Ohio State rates 5 seed in 2018 NCAA Basketball Tournament, analyst says

  • Sean Keeler
  • Land of 10
6:42 a.m. Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 Sports

At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ latest hoops contest …

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OHIO STATE

Overall record: 17-4

Conference record: 8-0 (T-first)

CBSSports.com RPI rank as of Sunday night: 14

KenPom.com rank as of Sunday night: 11

RPI Top 50 record: 3-3

Last 10: 9-1

The week that was: Jan. 17 — W at Northwestern, 71-65; Jan. 20 — W at Minnesota, 67-49.

Next on the docket: vs. Nebraska (14-7, RPI: 66) on Monday; vs. Penn State (13-8, RPI: 135) on Thursday.

The skinny: With two solid road wins under the belt last week and a chance to pick up two more home victories over the next seven days, first-year boss Chris Holtmann’s grip on the Big Ten Coach of the Year award gets tighter as February comes around the bend. Forward Keita Bates-Diop is averaging 20.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.0 3-point makes a game against league foes as the Buckeyes continue to match Purdue, stride for stride, atop the standings.

Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop (33)  is averaging 20.9 points and 9.6 boards in eight Big Ten contests this winter. (Ryan Ginn/Land of 10)

Jerry Palm’s prognosis: 5 seed. “I think you could argue that [they’re] the most pleasant surprise in college basketball this year,” the CBS Sports bracketologist tells Land of 10. “The thing about Ohio State is they’ve got some nice wins — Michigan State, Michigan, both at home. Michigan State is their only Tier 1 win, so the lack of higher-quality wins is going hold them down a little bit. But they don’t have a bad loss, or anything that resembles a bad loss. [A record of] 17-4 is definitely good enough for a top-15 type of seed.”

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