Coming off of their first Big Ten Tournament championship since 2011, the Ohio State women’s basketball team officially earned the right to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament this week, thanks to their No. 3 seed in the Spokane Region. The Buckeyes will square off against No. 14 George Washington on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
This season, OSU won the B1G regular season and tournament titles behind three-time conference Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell. With a 27-6 overall record, including a 13-3 mark in conference, the Buckeyes finished the regular season ranked 10th in the AP Poll.
Not only will Ohio State host the first two rounds on campus, but this year’s Women’s Final Four will also be held in Columbus, just down High Street at Nationwide Arena. Fortunately for coach Kevin McGuff and company, his team is 15-2 in C-bus this season, only losing to now No. 3 Louisville in overtime in November and to Michigan in January.
Mitchell is unquestionably the star of the team, and she might be the best player in the program’s storied history. With 3,363 total points, she sits third all-time in the NCAA women’s scoring ranks, just 30 points behind Southwest Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles. Should the Buckeyes make it to the final game at Nationwide Arena, Mitchell would have a difficult, but legitimate chance, to catch Washington’s Kelsey Plum, who ended her career last season with 3,527 points.
However, in addition to Mitchell’s 24.5 points per game, three other Buckeyes average double figured; Stephanie Mavunga (16.5), Linnae Harper (14.6), and Sierra Calhoun (11.8). Mavunga is the only Buckeye to average a double-double, pulling down 10.8 board per contest.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish secured the No. 1 seed in the Spokane region. If the Buckeyes win their Round of 64 game against the Colonials, they will face the winner of No. 6 LSU and No. 11 Central Michigan. In the Sweet 16, Ohio State would face off against the surviving team from No. 2 Oregon, No. 7 Green Bay, No. 10 Minnesota, and No. 15 Seattle. The Round of 16 game for the Buckeyes would be in Spokane, Wash., so if they faced Oregon— or Seattle— it would likely be a veritable road game.
All games for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament will air on the ESPN family of networks.