The number four is magical for Ohio State women

The number four is magical for Ohio State women

You had Greg Oden underneath, Mike Conley, Jr. running the point, David Lighty being a swiss army knife, and the veterans like Ron Lewis and Ivan Harris being great compliments to a star-studded recruiting class.

In a tournament where UConn, the other top seeds (Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Louisville), perennial powers (Baylor, Tennessee and Texas), rising power OR, and defending champion SC figure to get most of the attention, the Buckeyes are one of the field's under-the-radar teams. Daum played on last two tournament teams but has not had a breakout performance yet. Does that mean he'll be reinvigorated for however long Ohio State's tournament run lasts?

"It's a pretty good draw", South Dakota State point guard Tevin King said. But the Jackrabbits didn't back down.

"Hell yeah, I trust him", Holtmann joked in the locker room after the 81-73 win against South Dakota State on Thursday.

Wesson had to go to the bench and then moments later Kam Williams was sidelined with an injury as well.

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"It's a confidence booster. We have a group of experience guys and some younger guys that are mixed in", said Tellinghuisen.

That was good enough for the rejuvenated Buckeyes as their own offense came alive with three different players finishing with at least 20 points. Led by Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State will look to avoid the upset at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho. They will be the underdogs in that game, which should provide even more motivation. With that said, the scarlet and gray still took 40 (!) shots from beyond the arc, which is way too many, especially considering they made just 12. If Ohio State gets into foul trouble, it could be hard finding a guy to give them some pop off the bench.

The victor of this game will likely take on Gonzaga in the second round on Saturday.

The Jackrabbits (28-6, 13-1 Summit League) enter the NCAA Tournament on an 11-game winning streak with three victories in The Summit League Tournament.

Chris Holtmann has performed one of the nation's best coaching jobs this season, taking over in June for an Ohio State team with underwhelming talent and briefly getting the Buckeyes into the top 10. The 6-9 junior is a three-time Summit League Tournament MVP and earned his second straight conference player of the year this season after averaging 23.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Some other Buckeyes got in on the fun, too. "I said, 'Mark, what's going on?' And he goes, 'Ah, I'm just drinking a beer, looking at the mountains here.' And I said, 'Mark, I'm in the office with Coach [Ryan] Pedon putting the game plan together for South Dakota State.' Somehow, something was not right there".