU’s Tony Carr and Josh Reaves combined for 13 rebounds and 34 points in the most recent win over Ohio State. OSU will have to do all the little things well in order to advance to a national semi-final.

The Buckeyes did not end the season playing their best basketball. Hopefully the extended time off between the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments will allow the young Bucks to rest and re-focus. They’ll need that and a little luck if they want to make a run. But they call it March Madness for a reason and anything is possible!

 

Contact/Follow @BuckeyeWire for continuing coverage of Ohio State football and basketball.

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