Monday in Columbus, Ohio is set. Following the Ohio State women’s basketball 80-66 victory over the James Madison Dukes, the North Carolina Tar Heels and St. John’s Red Storm battled in the Schottenstein Center for a spot in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. After 40 minutes of competitive basketball, Ohio State knows their opponent: The North Carolina Tar Heels.
The ACC side had the lead for three quarters, coming out of halftime to a 12-point lead on St. John’s. Even so, the Red Storm kept in the game. Similar to the Buckeyes’ comeback, St. John’s battled back, taking longer than Ohio State to do so.
St. John’s turned the game around in the fourth quarter, swinging the game in a 17-point direction in their favor. With 3:57 remaining, the Red Storm had a five point lead to defend if they hoped to continue their NCAA Tournament run that began as a First Four team, who beat the Purdue Boilermakers by two points to make it into the 64-team field.
Like that Purdue game, the game came right down to the wire. North Carolina fought back with a seven-point run to go ahead two points. Then St. John’s tied it. It looked like a game that was destined to overtime.
With two seconds remaining, guard Deja Kelly got the ball and a lane to the basket. Running the baseline, Kelly hit the layup and a free throw to go up three points. The free throw capped off a game-leading 18 points.
However, St. John’s had one last possession. Forward Danielle Patterson got the ball on the inbound and was fouled in the act of shooting a three-point attempt. The shot missed, but there was some debate that the forward was fouled prior to getting the shot off, meaning one less free throw.
After consulting each other, the officiating crew gave the three shots. The Red Storm had the chance to tie the game and send it to overtime, but Patterson missed two of the three attempts from the charity stripe, giving the Tar Heels the victory.
Overall, the Buckeyes have a 3-5 record against the Tar Heels, with the series starting in 1976. On Nov. 29, 2018, the last game between the two sides, the Buckeyes won in the ACC/B1G Challenge. However, the teams have only met in the NCAA Tournament once in those eight games.
On March 23, 2015, as the away side, the Scarlet & Gray lost 84-86 to North Carolina. That game came in the second round, with the Tar Heels getting to the Sweet Sixteen but losing to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
There’s no set time for Monday’s game at the Schottenstein Center. Once all First Round games are done Saturday, the NCAA will release the schedule for the Second Round.