Ohio State's Win Over Indiana Likely Puts the Buckeyes in the NCAA Tournament

By Kevin Harrish on March 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm
Ohio State is likely in the NCAA Tournament with a win over Indiana.

© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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The Buckeyes may have just moved themselves off the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Ohio State entered Thursday's game against Indiana widely seen as one of the last team's in the NCAA Tournament field, squarely on the bubble. Indiana found itself in a very similar situation, barely on the outside of the NCAA Tournament picture.

Given the implications for both teams, the Big Ten Tournament matchup was effectively an NCAA Tournament play-in game. The winner would add one more strong bullet point to its resume, but a loss would be near catastrophic.

Ohio State added that bullet point, bouncing Indiana 79-75.

While this doesn't absolutely lock up a spot for the Buckeyes, things are certainly looking good for Chris Holtmann's squad.

Before Thursday's game, ESPN's Joe Lunardi had Ohio State as one of his last four in, which would put the Buckeyes in a play-in game for a spot in the 64-team field. Fox Sports' Howie Schwab was a bit more bullish on the Buckeyes, projecting them as a No. 12 seed. Jerry Palm of CBS Sports was even more high on Ohio State, projecting the Buckeyes as a No. 11 seed.

Though seeding isn't consistent, it was nearly consensus that the Buckeyes were in the NCAA Tournament field heading into Thursday's resume-boosting win. 

The bracket matrix, which combines and averages a collection of bracket projections, had Ohio State appearing in 90 of the 114 brackets sampled with an average seed of 11.38. A resume-boosting win over a surging Indiana team that also found itself on the bubble will likely improve both of those numbers.

Nothing is official until the bracket is revealed on Sunday, but it seems like the Buckeyes have done enough to sneak their way into the field. However, they have a chance to remove all doubt with a win over Michigan State on Friday.

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