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Ohio State basketball adds Bucknell to 2018-19 non-conference schedule

The Buckeyes and the Bison will meet later this year for the first time since 1986.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Ohio State vs Gonzaga Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State’s 2018-19 non-conference schedule continues to take shape, as it was announced Thursday that the Buckeyes will be taking on Bucknell from the Patriot League. The Bison join Cincinnati, UCLA, and Youngstown State as opponents in Ohio State’s non-conference portion of their 2018-19 season. The matchup against Cincinnati in “The Queen City” will kick off Ohio State’s season this fall, while the contest against UCLA will be a part of the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago in December.

Bucknell finished the 2017-18 season 25-10, winning both the Patriot League regular season title and the conference tournament. Bucknell gave Michigan State all they could handle in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, with the Spartans squeaking out a 82-78 win. The Bison finished the year ranked 97th in KenPom rankings, but Bucknell will lose their three leading scorers.

The upcoming contest will mark just the second time Ohio State and Bucknell have squared off. The last meeting between the teams came in 1986, which Ohio State easily won 90-62. Ohio State last faced a Patriot League squad in the 2016-17, when the Buckeyes opened the season with a 78-68 win over Navy.

“A lot of things I won’t share with everyone else, what’s going on in-house, but I’ve been in worse situations where you don’t have one. So we’ve got to do right by the team and do right by the players.”

-Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer via Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group

There has only been one other instance during his time with Ohio State that Urban Meyer has had a decision to make at quarterback, and if this year is anything like 2015, don’t expect an answer on who will be starting for the Buckeyes anytime soon. In Saturday’s Spring Game, Meyer will get a chance to take one last look at Dwayne Haskins, Joe Burrow, and Tate Martell before spring practice wraps up.

Meyer also had to choose between three quarterbacks back in 2015, a decision that was made a little easier when Braxton Miller announced he was moving to receiver. Unlike 2015, Meyer won’t have to decided between J.T. Barrett, who put Ohio State in position to make the College Football Playoff, and Cardale Jones, who took over for an injured Barrett and helped the Buckeyes secure the title.

The biggest question coming out of the Spring Game is what Ohio State is going to do with Joe Burrow. While Burrow is in the mix for the starting job, if it is evident he won’t be Ohio State’s next starting quarterback, Meyer has to decide whether to let Burrow know, so the quarterback can explore a possible graduate transfer.

Even with the urgency Burrow might feel to find out what his future might hold, Meyer is likely to keep things close to the vest. Dwayne Haskins is the favorite for the job, but it would help the Buckeyes to keep Burrow on the roster as insurance in case Haskins doesn’t perform as expected. Just be ready for a summer full of speculation about the quarterback position, as Saturday likely won’t provide a clear answer on how Ohio State is leaning.

“We focus on the now, we don’t focus on the future. As a mom, I would love to see Nick win a national championship because his brother got one. I want for him so bad. It was such an amazing experience for Joey. For Nick to have that, it would be my dream come true.”

-Cheryl Bosa, mother of Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa via Brad Crawford, Bucknuts

While it won’t be a big surprise if Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa declares for the NFL Draft after the 2018 season, his mother says it is too early to start talking about the draft, as there are still things her son has to accomplish in Columbus. The biggest prize still left for the talented pass rusher to win is a national title. Nick’s older brother Joey was a part of Ohio State’s 2014 title team, and their mother is hoping Nick can win his own CFP Championship.

Nick Bosa has already shown plenty of physical talent on the field to boost his draft stock, but what has been impressing defensive line coach Larry Johnson is Bosa’s leadership skills. Bosa has been leading by example, which has helped young talents like Chase Young and Jonathan Cooper steer clear of developing bad habits. Bosa is also setting the bar high for those around them, making his teammates step up their game.

Bosa will have even more time to shine this year, with a number of Buckeye defensive linemen from last year’s team having moved on to the pros. Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, and Jalyn Holmes are all waiting to hear their name called later this month at the NFL Draft. It won’t be a big surprise if next year at this time Bosa is readying himself to hear his name called much like his trio of former teammates are this year.