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Ohio State women’s basketball to play Louisville in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

The Buckeyes get a marquee non-conference matchup on the schedule.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Rutgers vs Ohio State Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

“The Challenge will take place over two days in early December, beginning Wednesday, Dec. 4, with Big Ten schools Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern playing host to ACC counterparts that evening, while Indiana and Minnesota venture on the road. The following night (Thursday, Dec. 5), Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers will serve as the Big Ten host schools”

— Big Ten Conference

The Ohio State Buckeyes women’s basketball team will be going up against one of the best teams from the ACC in the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Louisville, who went 32-4 last season, will be making the trek to Columbus to face the Buckeyes on Dec. 5. OSU, on the other hand, is coming off a tough 14-15 campaign. There were some bright spots though, as the Bucks took down North Carolina in last season’s Challenge—their first marquee win since Kelsey Mitchell departed the program.

This will be the third meeting between the two schools. In both instances, the Buckeyes played well but couldn’t pull off the victory against the Cardinals. In 2001, the first meeting, Value City Arena played host to a 67-66 victory for Louisville. The ‘Cards came back — trailing by as many as seven — and escaped with a victory even though OSU shot 53 percent from the field. Meeting No. 2 happened in 2017 at Nationwide Arena. Playing in downtown Columbus, the site of the 2018 Women’s Final Four, Mitchell put together a 26 point effort. However, Louisville eked out an overtime win, 95-90, thanks to a 47-point performance from Asia Durr.

Hopefully, round three will be just as exciting. And hopefully, the Buckeyes can finally get the win against Louisville.

“While the two teams weren’t able to agree on a deal in February, the Jazz still like Conley and what he’d bring to the team: scoring, shooting and tough defense.”

— Andy Larsen | Salt Lake Tribune

In the NBA, a former Buckeye could be moving across the country. With the NBA Draft taking place on Thursday, teams are looking to move players—and Utah may be the one to get Mike Conley.

Currently a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, Conley is on the books for $32.5 million next season. However, with Memphis winning the No. 2 pick in the draft, there’s a strong belief that they’ll draft another point guard in Murray State’s Ja Morant. And if that’s their plan, then it makes sense for the Grizzlies to build around Morant—and deal Conley somewhere else.

Utah has tried to trade for Conley before. Back in February, as mentioned in the Salt Lake Tribune article, Ricky Rubio was on the trade block. However, he’s becoming a free agent and is effectively off the table.

Andy Larsen does a very good job explaining the math for how a Conley-to-Utah trade would work; there’s salary cap adjustments to be made, and contracts to be be guaranteed if Utah wants to move certain players.

If a trade does go through, the Grizzlies rebuild looks bright. Larsen believes Utah’s No. 23 overall pick would be part of the package—giving Memphis two first-rounders on Thursday. On the other hand, the Jazz will be flying under the radar in the Western Conference if they can complete the deal. Conley would be joining Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, two impact players that helped Utah to the playoffs.

It may be hard to believe, but Conley’s been in the association for 12 seasons now. And all 12 seasons have been with Memphis. From 2011-17, the Grizzlies were a postseason team. With Conley, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph leading the way, Memphis reached the Western Conference finals in 2013.

However, times have changed. Since Dave Joerger departed for Sacramento to be head coach in 2016, and David Fizdale’s firing in 2017, the Grizzlies have not only been out of the playoffs for the last two seasons, but are in a reset. They traded Marc Gasol midway through 2019 to Toronto, and since then, Gasol has become an NBA Champion.

Conley averages 14.9 points per game, and averages nearly 33 minutes per game. If Utah does get him, they’ll get a reliable player who’s bounced back—Conley missed most of the 2017-18 season with a heel injury.

“Mupo will serve as the offensive coordinator for the Buckeyes after spending last season with Bokker as an assistant on the Stanford lacrosse staff.”

— Ohio State Athletics

Back on June 5, Ohio State announced their new women’s lacrosse coach, Amy Bokker. Now, not even two weeks later, the women’s lacrosse program gets another ace on the coaching staff as Kara Mupo was announced as the offensive coordinator.

Mupo was part of Bokker’s staff at Stanford, and played a major role in the Cardinal success. Last season, Mupo’s assistance helped put Stanford at the top of the Pac-12 in numerous categories, including shot percentage (.431), assists (125), goals per game (13.89) and points per game (20.47). Stanford went 13-6, and punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Mupo has played both professionally and on the U.S. National Team. When she played at Northwestern, she was part of two national champion squads, four Final Four squads, and completed her senior campaign as a captain.

Having shown success at every level, this is a huge get for the women’s lacrosse team.

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