BUFFALO- Sixth Ohio State Buckeyes (25-9, 10-8 Big Ten) and 13th seed Dayton Flyers(23-10, 10-6 Atlantic 10) will face off Thursday afternoon at 12:15 P.M. on CBS in the South Regional in Buffalo, New York. The state of Ohio can take at least small comfort knowing one of the in-state teams will advance to the next round.
The Buckeyes have shown both strength and weakness this year. Defeating Ohio University (23-11-11-7 Mid-American Conference) in the second game of the season was no small victory. However, the Buckeyes struggled against their conference foes, winning only 10 of 18 games. However, it is worth noting that almost every team in the Big Ten finished with a winning record. Penn State( 15-17, 6-12 Big Ten) , Northwestern (14-19, 6-12 in Big Ten) and Purdue (15-17, 5-14, Big Ten) were the only Big Ten teams to finish with losing records.
Ohio State is not an offensive threat at all. The Buckeyes average 69.8 points which ranks 93rd in the nation. However, defense wins championships and the Buckeyes have one of the best, limiting opponents to 59.8 points per game which ranks 11th in the nation.
The Dayton Flyers are an average team. They are 5th in the nation in points per game, scoring 73.4 points per game. The Flyers defense has been easy to decimate as they give up an average of 67.6 points per game which ranks 61st in the nation.
One in-state team failed to defeat the Buckeyes. Will Dayton succeed or be trampled in the dust? Fans on both sides and every corner of Ohio will be looking forward to seeing which team will represent the state in the field of 32 teams. The Buckeyes have a reputation of being one of the top teams in the nation but this year they are an underdog. This is unfinished business as Ohio State was upset by the Wichita State Shockers last season.
Ohio State will take advantage of Dayton’s weak defense en route to an 81-64 win,