COLUMBUS, Ohio- The 2008 MasterCard NIT game between Ohio State and California will tip at 7 p.m. March 24 at St. John Arena, tournament officials announced Thursday. The game will be televised by ESPN.

Ohio State (20-13) is the No. 1 seed in the event. The Buckeyes defeated UNC Asheville 84-66 Tuesday at Value City Arena. California (17-15), the No. 4 seed in Ohio State’s bracket, defeated No. 5 New Mexico 68-66 Wednesday at home to advance. Ohio State is 7-9 all-time in the series with California. The Buckeyes defeated the Bears 75-55 in the 1960 NCAA National Championship Game in San Francisco. That was the last time the teams met. The first game in the series was played in 1936.

The second round NIT game will be played at St. John Arena, the former home of the Buckeyes on the Ohio State campus, because of a concert (Bruce Springsteen) scheduled for Monday at Value City Arena, where Ohio State’s record is 14-3 this season. The Buckeyes played one game at St. John earlier this year, a 90-57 victory over VMI Nov. 25, 2007.

Tickets for the NIT second round game are on sale at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office in person, online at or by calling 1-800-GO BUCKS. Reserved seats are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Fans are encouraged to order and pick up tickets in advance of the game between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday or between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the ticket office windows at Value City Arena, near the corner of Lane Avenue and Olentangy River Road in the southeast rotunda of Value City Arena.

Will call windows also will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday at VCA before moving to French Field House, Ohio State’s indoor track facility just west of St. John Arena. The French Field House will call will open at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Fans should enter French Field House through the southeast lobby to pick up tickets.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early to the game vs. California because of the traffic associated with the concert at Value City Arena.