PREVIEW: Ohio State vs. Tennessee -- NCAA Sweet 16


March 24, 2016


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#9/9 Ohio State vs. Tennessee

NCAA Sweet 16

 March 25, 2016 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET | Venue: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center | Location: Sioux Falls, S.D.


Radio: 1460 AM

Online Coverage: Game Notes | Watch Live | Live Stats | Twitter Updates |

Setting the Scene

  • This is Ohio State's first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2011 and just like that year, the Buckeyes will square-off with Tennessee.
  • Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m. ET from the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • In 2011, the Lady Volunteers were a No. 1 seed and the Buckeyes were a No. 4 seed. This year, OSU is the No. 3 seed in the Sioux Falls Region and UT is the 7 seed.
  • Ohio State hosted the first and second rounds and advanced to the Sweet 16 with victories over Buffalo and West Virginia.
  • Tennessee was in Tempe, Ariz., for the first two rounds and claimed victories over Green Bay and over host and 2-seed Arizona State.
  • The winner will play the winner of the South Carolina and Syracuse game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
  • Friday's game will be televised on ESPN 2. Beth Mowins, Stephanie White and Maria Taylor will call the action.
  • The game can also be heard on ESPN 1460 AM in the Columbus area and on

Buckeyes In The NCAA Tournament                          

  • This is Ohio State 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance.
  • OSU has an overall record of 26-22 in the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Buckeyes have made the Sweet 16 eight times (1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2016).
  • OSU has been to the Elite 8 three times (1985, 1987, 1993).
  • The Buckeyes have failed to get out of the first round just six times in their 23 appearances.
  • The best tournament run for the Buckeyes was their runner-up finish in 1993.
  • This is just the fourth time the Buckeyes have earned a No. 3-seed and the first since 2009.
  • Ohio State went 1-1 as a 3-seed in both 1988 and 1989 and then advanced to the Sweet 16 as a 3-seed in 2009 and again this year.
  • The Big Ten Conference teams have gone 19-4 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament over the last four seasons.
  • Kelsey Mitchell is averaging 30.3 points and 4.5 assists in four NCAA Tournament games.
  • Mitchell scored 45 points in the win over WVU which was the fourth-most points scored in an NCAA Tournament game and the most in a first or second round game.
  • Alexa Hart has blocked a shot in all four of her NCAA Tournament games and has a total of 14 blocks.

Noting The Buckeyes

  • Ohio State is third in the country in scoring at 86.8 ppg.
  • The 86.8 ppg puts the Buckeyes on pace to shatter the school’s single-season scoring record of 83.2 ppg which was set by the program’s only Final Four team of 1992-93.
  • The Buckeyes schedule was ranked the third-hardest in the NCAA this season.
  • Ohio State is seventh in the country in shooting percentage at 47.5.
  • The Buckeyes won 16-straight home games to close out the season after losing the opener to UConn.
  • Alexa Hart shot a conference-best 68.0 percent in Big Ten play.
  • Senior Ameryst Alston and sophomore Kelsey Mitchell were each named to the Late-season Wooden Top 20 as well as Naismith Award Semifinalists.
  • Mitchell was also named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Midseason watch list and is a Nancy Lieberman Award Finalist.
  • Mitchell is third in the country at 26.3 ppg and second in the country with 124 three-point field goals.
  • Mitchell scored an OSU NCAA Tournament record 45 points in the win over West Virginia.
  • Mitchell scored a Big Ten Tournament single-game record 43 points in the win over Rutgers in the quarterfinals.
  • Alston is fourth in school-history with 2,144 career points. She is just the sixth Buckeye to reach the 2,000 point milestone.
  • In just over a season and a half, Mitchell is already 11th on OSU’s career scoring chart at 1,742 points.
  • Shayla Cooper has a team-high 10 double-doubles this year.
  • The Buckeyes have scored over 90 points 14 times this season and are 13-1 in those games.

History vs. Tennessee

  • Ohio State and Tennessee are meeting for the 11th time.
  • Tennessee has won nine of the 10 previous meetings.
  • This will be the third-straight meeting in the NCAA Tournament and the second-straight in the Sweet 16.
  • Tennessee was a No. 1 seed in 2011 and downed the fourth-seeded Buckeyes 85-75 in Dayton.
  • The lone Ohio State win in the series was a double-overtime thriller in 1981 that saw the Buckeyes come away with an 83-82 victory.

Noting The NCAA 1st & 2nd Rounds

  • Hosting the opening two rounds for the first time since 2011, the Buckeyes rolled to an 88-69 victory over Buffalo in the first round and then downed No. 6-seed West Virginia in the second round 88-81.
  • Kelsey Mitchell scored an OSU NCAA Tournament single-game record 45 points in the win over WVU.
  • Mitchell was the first player to score 40 points in a women’s NCAA Tournament game since Brittney Griner of Baylor had 40 in 2011.
  • The 45 points were the fourth-most scored by a player in a single game in the NCAA Tournament and the most scored in a first or second round game.
  • Mitchell was 18-of-22 from the free throw, tying the NCAA Tournament single-game record for most FT makes.
  • Her 18-of-22 effort from the foul line were the most makes and the most attempts by an OSU player in any game in school history.
  • Mitchell also had a game-high 27 points in the win over Buffalo.
  • Mitchell averaged 36 points, 4.0 assists and made nine three-pointers in the two games.
  • Asia Doss scored a career-high 16 points and pulled-down a career-high tying eight rebounds to go along with five assists against Buffalo.
  • Doss had five assists in each of the two games.
  • Against Buffalo, Shayla Cooper made her just ninth start of the season and the first since Dec. 6, 2015 at Cincinnati. She scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
  • Cooper then scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the year.
  • Playing in her first NCAA Tournament, Makayla Waterman scored six points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked two shots, dished-out two assists and had one steal against Buffalo.
  • Buffalo opened the game by making four of its first five shots. The OSU defense then limited the Bulls to just four makes in their next 35 shots.
  • Ohio State shot a season-worst 14-of-26 (53.8 percent) from the free throw line against Buffalo.
  • Ameryst Alston returned to the rotation after missing the first game of her career in the opening round with a wrist injury. She played 21 minutes against WVU and finished with six points.