Fresh off a Big Ten Tournament championship, the Ohio State Buckeyes will now turn their attention to the Big Dance, where they hope to make a second straight Final Four run. Ohio State opens their 2013 NCAA Tournament slate on Friday at 7:15 p.m. ET with a date against the Iona Gaels.
For the Buckeyes to find tournament success, they will need continued strong play from guard Aaron Craft. After years of being known as a defensive stopper Craft has emerged of late on the offensive end, scoring in double-figures in three of his last five games. Junior forward DeShaun Thomas averaged 19.9 points per game during the regular season for Ohio State, which finished 26-7 overall and 13-5 in Big Ten play.
Like Ohio State, Iona (20-13, 11-7 in the MAAC) will also rely on guard-play to get a win, highlighted by senior Lamont "Momo" Jones. The Arizona transfer averaged 23 points per game during the 2013 season, and was one of six Gaels to score at least seven points per game during the 2013 season. As a team Iona finished second nationally in scoring, averaging 80.7 points per contest.
The winner of this game will next square off with the winner of the No. 7 vs. No. 10 match-up in the West Region, between Notre Dame and Iowa State.
Game time, TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Location: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio