Four Teams Ohio State Fans Should Root for This Weekend to Improve the Buckeyes' NCAA Tournament Standing

By 11W Staff on March 16, 2019 at 11:30 am
Bryce Brown

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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When Ohio State secured a 79-75 victory over Indiana in the second round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, it effectively punched its ticket to the big dance.

The ensuing 77-70 loss to Michigan State on Friday took away its ability to improve its NCAA Tournament standing.

As of Saturday morning, the Buckeyes are widely considered an 11 seed, with projected matchups against a number of 6 seeds like reigning national champ Villanova or Bruce Pearl's Auburn squad.

But there are several teams still alive in their conference tournaments that could bump Ohio State down to a 12 seed and a tougher opening matchup in next week's NCAA Tournament. 

If you want the Buckeyes to stay in their projected 11 slot, these are the teams you should pull for this weekend.

Auburn

Auburn faces off against a Florida squad that likely played its way into the tournament with a wild 76-73 upset over top-seeded LSU on Friday.

Andrew Nembhard hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with one second left to advance the Gators to the SEC Tournament Semifinals. Another Florida win over a ranked Auburn team would almost certainly vault the Gators ahead of Ohio State on Selection Sunday.

Washington

The Pac-12 has been a dumpster fire all season, and that blaze could grow hotter if Washington loses to Oregon this weekend.

As it stands now, the league has just two teams deemed tournament worthy in Washington and Arizona State. But if Oregon can pull another upset over the Huskies (the Ducks did just that last weekend), it'll knock another team off the bubble and put Ohio State's standing as an 11 seed in jeopardy. 

Houston

At 30-2, Houston is one of the strongest teams in the country and the favorite to take AAC Tournament Championship this weekend.

The Cougars face a unique challenge in Memphis, however. The Tigers aren't projected as a tournament team right now, but an upset over Houston and a conference title tomorrow would give them an automatic bid.

Memphis has momentum. It dropped its only matchup (90-77) against Houston back in January, but it's won six of their last seven games by an average of 13 points per game.

The Tigers also have the added benefit of playing on their home court, as the AAC tourney is being played in FedExForum Arena in Memphis, Tennessee.

Cincinnati

Staying in the AAC conference, Buckeye fans should want to see Cincinnati advance to the title game over Wichita State.

There's similar logic to why Ohio State fans want Houston to win its matchup against Memphis. If the Bearcats lose to the Shockers, it opens up the possibility of the AAC sending another team to the tournament. 

On top of that, one of the Buckeyes' best wins (their 64-56 win at Cincinnati to open the season) would be slightly marginalized.


We'll find out Ohio State's draw on Sunday, but Buckeye fans should root for these four teams to ensure the best possible seeding for next week's tournament.

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