Ohio State will take a short drive down I-71 to Cincinnati where it will face Xavier on Nov. 18 as part of the 2021 Gavitt Games. The game is the fifth all-time meeting between the two in-state programs.
“What the Gavitt Games has done at the start of the college basketball season, and honoring the late great Dan Gavitt, has been tremendous for our game,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said. “It has provided a number of really great matchups and this year is no exception. Xavier is a tremendous program with a rich history and passionate fan base. Playing against a good, well-coached team in that environment early in the season will be great for our 2021-22 team.”
Ohio State is 3-1 in its four games against Xavier. The Buckeyes won the first two meetings during the 1932-33 and 1934-35 seasons. The Musketeers claimed their lone win in the series with a 1984 National Invitational Tournament victory.
The latest meeting between the teams was a thrilling overtime game in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky. Ohio State guard Ron Lewis hit a three-pointer late in regulation to tie the game and force an extra period of play, and the Buckeyes went on to win the game 78-71. After defeating Xavier, Ohio State made a Final Four run that ended with an 84-75 loss to Florida in the national championship.
This year, Ohio State will play in its fourth Gavitt Games. Last season, the conferences mutually agreed to cancel the tournament due to scheduling adjustments and other conflicts created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Buckeyes are 3-0 in its prior appearances in the games, with victories over Providence in 2016, Creighton in 2018, and Villanova in 2019.
The rest of Ohio State’s non-conference schedule will be announced later this summer.