The Ohio State men's basketball team has earned the No. 5 seed in the West Region of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament and will face No. 12 seed South Dakota State out of the Summit League Thursday at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho. The Jackrabbits didn't give themselves a cupcake schedule out of conference, taking on some tough opposition with the likes of Colorado, Wichita State, Missouri State and Kansas while also picking up wins over Mississippi, Buffalo and Iowa.
It is the first appearance in the tournament for the Buckeyes since 2015, when they were eliminated in the third round by No. 2 Arizona. Villanova was previously a No. 8 seed when it last made the tournament five seasons ago.
On the season, Ohio State basketball averages 75.8 points, 36.6 rebounds and 14.8 assists per game.
Chris Holtmann, the 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year, guided Butler to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs. Junior forward Keita Bates-Diop led the Big Ten on the defensive glass and ranked 20th in the nation in that category.
The Jackrabbits are 0-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
If Ohio State were to advance past South Dakota State, they will face the victor between Gonzaga, the 4-seed, and 13th-seeded UNC-Greensboro. It is the 16th time in the last 19 years overall that Villanova has qualified for a national postseason tournament. The winners of each game will meet in the second round on Monday.
The regionals will be March 23-26 in Albany, NY; Spokane, WA; Lexington, KY; and Kansas City, MO.