March 18, 2015
Setting the Scene
No. 5-seed Ohio State is making its 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and will open the tournament against CAA Champion and No. 12-seed James Madison on Saturday, March 21.
Tip-off is set for approximately 1:30 p.m. ET from Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Buckeyes (23-10) have won 12 of their last 15 games and are coming off a run to the B1G Tournament championship game.
James Madison is 29-3 on the season and is coming-off winning its second-straight Colonial Athletic Association tournament this past Sunday.
The game will be aired live on ESPN2. Marc Kestecher and Christy Winters Scott will call the action.
The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Marty Bannister and Kristin Watt will be on the call.
Ohio State In The NCAA Tournament
Ohio State is making its 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and the first since 2012.
All eight of Ohio State's active players will be making their NCAA Tournament debut.
OSU has an overall record of 23-21 in the NCAA Tournament.
The Buckeyes have failed to get out of the first round just times in their previous 21 appearances.
OSU has made the Sweet 16 seven times (1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2011).
The Bucks have been to the Elite 8 three times (1985, 1987, 1993).
The best tournament run for the Buckeyes was their runner-up finish in 1993.
This is just the third time the Buckeyes have earned a No. 5-seed.
Ohio State was a 5-seed in each of its first two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1982 and 1984.
The Big Ten Conference has not lost an NCAA Tournament first-round game the past two years, going 6-0 in 2013 and 5-0 in 2014.
Notes You Should Know
The Buckeyes have won 12 of their last 15 games.
This is Ohio State's 25th year with at least 20 wins.
OSU has five wins over ranked teams this season.
The Buckeyes have scored 80 or more points 16 times this season and is 14-2 in those games.
Ohio State leads the B1G and is fifth in the country in scoring at 80.7 ppg.
Ohio State has had 20 or more assists in a game seven times this season and are 7-0 in those games.
The Buckeyes have scored 50 or more points in a half seven times this season and are 6-0 in those games.
Kelsey Mitchell (25.0 ppg) and Ameryst Alston (19.3 ppg) make up the top-scoring duo in the country.
Mitchell and Alexa Hart are the highest scoring freshman combo in the country.
Kelsey Mitchell has set the OSU single-season scoring record with 825 points. She leads the country at 25.0 points per game.
Mitchell has made an OSU and B1G single-season record 122 three-pointers and is just four three-pointers away from tying the NCAA single-season record.
Mitchell has made a three-pointer in all 33 games this season. The NCAA record for consecutive games in a season with a three-point field goal is 34.
Mitchell has made at least three 3-pointers in each of the last nine games.
Alexa Hart has 121 blocks on the season which is a new OSU single-season record.
Hart has a team-high 11 double-doubles on the year.
Shayla Cooper has had a double-double in four of the last six games.
Cooper is averaging 11.8 ppg and 10.8 rpg over the last four games.
Cait Craft has made at least one three-pointer in each of the last 15 games.
The Buckeyes are 17-2 this season when winning the battle in the paint.
Ohio State is 11-0 this season when out-rebounding the opponent and 23-3 in two years under McGuff.
Series History vs. James Madison
Saturday's game will be the sixth all-time meeting between Ohio State and James Madison.
The Buckeyes are a perfect 5-0 against the Dukes, including 2-0 in the postseason.
The teams have met once before in the NCAA Tournament win the Buckeyes taking an 81-66 victory in the second round of the 1989 tournament.
The most recent meeting came on March 25, 2001 in the semifinals of the WNIT. Ohio State won that game 74-65 and then went on to win the WNIT championship at New Mexico.
All-Time vs. James Madison
Date H/A W/L Score
1/30/1976 A W 48-45
3/19/1989 N W 81-66
11/23/1991 H W 61-49
12/11/1993 A W 54-45
3/25/2001 H W 74-65
McGuff vs. James Madison
This will be head coach Kevin McGuff first game against James Madison.
McGuff in The NCAA Tournament
Head coach Kevin McGuff is making his seventh appearance as a head coach in the NCAA Tournament.
He guided Xavier to six appearances in his nine season with the Musketeers.
Overall, McGuff has a record of 4-6 in the NCAA Tournament.
McGuff's best run as a head coach came in the 2010 tournament when he navigated Xavier to the Elite 8 where it fell 55-53 to Stanford.
McGuff was an assistant coach at Notre Dame during the Irish's national championship run in 2001.
History against North Carolina/Liberty
The winner of Saturday's game will take on the winner of the North Carolina/Liberty game on Monday, March 23.
The Buckeyes have faced North Carolina seven times and the Tar Heels hold a slim 4-3 edge.
The most recent meeting with UNC came on Nov. 28, 2012 in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels came out on top 57-54.
Ohio State and Liberty have met just one time previously and that was in 2005.
The Buckeyes won that game 66-51 in Columbus.
Country's Top Scoring Duo
Guards Ameryst Alston and Kelsey Mitchell make up the top-scoring duo in the country. And it's not really close.
The tandem is averaging 44.3 points per game. The next-best duo is Kelsey Plum and Jazmine Davis at 38.69 ppg.
Mitchell's 25.0 ppg is tops in the country while Alston's 19.3 ppg is 37th in the country.
The duo is shooting over 43 percent from the floor and over 82 percent from the line.
In addition to their scoring, the two combine to average 8.0 assists per contest.
Buckeyes In The Rankings
Ohio State entered the AP and USA Today Coaches polls for the first time this season following its run in the B1G Tournament.
The Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 23 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the coaches poll.
This is the first time Ohio State has been ranked since December of 2012.
Noting The B1G Tournament
Advanced to the B1G Championship Game for the eighth time.
Led the tournament in scoring at 82.7 ppg over the three games.
Only team to have multiple players named to the All-Tournament Team.
Freshmen Kelsey Mitchell and Alexa Hart were each named to the All-Tournament Team
Mitchell led the tournament in scoring at 29.7 ppg (89 points), including a 31-point effort in the championship game against Maryland. She also totaled 12 assists and 12 three-pointers.
Hart averaged 18.0 points and 9.7 rebounds while swatting 11 shots in the three games.
Hart had a season-high 24 points in the overtime win over Iowa in the semis.
Hart recorded a pair of double-doubles, including a 13-point, 11-rebound performance against Maryland in the championship game.
Hart shot over 62.5 percent from the floor in the three games.
Shayla Cooper recorded two double-doubles in the three games, averaging 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Cooper had 11 points, 11 rebounds and season-highs of four assists and three steals in the game against Iowa.
Ameryst Alston averaged better than five assists over the three games and also nabbed a team-high six steals, including a career-high five in the win over Iowa.
Cait Craft made a three-pointer in all three games, extended her streak to 15-straight games with at least one three-pointer.
Knocked-off a top-15 ranked Iowa team for the second time in two weeks.