Jody Victor: Ohio State enters the second round of the 2008 MasterCard NIT with a 20-13 overall record after a win vs. UNC Asheville 84-66 March 18. Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes will lead Ohio State against second round opponent California (17-15). Ohio State is the No. 1 seed and the Bears are the No. 4 seed. The winner of the game between the Buckeyes and Bears will take on the winner of the game between No. 3-seed Dayton and No. 2-seed Illinois State. The third round NIT game will be played March 25, 26 or 27.
Ohio State is 7-9 overall in the series with California that was first played in 1936 and most recently in 1960. That last game decided the national championship, won by the Buckeyes March 19, 1960 in San Francisco, 75-55. The teams also met in postseason competition in 1946 when Ohio State won the Final Four third-place game vs. the Bears 63-45 March 26 in New York. The Buckeyes are 2-1 all-time vs. Cal in Columbus. The last game was played at the Fairground Coliseum Dec. 23, 1949, a 78-67 Ohio State victory.
Tonights game in Columbus at the St. John Arena will start at 7 pm. You can watch the game and cheer for the Buckeyes – televised on ESPN, the OSU radio network, and local radio WBNS FM-97.1, AM-1460.