Ohio State Secures Double-Bye In Big Ten Tournament, Offering Needed Break For Return To Full Health

With Ohio State’s 74-61 win over Michigan on Monday, the Buckeyes secured a top-four seed in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, meaning Ohio State earned a coveted double-bye.

That means after the Buckeyes – who are locked into the No. 4 seed in the tournament – close their regular season at home on Friday against Maryland, they won’t take the court against until next Friday in the quarterfinals, set to take on whoever enters the tournament as the No. 5 seed.

“It’s good,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said of the upcoming layoff. “It’s a grind in the Big Ten Tournament, so to be able to get to that next day and not have to play is important. Especially, we’re still not super deep at this point, so I think that’s important for us.”

The extra week will offer Ohio State an opportunity to get back to full strength for the stretch run. Guard Jacy Sheldon remains day-to-day in her continued recovery from a lower-leg injury, and another week of rehab could be the difference in her being able to participate in the conference and NCAA Tournament.

The other recent injury for Ohio State was that of forward Rebeka Mikulášiková, who suffered a high-ankle sprain a couple weeks back against Minnesota. Mikulášiková played briefly last Thursday against Penn State but played 23 minutes in the win over Michigan, adding 9 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

“She looked (Sunday) in practice like the closest to 100 percent physically (since her injury), so I was cautiously optimistic she would play well and she did,” McGuff said. “She had some great moments for us. The combination of her and Eboni (Walker) were really effective.”