The Ohio State women's basketball team is going where its counterpart on the men's side is not: the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes will go dancing as the 3-seed in the Sioux Falls region, and will host Buffalo in Columbus on Friday, March 18th, at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Due to the state high school basketball tournament being played at the team's usual home of Value City Arena, the game will be played at St. John Arena.
After spending much of 2016 among the top five in the country, and as frontrunner in the Big Ten, Ohio State lost three of its final four games, including an 82-63 walloping in the conference tournament semifinals by Michigan State.
The Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 9 in the polls, but questions are swirling about the health of second-leading scorer Ameryst Alston, who injured the wrist on her shooting hand during the team's 73-58 win over Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Without Alston, leading scorer Kelsey Mitchell was on an island in the loss to the Spartans.
The top seed in this year's tournament is (surprise!) Connecticut. The Huskies, who have won three consecutive national championships, are an undefeated 32-0 and feature likely National Player of the Year Breanna Stewart.
In Ohio State's region, the top seed is South Carolina. The Buckeyes and Gamecocks played in the season opener in Columbia, an 88-80 loss for the scarlet and gray.
Notre Dame and Baylor locked up the other two No. 1 seeds.
Here's the full bracket and schedule, courtesy of ESPN: