COLUMBUS, Ohio – Playing three teams that finished in the top-7 of last year’s final rankings may not be described as “fun” by every team but for Ohio State, those three games are part of what should be a fun and entertaining 2019-20 non-conference schedule.
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The Buckeyes’ two marquee matchups at home in the early portion of the season will be against perennial power UConn on Nov. 24 and ACC champion Louisville on Dec. 5. The Huskies advanced to last year’s Final Four and finished third in last year’s rankings while Louisville lost to UConn in the regional final and finished seventh. The matchup with Louisville will be part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Buckeyes will open the season by participating in the Ohio Hall of Fame Challenge which is being hosted by Wittenberg University. They will play Valparaiso on Sunday, Nov. 10 in a neutral site contest inside Pam Evans Smith Arena. OSU will then play three in-state foes with two of those games coming on the road. A trip to Cincinnati on Nov. 13 will continue the two teams’ home-and-home series which has spanned six of the last seven seasons. The Buckeyes return home to host Ohio on Nov. 17 which will mark the first game between the Buckeyes and Bobcats since 2004. Finally, Ohio State will renew a rivalry with Kent State on Nov. 21 in Kent. The team’s met 13 times between 1966 and 1981 but haven’t played since. This will the Buckeyes’ first road game at a MAC school since playing at Bowling Green in 2000.
Sandwiched in between the matchups with UConn and Louisville is a trip to Las Vegas for the South Point Shootout. OSU will take on two very good non-Power 5 schools in South Dakota (Nov. 29) and Northern Iowa (Nov. 30). Even though what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, the Buckeyes have brought back a perfect 5-0 record in the previous two trips to Sin City. They won both games of the 2015 South Point Shootout and then claimed the title at the Play4Kay Showcase in 2017 with wins over Memphis, FGCU and No. 12 Stanford.
The game on Dec. 8 vs. Radford will not only be the last game before final exams but it will also be the first meeting between the two programs. Once the tests are turned in, the Buckeyes will embark on their final non-conference road trip as they head to the West Coast to take on Stanford (Dec. 15) and Sacramento State (Dec. 17). The three teams were supposed to play this past season but the wildfires that plagued Northern California last November forced the cancellation of the Buckeyes’ trip. The game at Stanford should be a good one as it will feature two of the top-4 recruiting classes in the country.
Game times and TV assignments will be announced later this summer.