Jody Victor®: Buckeyes Set to Open NCAA Tournment Friday

Jody Victor: After Winning the 2010 Big Ten Tournament last week in Indianapolis, Ohio State enters NCAA tournament play with a 27-7 overall record and a 14-4 regular season mark in Big Ten Conference play. The buckeyes finished tied atop the Big Ten with Purdue and Michigan State after the regular season slate. Thad Matta will lead the buckeyes against First Round opponent UC Santa Barbara  (20-9) Friday (9:45 p.m.) at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. Ohio State is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. UC Santa Barbara is the No. 15 seed. The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and the Gauchos will take on the winner of the game between Oklahoma State, the No. 7 seed, and Georgia Tech, the No. 10 seed.

* Ohio State has appeared in 22 NCAA Tournaments since 1939.

* The Buckeyes are 2-0 vs. UC Santa Barbara in the all-time series and 4-0 vs. current members of the Big West Conference.

* Ohio State last faced Oklahoma State Dec. 2, 1989, in the Tournament of champions in Charlotte. The Buckeyes, 0-2 all-time vs. the Cowboys, dropped that matchup 81-59.

* The Buckeyes are 10-3 all-time against Georgia Tech with the last matchup a 73-53 Tech win Dec. 3, 2003 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Columbus.

* Five Big Ten teams were selected to participate in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Minnesota all will compete. Ohio State was 5-3 vs. those teams in the regular season and league tournament. The Buckeyes faced six teams (7-5 rcd.) this season that qualified for the 2010 NCAA Tournament. In addition to the Big Ten foes, Ohio State played California (W, 76-70, 11/20/09), Florida State (W, 77-64, 12/2/09), at Butler (L, 74-66, 12/12/09) and at West Virginia (L, 71-65, 1/23/10).

* Ohio State has played 51 teams in the 2010 field of 65 in 110 seasons of Buckeye basketball. The Scarlet and Gray holds an all-time record of 474-383 against these teams. By 2010 regional assignment, the Buckeyes are 98-80 vs. the Midwest, 141-91 vs. the West, 128-105 vs. the East and 107-107 vs. the South.

This is UC Santa Barbara's first NCAA appearance since 2002. The Gauchos enter postseason play with a 20-9 overall record after knocking off Long Beach State, 69-64, in the Big West Tournament championship game. In their last NCAA tournament appearance in 2002, UC Santa Barbara fell to Arizona in the first round.

The Buckeyes and Gauchos have squared off just twice before with Ohio State winning both matchups, and 82-75 win Dec 18, 1991, and a 79-56 victory Dec. 14, 1993.

Go Bucks!!!

Jody Victor