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Feb. 18, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio–The Ohio State men’s basketball season finale vs. No. 1 Illinois is a sellout, the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office, announced Friday.

The regular-season finale for both teams will be played at 2 p.m. March 6 and nationally televised by CBS Sports. Ohio State is 14-1 at home this season and 13-1 in Value City Arena. Ohio State is 3-1 at VCA vs. the Illini, including a pair of victories over ranked Illini squads. The Buckeyes have one additional home game remaining, a Feb. 27 matchup with No. 20 Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes are 8-0 against ranked Big Ten teams at VCA when the facility is a sellout. In all games, the Buckeyes are 13-3 against ranked Big Ten teams at VCA, including a 2-1 record vs. Illinois.

Overall, Ohio State is 130-211 all-time against ranked opponents and 54-106 against Top 10 teams after facing No. 1 Illinois earlier this season (1/5/05). The Buckeyes fell to 6-9 vs. No. 1 teams following the loss to the Illini, breaking a four-game win streak vs. top-ranked opponents.

Should Illinois stay undefeated and remain No. 1 nationally, it will mark the first time a No. 1-ranked team has played in Value City Arena. The highest ranked teams to play at VCA were No. 3 Illinois and No. 3 Michigan State in 2001. Ohio State beat both teams that year, downing the Spartans 64-55 Jan. 27 and handling the Illini 63-61 Feb. 22. In all, Buckeyes have faced four Top 10 teams in Value City Arena and have a 3-1 record in those games. The only loss was a 69-68 setback to No. 9 Kansas Dec. 23, 2000.

The last No. 1 team to play in Columbus was Indiana in 1993. The Buckeyes won that game on Feb. 23 in St. John Arena 81-77 in overtime. Ohio State is 3-3 overall in Columbus vs. No. 1-ranked teams. The Buckeyes have played the No. 1 team twice in the same season three times: Michigan in 1965 and Indiana twice in 1975 and 1976. The Buckeyes split with the Wolverines and fell both times to the Hoosiers in 1975 and ’76. In all six Ohio State victories against No. 1 teams, and in 14 of the 15 total games vs. No. 1, Ohio State has entered the game unranked. The No. 6 Buckeyes fell to No. 1 UCLA 79-53 Dec. 30, 1971 in Los Angeles.