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Ohio State women’s basketball starts the season in Las Vegas, facing Southern California

The Buckeyes and the Trojans tip the season off part of a triple-header in Nevada

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

In March, the The 22/23 Ohio State women’s basketball season ended with a 10-point defeat to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the NCAA Tournament’s SweeWednesday, the In March, the Ohio State women’s basketball team’s season ended with a 10-point defeat to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. Wednesday, the Buckeyes announced how their 23/24 season will begin. On Nov. 6, the Buckeyes travel west to face the USC Trojans in Las Vegas, Nevada, part of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Series.

For the scarlet and gray, it’s the second season in a row beginning with a Power Five conference opponent. To start the 22/23 season, the Buckeyes faced the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers, stunning the Volunteers in Columbus in an 87-75 win for Ohio State.

“I’m extremely excited to have our team open the year at the 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame event at T-Mobile Arena,” said head coach Kevin McGuff. “The environment will be incredible, and USC is an outstanding opponent who will provide a challenging start to the season.”

This time around, USC isn’t likely to be a top five school in the nation in preseason rankings, but they’re a difficult side that’s becoming even stronger. Last season, the Southern California went 21-10, losing in the first round in a slight upset by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, with the No. 9 side beating USC at No. 8.

Outside of that NCAA defeat, and losing their lone Pac-12 Conference Tournament game, USC had marquee victories. The biggest spotlight shining on a Jan. 15 win over No. 2 ranked Stanford University. It was a victory that propelled USC, even putting the Trojans in the AP Top-25, hitting No. 25 for one week in the beginning of February.

Leading USC is head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. The former Cal head coach and assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA has USC into territory it isn’t used to being in, making the NCAA Tournament just once in the past 10 years.

The tip in November will feature a USC opponent that’s added four players from the transfer portal, three graduate transfers from Ivy League schools Harvard, Columbia and Penn. However, the most exciting piece of the Trojans might be the freshman class.

Southern California added not only two top-100 recruits in the nation, but the No. 1 overall recruit in Juju Watkins. The freshman is a 6-foot guard named Gatorade National Player of the Year and is a McDonald’s All-American.

Overall, the Buckeyes are 4-3 in seven meetings against the Trojans dating back to 1983. That history is inevitably going to add more chapters when USC and UCLA join the Big Ten conference for the 24/25 season.

Ohio State and USC is one of four games in Las Vegas to start the season. The other women’s basketball game is between the National Championship-winning LSU Tigers, facing the University of Colorado Buffaloes. On the men’s side, Georgia faces the Oregon Ducks and the USC men’s team faces off against Kansas State.

Schedule-wise for the scarlet and gray, this is the first confirmed game of the 23/24 season. Outside of the Big Ten schedule that’s likely to release late in the summer, Ohio State also has a date unknown game against the Volunteers, in Tennessee.

Also, the Buckeyes are rumored to take part in the Baha Mars Pink Flamingo Championship in the Bahamas between Nov. 20 and 22. The tournament already includes USC and two Big Ten schools in the Purdue Boilermakers and Penn State Nittany Lions. As of publishing, Ohio State hasn’t been formally announced, but the official tournament website has two teams still pending announcement.