Who? The Buckeyes of the Ohio State University. (I will continue to mock this pretentiousness until it stops.)
When do they play in the first round? The Buckeyes play James Madison on Saturday, March 21, at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Where? Columbus, Ohio, designed as Ohio's capital.
Why? Strong scheduling and solid Big Ten play.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Surprise? They came on strong at the right time to finish third in the conference.
Record: 23-10 (13-5 Big Ten)
Good wins: Iowa at home? Or Florida Gulf Coast in the Virgin Islands. I prefer non-conference games.
Bad losses: Wichita State in the Virgin Islands.
Who's running this show? Kevin McGuff, since 2013. He comes back to the state where he had his greatest success.
Extra, Extra! The Columbus Dispatch.
There's short-handed, and then there's short-handed. In 31 games this season, Ohio State has played a total of nine players. Injuries have robbed the Buckeyes of anything that resembles true depth.
Fortunately for Ohio State, Superfreshman has come to the rescue. Kelsey Mitchell leads the nation in scoring at 25.0 points per game. Junior Ameryst Alston is also in the 20 ppg range; those two players alone account for more than half of the Buckeyes' scoring. Freshman forward Alexa Hart has come into her own in Big Ten play, at 11.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game.
But that depth issue is haunting me. How far can you go in tournament play with only eight players dressed?