Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann made it clear he covets a competitive schedule at a June 5 press conference.
“I would like a harder, more challenging non-conference (schedule), I would,” Holtmann said June 5, just one day before he got what he asked for.
Ohio State’s tough non-conference schedule became even more difficult with the announcement that the Buckeyes will travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take on the Tar Heels in a road game against a projected top-10 team.
📅 We’re headed to Chapel Hill❗
We take on @UNC_Basketball December 4th at The Dean Dome as a part of the 2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) June 6, 2019
North Carolina joins a powerhouse non-conference slate that includes hosting Cincinnati to open the season (not yet official). The Scarlet and Gray will also host Villanova, who is a projected top-10 team, which is part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games Nov. 13.
The Buckeyes will take on another projected top-10 team in Kentucky as part of the CBSSports Classic, which will be played in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 21. Around the holidays, Ohio State will then face West Virginia in Cleveland Dec. 29 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, which is the new name of the Cavaliers’ home.
Ohio State is 7-11 overall in ACC-Big Ten Challenge games and has dropped five straight contests. The Buckeyes last win in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge came against Maryland in Columbus Dec. 4, 2013.
Overall, the non-conference schedule put together by Holtmann represents a daunting task for his young team. The 2019-2020 Buckeye squad will feature seven underclassmen, including four true freshmen, and many of those will be expected to contribute.