As our friend Jon Rothstein says every week, college basketball scheduling during the COVID-19 pandemic is wilder than a goat rodeo. And after No. 16 Ohio State was forced to cancel three games last month while dealing with a roster infected by COVID-19, they’ve been looking to add a game somewhere in the middle of conference play to make up for those lost games.
College Basketball Scheduling while dealing with the Omicron Variant.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 27, 2021
Wilder Than A Goat Rodeo. pic.twitter.com/iFLbb8lyO4
Well, the Buckeye coaching staff chose to get in on the goat rodeo apparently, as it was announced Monday afternoon on 97.1 FM (The Chris Holtmann Show) that Ohio State has added a home game on Tuesday, January 18 at 7:00 against an opponent that is still to be announced. The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network. Since no conference games were cancelled, we have to assume that the game is against someone from outside the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes (10-3, 4-1) play Penn State at home on Sunday, January 16, and then Nebraska at home on Saturday, January 22. Since all three games are at home, it allows Ohio State some flexibility since they are not traveling. Radio host and Ohio State play-by-play man Paul Keels asked Holtmann if there was a chance the Buckeyes could squeeze in another game at some point, but the Buckeye head coach said it was unlikely due to conference play coming hot and heavy over the next eight weeks.
Ohio State fell to No. 16 in the AP Poll Monday afternoon (down three spots from No. 13) and will take on No. 13 Wisconsin in Madison Thursday evening.
Author’s note: The “mystery opponent” has been revealed as IUPUI out of the Horizon League. The Jaguars are 1-11 this season and 0-3 in league play. They are No. 355 in KenPom’s rankings, which means they are one of the four worst teams in college basketball this season. The last time these teams played was December 9, 2010 when Jared Sullinger scored a program-record 40 points as a freshman. Ohio State won that game, 75-64.