After his Buckeyes outlasted a feisty South Dakota State team on Thursday in Boise, Chris Holtmann took a shot at all the pundits who picked against his team in the tournament.
South Dakota State, the Summit League champs.
"We have a lot of respect for South Dakota State", said Holtmann. Keita Bates-Diop scored 13 of Ohio State's first 19 points.
The Bulldogs held on for a 68-64 win over the 13th-seeded UNC Greensboro Spartans but failed to cover the spread as 12.5-point favorites in Thursday's round of 64 game at Boise.
Brandon Key reached double figures for the eighth time this season, finishing with a career-high 16 points.
Saturday college basketball action features a Field of 32 matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Here's a stat, first tipped off by ESPN: Ohio State shot 40 three-pointers.
Gonzaga did not play particularly well early on during last year's run to the national title game, going 0-2-1 against the spread before blowing out the Xavier Musketeers 83-59 to get to the Final Four. Daum led all scorers with 27 points.
Ohio State had a 15-8 offensive rebounding advantage, which translated to a 19-9 edge in second-chance points.
Inserted back into the starting lineup, the fifth-year senior's ability to knockdown shots from beyond the arc were one of the most important things he added to Ohio State this year.
The Jacks were down 10 points, but three back-to-back 3-pointers, SDSU cut the deficit to 70-66 with 3:11 left. But the Buckeyes attemptednine more total shots and won by 8 points.
Bench scoring was controlled by South Dakota State with 16 points off the bench compared to Ohio State's 7 points.
He started in three NCAA Tournament games.
"They're very well-schooled and disciplined, and those guys stepped up and made big plays throughout the second half", South Dakota State coach T.J. Otzelberger said.
Sometimes the more athletic team, as the Buckeyes appear to be in this game, will overpower a smaller team. The national average is about 29 percent, and OSU's seasonal clip is about 30 percent.