Both Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball suffered some losses over the past week, but none that were too tarnishing to the respective résumés. The men’s team also managed to completely cancel out its defeat with one of the most important wins of the season: A 79-72 victory over then-No. 7 Maryland.
With just one game remaining for the women’s team before tournament play and four for the men’s, here is where each team stands in a variety of NCAA tournament projections, as well as some Big Ten tournament scenarios for the women’s team:
Men’s Basketball (18-9, 8-8 Big Ten)
Dave Ommen, NBC Sports — 5 seed vs. Liberty
Scott Gleeson and Shelby Mass, USA Today — 6 seed vs. Providence
Joe Lunardi, ESPN — 6 seed vs. Northern Iowa
Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report — 6 seed vs. NC State/Stanford
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports — 6 seed vs. Arkansas
Ohio State remains in the same place it was a week ago, earning one pick as a No. 5 seed, but is primarily seen as a No. 6 seed.
The matchups if the Buckeyes were to win that first round matchup were more interesting this week, though. Two of the five projections had No. 3 Duke as the likely Round of 32 game, while two more had Ohio State in a neutral site rematch against Kentucky.
The Buckeyes defeated the Wildcats 71-65 in Las Vegas on Dec. 21, led by 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from freshman guard D.J. Carton.
Of the four games remaining for Ohio State, three (Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State) are against teams that are chosen as top-eight seeds across all five of the projections.
In the analytics, Ohio State ranks No. 10 in BPI, No. 11 in KenPom and No. 33 in RPI.
Women’s Basketball (17-11, 10-7 Big Ten)
Real Time RPI — 5 seed vs. South Dakota
College Sports Madness — 6 seed vs. West Virginia
Russell Steinberg, High Post Hoops — 8 seed vs. Arkansas
Charlie Creme, ESPN — 9 seed vs. LSU
Because of the recency of Ohio State’s defeat Tuesday against No. 14 Northwestern (and the sad, but true lack of attention to women’s NCAA tournament projections), two of the projections from this week only take into account the Buckeyes’ two-point road loss to Rutgers: Creme’s and College Sports Madness’ selections.
Steinberg’s is from six days ago, but still had Ohio State lower than the only updated prediction: Real Time RPI. Because of one of the toughest strength of schedule’s in the country, the Buckeyes are still placed as a top-five seed in a projection that strictly uses the RPI metric.
The defeat to the Wildcats shouldn’t force Ohio State to plummet anywhere, but may force the team to drop a seed and start to get eerily close to being back on the bubble.
This makes the final regular season game against Purdue, a team listed as a No. 10 seed in Creme’s Bracketology, all the more important, and a pivotal game for both teams.
That matchup is also pivotal to determine a seeding in the Big Ten tournament, which Ohio State can currently anywhere from No. 4 to No. 7 in. Here are the scenarios:
No. 4 seed IF: Ohio State wins @ Purdue AND if Indiana loses vs. Nebraska and @ Michigan, and Rutgers loses vs. Wisconsin OR vs. Iowa
No. 5 seed IF: Ohio State wins @ Purdue, Indiana wins at least one of two games, and Rutgers loses at least one of two games
No. 6 seed IF (scenario 1): Ohio State wins @ Purdue, Indiana wins at least one game and Rutgers wins both games
No. 6 seed IF (scenario 2): Ohio State loses @ Purdue, Rutgers wins at least one game OR Michigan wins both @ Penn State and vs. Indiana
No. 7 seed IF: Ohio State loses @ Purdue, Rutgers wins at least one game AND Michigan wins both games
No. 5 and No. 6 are the most likely scenarios, win or loss, but the Buckeyes are locked in for an opening day bye, and have a small opening to get the double bye with a No. 4 seed.
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