Ohio State Misses NCAA Tournament For the First Time Since the 2016-17 Season

By Griffin Strom on March 12, 2023 at 6:38 pm
Chris Holtmann
Joseph Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State won’t be dancing in March.

The Buckeyes’ Big Ten Tournament semifinal loss to Purdue on Saturday already sealed their postseason fate, but it’s now official after Sunday’s selection show: Ohio State has missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Chris Holtmann’s tenure with the program.

The 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled due to COVID-19, but the Buckeyes were a lock to earn an at-large bid as an AP Top 25 team with a 21-10 record heading into the Big Ten Tournament that season. Outside of that, Ohio State earned a spot in the Big Dance in every year under Holtmann before this season.

Counting the COVID year, Holtmann’s streak of five straight NCAA Tournament appearances is the second-longest in Ohio State history. Holtmann’s predecessor, Thad Matta, went to seven straight NCAA Tournaments from 2009 to 2015. Holtmann also made the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons at the helm of the Butler program from 2015 to 2017 before taking over for Matta at Ohio State.

Ohio State won’t play in any other postseason tournament, either. Holtmann said Saturday that undisclosed injuries would “make it difficult” to play in the NIT or another event, and after Sunday's bracket reveal, the Buckeyes didn't make the NIT anyway.

Besides 2020, the last time Ohio State did not participate in postseason play beyond the Big Ten Tournament was 2016-17, when Matta’s final Buckeye roster went 17-15. At the time, that was Ohio State’s most single-season losses and lowest winning percentage since 2003-04, which was Jim O’Brien’s last season as head coach.

Ohio State’s 19 losses and .457 win percentage this season are the worst marks for the programs since 1997-98, when O’Brien’s first Buckeye team went 8-22 on the year.

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