If there is a reason Ohio State doesn't make the 2018 Women's Final Four in Columbus, it won't be due to a weak regular season schedule.
The Buckeyes are set to open the 2017-18 season against Stanford and former head coach Tara VanDerveer the school announced April 24. The Cardinal, which have been led by VanDerveer since 1985, are coming off of an appearance in the 2017 Final Four after compiling a 32-6 record.
VanDerveer and the Cardinal are set to take on the Buckeyes in Ohio State's season opener on Nov. 10 at St. John Arena in what will be VanDerveer's first game back in Columbus since coaching her final game for the Buckeyes in 1985. While the head coach at Ohio State, VanDerveer led the Buckeyes to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 1982 and their first Elite Eight in 1985. She compiled a record of 110-37 in five seasons as Ohio State's head coach.
In addition to the game against the Cardinal, Ohio State also officially announced yet another matchup against UConn which will be apart of the "Countdown To Columbus" event. The showcase will feature the Buckeyes taking on the Huskies and also Stanford taking on Louisville in a pair of games scheduled for Nov. 12 at Nationwide Arena. The games are set to serve as a prelude to the 2018 Women's Final Four which is also set to be played at Nationwide Arena. The event was first announced in February as a part of the 2018 Women's Final Four logo unveiling.
The Buckeyes have taken on the Huskies in three of the last four seasons and have lost all three under head coach Kevin McGuff. Ohio State has not taken on Stanford since the 2009 NCAA tournament in which VanDerveer's Cardinal team defeated OSU, 84-66 in the Sweet 16.
Ohio State is coming off of a second straight trip to the Sweet 16, but lost promising freshmen Tori McCoy and Kiara Lewis due to transfer shortly after the season ended. The good news for the Buckeyes is Kelsey Mitchell is back for her senior season, after electing to return to school instead of entering the 2017 WNBA Draft.