On July 27, the Ohio State Buckeyes women’s basketball team was linked with the San Diego Invitational. The Arkansas Razorbacks announced that the Buckeyes, Oregon Ducks, and Virginia Tech Hokies would take part in the in-season, four-team, tournament. Friday, the Buckeyes announced that they’re indeed playing in the San Diego Invitational, with one team getting swapped for another. On Dec. 20, the Scarlet & Gray face the University of South Florida Bulls, with a matchup against Arkansas or Oregon on Dec. 21.
When Land-Grant Holy Land reported the link in July, the team didn’t confirm their place in the tournament, with contracts still needing to be finalized. Now, Ohio State faces a tough USF side that plays in a smaller conference, but still packs a punch. The Bulls are an NCAA Tournament team, making the 2022 edition as a nine-seed, but it's how they made it that’s impressive.
The Bulls didn’t make it by winning their conference. USF lost to the University of Central Florida Knights in the American Conference title game. Instead, they made it as a rare at-large bid after a non-conference season of impressive victories.
USF beat two top-10 ranked teams in Stanford and Oregon. Also, they beat No. 16 Tennessee and an unranked Syracuse University and West Virginia Mountaineers. The Bulls also faced UConn, losing 60-53, but showed that they don’t back down from teams in power five schools. Now in 2022, they face the Buckeyes.
In the second game of the two-game tournament, Ohio State faces either the Arkansas Razorbacks or Oregon Ducks, with an especially intriguing matchup against the latter. Outstanding Ohio State guard Taylor Mikesell, named to the 2022 B1G All-First Team and finalist for the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award for the top shooting guard in the nation, transferred to Columbus, Ohio from Eugene, Oregon.
At the end of the 2022 season, when Mikesell opted to use her extra year of eligibility given due to playing during the COVID 19-impacted 2020 season, she gave advice to other transfer portal players to go to a team where they’ll “feel appreciated.” Win or lose and Ohio State still has a chance to face the Pac-12 side.
For Arkansas, they entered as a five-seed and faced the University of Utah Utes. The Razorbacks lost to the seven-seed 92-69, an upset only due to seed numbers. The Utes entered the game with a 21-11 record.
These two games bring the Buckeyes confirmed non-conference schedule up to five games. The Scarlet & Gray play three big games in November, welcoming the Tennessee Volunteers to Columbus on Nov. 8 and trips to Boston College on Nov. 13 and Louisville on Nov. 30, in the ACC/B1G Challenge. Ohio State’s also been linked with a game against McNeese State, from the Southland Conference, on Nov. 20 at the Schottenstein Center.