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tBBC Men’s Basketball: Ohio State to Face Akron in Opening Round of NIT Tournament

Joe Dexter

Men’s Basketball: Ohio State to Face Akron in Opening Round of NIT Tournament
Joe Dexter
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


Ohio State has found itself in the NIT for the first time since 2008 and they won’t need to look to far down the road to find their opening round opponent.

Thad Matta’s squad locked up a three seed in the “Monmouth and Florida Quadrant.” They will host the sixth seeded Akron Zips (26-8) at Value City Arena on Tuesday Night. Tip-off is set for 7 PM ET.

With a win, they’ll advance to the semifinals of the quadrant to face the winner of North Florida and Florida.

Monmouth the number one seed in the quadrant, finished the season at 27-7. Early in the year they had major upsets over Notre Dame, UCLA, and Georgetown. Looking to lock their way into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006, the Hawks were upset by Iona in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Final.

The Zips were upset by the Buffalo Bulls in the MAC Conference Tournament final on Saturday 64-61 on a late three from Blake Hamilton. Akron won the regular season conference championship and are led by head coach Keith Dambrot. Ken Kohl will have an in-depth preview of the Zips tomorrow right here at The Buckeye Buckeye Battle Cry. As you can see though from Dambrot’s words after the MAC Tournament finale, his team comes into Tuesday battle-tested.

“We’ve got a 28 RPI,” he said. “The numbers don’t lie, do they? It’s all skewed for the big boys. So if Cincinnati or Tulsa or UConn had a 28 RPI, I think they would be in the tournament, but we’re not going to get in the tournament.”

With seven B1G teams selected for the big dance, Ohio State is the only team in the conference that is competing for that elusive National Invitational Tournament championship. The last time the Buckeyes competed in the second-best tournament of the postseason was in 2008. Thad Matta’s only other season that didn’t end up in a NCAA bid. That squad ran the table as a one-seed and brought home a title with a 92-85 win over Massachusetts at Madison Square Garden.

Tickets for Tuesday’s NIT opener go on sale to the public at 1 P.M. ET Monday at the Athletic Ticket Office, ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are either $20 or $10 for reserved seating and just $5 for Ohio State students.

The post Men’s Basketball: Ohio State to Face Akron in Opening Round of NIT Tournament appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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