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The Ohio State men’s basketball team begins preparation for its game vs. Mississippi in the semifinal round of the 2008 MasterCard National Invitation Tournament today when practice resumes at Value City Arena.

The Buckeyes will practice in Columbus Friday, Saturday and Sunday before traveling to New York Sunday afternoon. The game with the Rebels tips at about 9:20 p.m. (ESPN2) next Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

Florida and UMass play in the first semifinal at 7 p.m. (ESPN2). The championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 3 (ESPN).

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach, participated in a teleconference earlier today and addressed the local media before practice. Evan Turner and David Lighty also partcipated in the afternoon media session.