March 15, 2017
Follow the Buckeyes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
Setting the Scene
- Ohio State has earned a No. 5 seed in the Lexington Region of the NCAA Tournament and opens play against No. 12-seed Western Kentucky on Friday.
- The game is being played at Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum and will start at 2:30 p.m. ET.
- The winner of that game will play the winner of the Kentucky and Belmont matchup on Sunday.
- The Buckeyes are 26-6 on the season and have won 17 of their last 18 games.
- Western Kentucky is riding a 12-game win streak and won both the Conference USA regular season and tournament titles.
- The game will be televised on ESPN2. Beth Mowins and Nell Fortner will call the action.
Buckeyes In The NCAA Tournament
- Ohio State is making its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance.
- OSU has an overall record of 26-23 in the NCAA Tournament.
- The Buckeyes have failed to get out of the first round just six times in their previous 23 appearances.
- OSU has made the Sweet 16 ten times (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2016).
- The Buckeyes have been to the Elite 8 three times (1985, 1987, 1993).
- The best tournament run for the Buckeyes was their runner-up finish in 1993.
- This is just the fourth time the Buckeyes have earned a No. 5-seed and the first since 2015.
- Ohio State was a 5-seed in each of its first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1982 and 1984. Both of those games ended in losses.
- The most recent 5-seed was in 2015 when the Buckeyes beat James Madison in the opening round before losing to the Stephanie Mavunga led Tar Heels of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
- The Big Ten Conference teams have gone 19-4 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament over the last four seasons.
- Kelsey Mitchell is averaging 28.0 points and 4.4 assists in her five NCAA Tournament games. Last year against West Virginia in the second round, she scored 45 points on an OSU record 18-of-22 from the free throw line.
- Shayla Cooper has scored in double-figures in three of her five NCAA Tournament games including one double-double.
Ohio state and Western Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament
- This is just the third meeting all-time between Ohio State and Western Kentucky but the second in the NCAA Tournament.
- The teams met in the 1993 Sweet 16 in Richmond, Va., on March 25.
- The Buckeyes, the No. 1-seed in the region, won the game 86-73 behind 20 points apiece from guard Audrey Burcy and freshman sensation Katie Smith. Smith was 10-of-10 from the free throw line in the game.
- WKU led 37-31 at the half but the Buckeyes shot nearly 60 percent in the second half and exploded for 55 points to run away with the game down the stretch.
- Renee Westmoreland led the Hilltoppers with 16 points.
Noting The Buckeyes
- Ohio State won its 15th Big Ten Championship by finishing 15-1 in conference play.
- The Buckeyes won a season-high 12-straight games prior to its Big Ten Tournament loss to Purdue.
- This is the 13th time Ohio State has won at least 25 games in a season.
- OSU is ranked 11th in the latest AP poll and 10th in the coaches poll.
- The Buckeyes have made 10 or more three-pointers in a game eight times this season including in three of the last four games.
- The win over No. 2 Maryland on Feb. 20 was the Buckeyes first over a No. 1 or No. 2 ranked team since March 7, 1993.
- Kelsey Mitchell has scored 2,499 career points and is third all-time in OSU history and sixth all-time in Big Ten history in scoring.
- Mitchell has scored 20 or more points in 10 of the last 11 games.
- Mitchell is also the school’s all-time three-point leader with 360 career three-pointers.
- Mitchell leads the Big Ten and is sixth in the country in scoring at 23.0 ppg.
- The Buckeyes have played the last six games without starting center Stephanie Mavunga who suffered a foot injury in practice on Feb. 9.
- At the time of her injury, Mavunga was atop the Big Ten and was seventh in the country in rebounding at 11.3 rebounds per game.
- Shayla Cooper has averaged 14.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.3 apg and is shooting over 53 percent in the six games since Mavunga went down.
- After scoring a school-record 86.0 ppg last season, the Buckeyes are fourth in the country in scoring at 86.6 ppg.
- This is just the third Buckeye team in school history to grab 50 or more rebounds in a game 10 times in a season.
History vs. Western Kentucky
- Friday’s matchup will be just the third meeting all-time between Ohio State and Western Kentucky.
- The first meeting came in the 1993 Sweet 16. The Buckeyes won that game 86-73 on their way to finishing as national runner-up.
- The second meeting was during the 2001 WNIT. Ohio State also won that meeting 70-61 and would go on to win that WNIT in its only appearance in the event.