Heading into the Big Ten Tournament, it appeared that Ohio State was in firm control of a top-16 seed in the NCAA Tournament – a likely No. 4 seed with the chance to jump even higher.
However, after a heartbreaking third loss to Penn State, the Buckeyes are seeing themselves slide down in seeding in recent 'Bracketology' projections, in addition to the Associated Press poll.
Following the first weekend of conference tournaments, one that saw Michigan win its second straight Big Ten Tournament title, Ohio State checks into most bracket projections as a No. 5 seed, with Fox Sports dropping the Buckeyes all the way to a No. 6 seed.
|ESPN||#5||Middle Tennessee||Boise, Id.||South|
|CBS||#5||New Mexico State||San Diego||West|
While Ohio State's projected matchup from Joe Lunardi of ESPN doesn't provide much zest, the projections against New Mexico State and Arizona State from CBS and FOX Sports both would bring plenty of intrigue.
New Mexico State of course, is home to former Ohio State point guard A.J. Harris, who has started 29 games for the Aggies this season and averages 9.2 points per game. The Sun Devils of course, have another former Buckeye on their roster in Mickey Mitchell, who has started 10 games for Arizona State and averages 5.7 points per game.
Should the Buckeyes advance in ESPN's scenario to the Sweet 16, a possible, however unlikely, rematch with Chris Holtmann's old squad could occur as Butler is projected as the No. 9 seed in the South region. In order to get there however, the Bulldogs would likely have to upset projected No. 1 seed Virginia.
Other projections from other outlets include barttovik.com, which lists Ohio State as the final No. 5 seed, which would likely put them in the West region as well, while KenPom has the Buckeyes as the No. 16 team in the country, which would leave the Scarlet and Gray as the lowest No. 4 seed in the country.
The Buckeyes will learn their postseason fate Sunday during the tournament selection show, set to air on TBS starting at 6 p.m.