How big a commodity, you ask?
Well, CBS has contracted to televise OSU's long-awaited game with Cincinnati in the John Wooden Tradition event, set for Sat., Dec. 16, in Indianapolis. It is rare for the network to get involved with televising such a neutral site event, which has typically been shown only regionally on Fox Sports Net.
But, then again, this will be the first meeting between the schools – just 100 miles apart – since the 1962 NCAA championship game, which Cincinnati won.
CBS also has tapped Ohio State for nonconference match-ups with defending national champion Florida (Dec. 23 in Gainesville) and fellow SEC contender Tennessee (Jan. 13 in Columbus).
In all, at least 14 of OSU's projected 30 regular season games could be on some form of national television between CBS (six), ESPN (five) and ESPN2 (three). That total could be upped if one of those networks chooses OSU's March 3 game against Michigan or if the Buckeyes appear on national TV during the Big Ten tournament, set for March 8-11 at Chicago's United Center.
OSU coach Thad Matta will begin his third season with the Buckeyes as they host the three-day, eight-team Black Coaches Association Classic at Value City Arena.
In an OSU release, Matta said the schedule was made with long-term goals in mind.
"This is an incredibly challenging schedule for our young basketball team," Matta said. "We will be short-handed and inexperienced in the beginning. But I believe the competitiveness of who we are playing, where we are playing and when we are playing will make us a better basketball team in the long run."
Ohio State will open the season with 10 scholarship players, six of whom are underclassmen. Freshman center Greg Oden, the nation's top prep prospect in 2006, will not be in uniform to start the season while he recovers from right wrist surgery performed in early June. Just four of 11 available student-athletes in 2006-07 are upperclassmen with significant playing experience. Junior point guard Jamar Butler is the only returning starter from OSU's 26-6 team from a year ago.
The Buckeyes open the bracketed BCA Classic Nov. 10. Each team in the event will play a game each day with the championship contest set for Nov. 12. Match-ups and game times have not been determined.
Three more home games will follow starting with a match-up vs. Eastern Kentucky Nov. 17 on the eve of the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game in Columbus. The final game of a home-and-home series with San Francisco is set for Nov. 20 prior to a contest vs. Youngstown State Nov. 24 at Nationwide Arena. OSU must host a game in Nationwide as a "dry run" to hosting NCAA first- and second-round tournament action in March. (OSU is not eligible to play at an NCAA site where it serves as a host.)
One of several marquee games of the 2006-07 non-conference portion of the schedule will be a road game at North Carolina Nov. 29 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The game is part of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge and will be televised nationally by ESPN. Ohio State, the defending outright 2005 Big Ten regular season champions, and the Tar Heels will renew a nine-game series that first started in 1928. The teams last met Dec. 18, 1993 at UNC.
Two December home games vs. Valparaiso (Dec. 2) and Cleveland State (Dec. 9) preview the match-up with Cincinnati (Dec. 16). The game is part of the Wooden Tradition, a doubleheader played at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The series is square at four games apiece. That contest tips at 3:45 p.m. on CBS. Butler and Purdue meet in the first game of the event.
The Buckeyes return home to finish the two-game series with Iowa State Dec. 19 and then take to the road again for a game vs. defending national champion Florida in Gainesville Dec. 23. CBS will television the game a 4 p.m. Ohio State is 5-2 in the all-time series vs. the Gators. The teams last met Dec. 27, 1988 at the ECAC Holiday Festival in New York.
Big Ten play opens in Columbus against Indiana Jan. 2. The contest will be televised nationally by ESPN. Ohio State will face Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota just once in regular-season conference play with the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes making the trip to Columbus. The Buckeyes travel to face the Illini and Golden Gophers.
After three-consecutive games televised by ESPN to start the conference season (Indiana, at Illinois and at Wisconsin), The Buckeyes will appear on CBS vs. Tennessee in Columbus at 1 p.m. Jan. 13. Ohio State is 2-0 all-time vs. the Volunteers. The game is the first of a home-and-home series with UT, which is scheduled to conclude next season in Knoxville.
In all, Ohio State is set to play 10 games vs. 2006 NCAA Tournament teams with the possibility of playing one more if Kent State and the Buckeyes meet in the BCA Classic in Columbus. Six games are on tap vs. 2006 National Invitation Tournament squads, including a pair vs. Michigan, who lost in the final of the annual postseason event to South Carolina.
The Buckeyes will play two exhibitions Nov. 1 and Nov. 5. Walsh College will be the opponent for the Nov. 5 game. The Nov. 1 opponent is still pending as are tip times for the exhibition contests.
Ohio State qualified for the NCAA tournament a season ago winning the opener against Davidson before a season-ending loss to Georgetown in the second round. Those games were played at the University of Dayton.
Below is the 2006-07 Ohio State men's basketball schedule.
Date Opponent Television Time Series
1 TBA (Exh.) TBA
5 WALSH COLLEGE (Exh.) TBA
10 BCA CLASSIC% TBA TBA
11 BCA CLASSIC% TBA TBA
12 BCA CLASSIC% TBA TBA
(BCA Classic Field: Ohio State, S. Dakota St., Loyola-Ill., IUPUI, Kent St. (#), VMI, Princeton, Providence)
17 EASTERN KENTUCKY TBA TBA 2-0
20 SAN FRANCISCO TBA TBA 0-1
24 Youngstown State@ TBA TBA 2-0
29 at North Carolina(#)$ ESPN 9 p.m. 2-7
2 VALPARAISO TBA TBA 0-0
9 CLEVELAND STATE TBA TBA 4-1
16 Cincinnati(&)* CBS 3:45 p.m. 4-4
19 IOWA STATE TBA TBA 4-0
23 at Florida(#) CBS 4 p.m. 5-2
30 COPPIN STATE TBA TBA 1-0
2 INDIANA(#) ESPN 8 P.M. 67-97
6 at Illinois(#) ESPN 2 p.m. 56-97
9 at Wisconsin(#) ESPN 9 p.m. 77-60
13 TENNESSEE(#) CBS 1 P.M. 2-0
17 NORTHWESTERN ESPN-Plus 8 P.M. 101-44
20 IOWA(#) ESPN-Plus 8 P.M. 61-72
24 at Northwestern ESPN-Plus 8 p.m.
27 MICHIGAN STATE(#) ESPN2 9 P.M. 45-54
31 at Purdue ESPN2 7 p.m. 69-78
3 at Michigan State(#) CBS 4 p.m.
6 MICHIGAN(&) ESPN 7 P.M. 79-69
10 PURDUE ESPN-Plus Regional 12:15 P.M.
14 at Penn State(&) ESPN2 7 p.m. 18-12
18 at Minnesota(&) CBS 1 p.m. 71-52
21 PENN STATE(&) ESPN-Plus 8 P.M.
25 WISCONSIN(#) CBS 4 P.M.
3 at Michigan(&) CBS/ESPN/ESPN-Plus noon/2/4 p.m.
8-11 Big Ten Tournament! TBA TBA
%-BCA Classic, Columbus, Ohio
@-at Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
$-Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Chapel Hill, N.C.
*-Wooden Tradition, Indianapolis, Ind.
!-Big Ten Tournament, Chicago
(#) 2006 NCAA Tournament Participant
(&) 2006 NIT Tournament Participant
Home games in BOLD
Dates and times are subject to change
All games listed as ESPN-Plus and ESPN-Plus Regional will be televised locally by WBNS-TV (Ch. 10). Regional games are televised throughout the Big Ten television markets.