Ohio State and Cincinnati signed a home-and-home men's basketball contract, the universities announced Tuesday.
The Buckeyes and Bearcats will open the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, with Cincinnati's recently renovated Fifth Third Arena playing host in 2018 and Columbus returning the favor in 2019.
Though not dates remain unscheduled, the games will occur "on the first allowable date of competition" each year.
"We have great respect for the UC program and Coach (Mick) Cronin,” Buckeye head coach Chris Holtmann said in a release.
“The idea of challenging ourselves in the nonconference while also providing an attractive game for our collective fan bases certainly made sense to us. We understand the challenge of opening the season on the road vs. a high-caliber opponent with a younger team provides some risk but we felt like it was the right decision at this time.
“We will continue to work to put together a challenging and attractive nonconference schedule in the future within the constraints of the Big Ten schedule as well as the games that have already been contracted."
Ohio State leads the all-time series, 6-4. The Buckeyes won the last matchup, 81-66, in the 2012 NCAA East Regional Semifinals.