The headliners for Ohio State basketball's non-conference schedule have already been released. We know the Buckeyes will host Providence in the Gavitt games. They'll also open the season at Navy, face UCLA in Las Vegas as part of the CBS Sports Classic, will host UConn in the return leg of a home and home, and will face an ACC team in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It is probable that the ACC game will be on the road.
It would be unlikely for Ohio State to add another big name to join those teams, which leaves a slate of smaller conference opponents to fill the other eight spots. It seems that one of Ohio State's opponents accidentally leaked the news already.
According to this story on Marshall's official website, Thundering Herd head coach Dan D'Antoni let slip that his team will be making a trip to Columbus. Here's the full quote from the story:
OK, that was then. Going forward, D'Antoni said the Herd is still recruiting for 2016-17, when the strength of schedule will remain solid with games at Ohio State, Cincinnati, Chattanooga and Akron and maybe another power conference team, too.
This was first noticed by Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch.
Marshall wasn't very good last season. The Thundering Herd finished 17-16 overall, although they had a somewhat respectable 130 RPI. The Thundering Herd finished a little worse in KenPom, with a final ranking of 142.
Not every one of Ohio State's opponents needs to be world beaters, and if Marshall can finish in the top 150 of the RPI again, it could still be a perfectly fine addition to Ohio State's schedule. And lest the Buckeyes and Buckeye fans get too confident, it's probably worth mentioning that one of Marshall's Conference USA peers, Louisiana Tech, did actually beat Ohio State last season.
No date was given in the interview. If the game holds, Ohio State will need to add seven more opponents. If past history is any indication, the Buckeyes will probably play an HBCU, and perhaps a MAC or Horizon League squad as well. We'll keep you updated as we learn the rest of the teams.