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Latest NCAA Tournament outlook for Ohio State basketball

The Buckeyes (again) aren’t ranked in the AP Poll Top 25, but they have a decent NET Ranking—and are “in” numerous tournament projections

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes are riding a two-game losing streak. After a woeful loss at home to Illinois, the Bucks went on the road to face Michigan State. They led the Spartans by six at the half before imploding—and losing—by 18 to the Tom Izzo coached squad.

Before these losses, OSU was considered “in” the NCAA Tournament. Some projections had them as a No. 9 seed. Now, heading into this week, projections still have Chris Holtmann’s program back in the Big Dance.

On Thursday, Ohio State hosts Northwestern; then on Saturday, the Bucks travel to face a ranked Maryland team. Both wins would be huge, but those aren’t the only games where the Buckeyes can increase their stock.


What’s left on the schedule?

Here’s a list of currently ranked AP teams that OSU will face before season’s end.

@ No. 23 Maryland — Feb. 23 (2 p.m. ET | ESPN)

vs. No. 21 Iowa — Feb. 25 (7 p.m. ET | BTN)

@ No. 15 Purdue — March 2 (2 p.m. ET | TBD [either ESPN or ESPN2])

@ No. 22 Wisconsin — March 10 (3:30 p.m. ET | CBS)

And here’s the remaining two games, which are basically “must-win” contests.

vs. Northwestern — Feb. 21 (8:30 p.m. ET | BTN)

@ Northwestern — March 6 (9 p.m. ET | BTN)


What are the projections saying?

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm) — Ohio State (No. 9) facing Washington (the No. 8) in the West Region. Guess it’s the Rose Bowl at the NCAA Tournament in this scenario.

USA Today (Scott Gleeson) — Ohio State (No. 9) facing Ole Miss (No. 8) in the East Region. In this scenario, the Round of 32 may be the ceiling, as the winner would most likely face Duke (the No. 1 seed).

Bracketville — Ohio State (No. 10) facing Ole Miss (No. 7) in the Midwest Region. Winner would face either North Carolina (No. 2) or Northern Kentucky (No. 15)

The Big Lead (Jason Lisk) — Doesn’t do a bracket, but based off end of season projections, has Ohio State as a No. 10 seed. He has the Buckeyes with an end record of 19-13, and a record of 5-9 against Quadrant 1 opponents. Using that prediction, it looks like he has OSU beating NU twice, winning one of the four remaining regular season games, and losing one game in the Big Ten Tournament.


NET Ranking

Ohio State is No. 44 on the Feb. 17 edition of the rankings. Amongst Big Ten schools, that’s eighth best.

Below is the NET for each Big Ten school

Big Ten NET Rankings (March 4, 2019)

Current Ranking Team Previous Ranking
Current Ranking Team Previous Ranking
8 Michigan State 8
9 Michigan 9
11 Purdue 11
17 Wisconsin 17
28 Maryland 27
40 Iowa 41
43 Ohio State 43
48 Penn State 49
51 Nebraska 51
55 Indiana 55
56 Minnesota 56
92 Illinois 92
95 Northwestern 95
98 Rutgers 98