Earlier this summer, Ohio State released their non-conference slate for this upcoming basketball season, a schedule highlighted by big games against Providence, UCLA, Virginia and UConn. The exact specifics of the Big Ten league slate won't be known for a few more weeks, but fans get some additional clarity, as Ohio State's exact Big Ten opponents were released today, per the school.
The Big Ten is too big a league for each school to play each other twice, so double-plays, road only and home only games are rotated from year to year. Here's who Ohio State will be facing in league play next season:
- Double-Plays: Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin
- Home Only: Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers
- Road Only: Iowa, Penn State, Illinois, Michigan
It stinks that the Buckeyes will only get one game against Michigan, and none in Columbus, but on the balance, this seems like mostly good news. Outside of the Wolverines, everybody else that is projected to be near the top of the Big Ten will make a trip to Columbus. Ohio State only has to play Rutgers once (two games could damage their RPI), and will get multiple cracks at the best in the conference, like Michigan State and Wisconsin. Indiana will also be in that group, but at least the Buckeyes don't have to go to Assembly Hall.
Ohio State missed the NCAAs last season thanks to a few bad losses before Big Ten play, and their inability to pick up more than one quality win during conference play, despite a solid conference record. They'll get their chances thanks to two cracks at Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and more.
Between those and their big non-conference games, if Ohio State's RPI is lacking at the end of the season, it won't be for lack of opportunities to improve it. That's all you can ask out of your schedule. It's just up to the Buckeyes to win enough games.