So the bad news is that Ohio State got a more than tough draw in the NCAA tournament, landing in probably the second toughest region of the four. The good news is, well, Buffalo isn't that far of a drive from Columbus, if you're into that sort of thing. Let's take a look at the other teams in the region, who could stand in the way of the Buckeyes on their march to the Final Four.
#1 Florida 32-2, SEC Regular Season, Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Kansas, Memphis, Kentucky (3 times)
Worst Losses: at Wisconsin, at UConn
The Skinny: Florida is only the #1 team in the country, who hasn't lost since early December, ripping through the SEC undefeated. They're super well coached, well balanced, and will be a bear for anybody to handle.
#2 Kansas 24-9, Big 12 Regular Season Champions
Best Wins: Duke, Iowa State (twice), New Mexico
Worst Losses: At WVU, At Kansas State
The Skinny: The Jayhawks are certainly one of the most talented teams in the country, and they are well tested (#1 SOS this season). The question is going to be how quickly, if at all, star big man Joel Embiid can come back, and whether he will be healthy enough to contribute. If he can come back, Kansas will be a strong contender to not just win the region, but win the it all. If not, the Jayhawks could be vulnerable.
#3 Syracuse 27-5, ACC
Best Wins: Duke, Villanova, UNC, Baylor
Worst Losses: Boston College (!!!), Georgia Tech
The Skinny: For much of the season, there wasn't a better team in the country than Syracuse. Then the wheels started to come off near the end of the year, starting with their embarrassing loss to Boston College, followed by a meltdown against Duke. If Syracuse regains their early season form, they could also potentially win the region, but they aren't playing their best basketball right now. Their zone defense will be a potentially tough matchup for Ohio State.
#4 UCLA 26-8, Pac-12 Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Arizona, Oregon (twice), Colorado (twice)
Worst Losses: At Washington State, at Oregon State
The Skinny: The Bruins are playing well at the right time, winning five of their last six after a double OT loss to Oregon, including winning a Pac-12 Tournament title by downing #1 seeded Arizona. The Bruins are a top 16 team in KenPom, and have a strong offense, and could also be considered a threat to go far in the tournament.
#5 VCU 26-7, Atlantic 10
Best Wins: At Virginia, Saint Louis, George Washington (twice)
Worst Losses: at Northern Iowa
The Skinny: Few teams are better coached across the country than the VCU Rams, a perennial mid-major favorite. The Rams force turnovers, play great defense, and have been tested strongly out of conference. They may have a tricky route in the tournament, but folks should count VCU out at their own peril.
#7 New Mexico 27-6, MWC Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Cincinnati, San Diego State (twice)
Worst Losses: UNLV
The Skinny: New Mexico doesn't play the most attractive basketball at times, but they have uncommon size for a mid-major squad, and have been consistent all year. The Lobos should get by Stanford, and could be uncomfortable for Kansas, for sure.
#8 Colorado 23-11, Pac-12
Best Wins: Kansas, Oregon, Harvard
Worst Losses: At Washington, At Utah
The Skinny: Colorado looked a lot more formidable earlier in the season, but they've faded a little, going 3-4 over their last seven games, including losses to California and Utah. The Buffaloes will have their hands full with Pitt, but a challange to Florida seems highly unlikely.
#9 Pittsburgh 25-9, ACC
Best Wins: Stanford, UNC
Worst Losses: NC State, Florida State
The Skinny: Pitt is very well regarded by KenPom and advanced stats, but outside of their recent win over UNC, they hadn't really beaten a particularly quality team. They also haven't lost to a bad squad either, but it's hard to imagine them sticking around past a matchup with Florida
#10 Stanford 21-12, Pac-12
Best Wins: UCLA, at UConn, at Oregon
Worst Losses: At Oregon State, at Washington
The Skinny: Stanford isn't exactly playing great basketball right now, after getting obliterated by UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament, and losing three straight to start the month. Chasson Randle is a nice player, but the Cardinal will have their hands full with New Mexico.
#11 Dayton 23-10, Atlantic 10
Best Wins: Gonzaga, Iona,
Worst Losses: USC, at Rhode Island
The Skinny: Dayton will be no picnic for Ohio State, as the Flyers are led by former Buckeye, Jordan Sibert. Sibert, unlike just about anybody on Ohio State, can absolutely shoot threes. The Flyers hung tough in a very deep A10, and do a good job of finding high percentage shots. The Buckeyes should be able to force turnovers and get to the basket, but it will be a tough game.
#12 Stephen F. Austin 31-2, Southland Regular Season, Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Towson
Worst Losses: at East Tennessee State
The Skinny: Sure, Stephen F. Austin hasn't beaten a ton of top teams, but 31 wins are 31 wins, and their KenPom ranking isn't bad for a team in a mid-major conference. The Lumberjacks are one of the best teams in the country at sharing the basketball and scoring, which should provide an excellent matchup with ball hawking VCU.
#13 Tulsa 21-12, Conference USA Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Southern Miss
Worst Losses: TCU (twice), UAB, Oral Roberts
The Skinny: The Golden Hurricane probably wasn't the team many expected to come out of CUSA, with Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech sporting more impressive regular seasons, but Tulsa peaked at just the right time and won the conference's bid. After starting 1-6 on the year, Tulsa hasn't lost since February 6th, and could make things interesting for UCLA for a while. You know their coach, Danny Manning, former NBA player and maestro of Danny and the Miracles.
#14 Western Michigan 23-9, MAC Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Toledo (twice)
Worst Losses: Bowling Green, at Drake
The Skinny: Western Michigan has only lost once since February 1st, with but an overtime loss to Toledo keeping them from perfection during that stretch. WMU takes good shots, and David Brown can score the basketball (19.4 ppg). 6'11 Shayne Whittington could make things difficult for Syracuse, at least, for a little while.
#15 Eastern Kentucky 24-9 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Belmont (twice)
Worst Losses: at SIU-Edwardsville, Youngstown State
The Skinny: EKU upset Belmont to grab the OVC bid. The Colonels can score (79 ppg), but can they do enough of anything else to hang with Kansas? Doubtful.
#16a Albany 18-14, America East Tournament Champions
Best Wins: Vermont
Worst Losses: at New Hampshire, at SMBC
The Skinny: The Great Danes upset Vermont, and held on against Stony Brook, to bring their mismatched jerseys to the Big Dance. Albany may beat The Mount, but a team that doesn't pass well, score well, or force turnovers will probably be dog food against Florida.
#16b Mount Saint Mary's 16-16 NEC Tournament Champions
Best Wins: American University
Worst Losses: Sacred Heart, Binghampton
The Skinny: The Mount got a little lucky, getting hot at the right time to grab a bid from NEC favorites, Robert Morris. The Mountaineers aren't a very good defensive team, which should be a nice contrast to Albany, and advanced stats don't think highly of them. They might be able to beat Albany, but when you're a .500 team from a bad conference, just getting into the Big Dance is enough of an accomplishment.