The No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes will face the University of Texas San Antonio Road Runners, who recieved their ticket into the big dance after Wednesday's win.
The Texas San
Antonio Road Runners made it to the main field of the NCAA Tournament by
knocking off the Alabama State Hornets in Dayton on Wednesday. However, they
have a totally different challenge coming their way in March Madness betting
action on Friday afternoon, as they have to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in
Cleveland. Tipoff from Quicken Loans Arena is slated for 4:40 ET.
Depth Could Hurt Roadrunners
The only chance
that a No. 16 seed probably would have had against these Buckeyes would be to
be able to throw a number of different bodies at them. Truth be told, UTSA
isn't lining up six guys against Ohio State's six guys and figuring out how to
win, and at least if the play in game against the Hornets was any indication,
that's exactly what it plans to do.
The good news is
that men like Jeromie Hill and Melvin Johnson III are great scorers, while
Devin Gibson can really be an outside threat. However, when you compare this to
some of the bigs on the other end of the court, you have to really be
intimidated. Johnson III scored a game high 29 points against Alabama State on
Wednesday, while Hill had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Gibson
is the team's leading scorer at 16.8 PPG, but he only had 10 in the first round
win against the Hornets.
High Hopes for Huge Run from Ohio State
Is there a bigger
mortal lock this year than the #1 seeded Buckeyes making it into the Sweet 16? After all,
this was a team that finished up with a perfect record at home this season, and
now, it only has to travel up the road to Cleveland, where it should have a
huge home court advantage, especially against some team from Texas.
As we alluded to
before, the Buckeyes really don't substitute that much once Aaron Craft comes
off of the bench and replaces Dallas Lauderdale, as Craft, Jon Diebler, Jared
Sullinger, William Buford, and David Lighty always play the mass majority of
the game. However, any of these men can stroke it from beyond the arc (though
obviously, Sullinger is much better served in the paint), and all of them can
go for 20+ points in a game if given the chance. That's what makes this team so
lethal, and that's why OSU is set in the NCAA Basketball odds as a clear cut favorite to win the East Region
Buckeyes to Lower the Boom on March
The first weekend
of the dance is one that typically treats Head Coach Thad Matta and company
well. Save that ridiculous overtime loss to the Siena Saints from two seasons
back, the Buckeyes haven't been beaten in the first weekend of the dance since
a second round exit to the Georgetown Hoyas in 2006.
As of publication
of this article, there are no NCAA Tournament lines up on this game, but based
upon the other No. 1 seeds, we can expect to see the Buckeyes favored by at
least 17 points and probably fewer than 21.
season, teams like this just never stood a chance in Columbus. Just look at
some of these margins of victory... 41 vs. UNC A&T, 40 vs. UNC Wilmington,
19 vs. Morehead State, 21 vs. Miami (OH), 21 vs. IUPUI, 25 vs. Western
Carolina, 28 vs. Florida Gulf Coast, 22 vs. South Carolina, 37 vs. UNC
Asheville, 29 vs. Oakland, 60 vs. Tennessee Martin...
Needless to say,
we're definitely circling the Buckeyes as the team to cover the spread on Friday.