This coming season is going to be a pivotal one for Ohio State basketball. After missing the NCAA Tournament two seasons in a row, the pressure will be on for the Buckeyes to make a move for next year. Now, we’re starting to get an idea for who they’ll need to beat to get back to March.
Per Jon Rothstein, the Buckeyes will host the Tribe of William & Mary next season:
Ohio State will host William & Mary as part of its 2017-18 non-conference schedule, per a source.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 17, 2017
The Buckeyes will also face Robert Morris:
Ohio State will host Robert Morris as part of its 2017-18 non-conference schedule, per a source.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 6, 2017
William & Mary finished a respectable 17-14 last season, and ended the year ranked No. 133 in KenPom, a few spots ahead of Rutgers. Their final official RPI ranking was even more generous, ending the year at No. 112, one spot behind Nebraska. If the Tribe finishes in that neighborhood again next year, they’ll be a decent addition to Ohio State’s non-conference schedule ... a game the Buckeyes are expected to win, but one that won’t torpedo their computer profile.
The numbers aren’t nearly as high on Robert Morris. They finished 14-19, had a KenPom ranking of No. 266 (behind programs like Seattle, five-win Oregon State, and Cornell), and a final RPI of 240. That’s not very good.
Those won’t be Ohio State’s only non-conference opponents, of course. The Buckeyes will take part in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and will also be participating in a massive early season tournament, along with squads like Arkansas, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga and Texas. Ohio State will also face North Carolina in New Orleans on December 23, as part of the CBS Sports Classic. Ohio State will not participate in the Gavitt Games next season.
We’ll share more updates on Ohio State’s schedule later this offseason.