Ohio State plays South Dakota State Thursday, in a surprisingly intriguing match up.
South Dakota State is riding off of a Summit League Championship and is on a 11-game win streak, they have won 19 of their last 20.
Ohio State is coming off a loss to Penn State, their third loss to the Lions this season, in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals.
Both teams have had great seasons. The Buckeyes won 28 games, while the Jackrabbits won 24.
This is OSU’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015, while this is SDSU’s third consecutive year dancing.
Ohio State has had a bumpy, though successful season thus far.
The Buckeyes have wins over Michigan State, Michigan, and Purdue, though somehow never found a way to defeat Penn State, who they met three times this season.
South Dakota State has had another successful season in the Summit League, which was expected.
The Jackrabbits don’t have any amazing wins, though they have defeated Iowa, Ole Miss, Buffalo, and lost to Wichita State by 10 at WSU.
Will South Dakota State Upset Ohio State?
An upset by the Jackrabbits is quite possible.
12 seeds have a history of defeating 5 seeds. According to CBS Sports, 12 seeds are 80% against the spread in the past four years, and 68.6 percent in the past nine years. Overall, that’s an 18-18 record.
Middle Tennessee State was the only 12 seed that advanced last season, defeating Minnesota.
South Dakota State can score. They rank sixth in the country in scoring at 85 points per game.
Meanwhile, Ohio State allows only 67 points a night.
One of the reasons why the Jackrabbits are scoring so much is because of Mike Daum, a forward that can score in the paint and has a perimeter presence as well. He averages 23.8 points and 10.4 rebounds a game.
Mike Daum is really good.
It will be interesting to see how Ohio State takes care of the dominant player, though this isn’t the first time they’ve been faced with great players. The Buckeyes have met with the likes of Miles Bridges, Luke Maye, Tony Carr, and Kelan Martin this season.
OSU will have to stop Daum and make stops throughout the entire game.
For SDSU, they’ll need to keep scoring like they’ve been doing this entire season, as well as play good defense and rebound the ball well.
The contest is at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho. The game will be aired on TNT at 4 PM ET.