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Let’s Dance: No. 7 Ohio State will face No. 10 Loyola Chicago in first round of NCAA Tournament

The Buckeyes are headed to Pittsburgh to take on Sister Jean and the gang.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Well, that the road Ohio State men’s basketball Buckeyes took to get here was long, rocky, and took a steep dive towards the end — but the madness is here. It was just announced that Ohio State (19-11, 12-8) is the seven-seed in the South region in this year’s NCAA Tournament. They are matched up with the 10-seeded Loyola Chicago Ramblers out of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Ramblers went 25-7 this season and 13-5 in conference play, finishing in second place in the MVC.

The Buckeyes were alive for a Big Ten Championship, a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament, and potentially a three or four-seed in the NCAA Tournament just a month ago. But after losing four of their final five games of the season, their standing amongst the other “locked” teams plummeted, landing them on the seven-line.

Loyola-Chicago is the No. 24 team in the country according to KenPom, and is led by star guards Lucas Williamson (14.0 PPG) and Braden Norris (10.0 PPG). Ohio State’s opening-round game against Loyola Chicago is set to tip off on Friday in Pittsburgh, Pa. Game times for all tournament matchups will be announced in the coming days.

Loyola-Chicago won the Missouri Valley Tournament this week in dominant fashion, holding all three of their opponents under 60 points on consecutive days and snagging the MVC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They have the No. 22 defense in the nation according to KenPom and the No. 42 offense.