As the brackets were announced live on CBS, the Buckeyes did not hear their names called. Now they must wait until 9 p.m., when the brackets for the Post-Season NIT are announced.
The Buckeyes were able to hold out hope until literally the last seed was announced. The final spot to be finalized was the No. 11 seed in the West, which ultimately went to Baylor University.
OSU finished the regular season 19-13 with the No. 53 RPI in the country. The Buckeyes had a shot to nail down a spot in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament, but a 67-60 loss to Michigan State – a team that is the No. 5 seed in the South region – apparently proved too much for them to overcome. Victories in the last week of the regular season against ranked foes Purdue and Michigan State put them back in contention for a berth in the Big Dance, but those were not enough to make the selection committee overlook the fact that OSU was 4-6 in its final 10 games.
Overall, OSU was just 2-10 against teams in the top 50 of the RPI.
Two seasons ago, the Buckeyes earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. One season ago, they were a No. 1 seed en route to a berth in the title game against Florida. This marks the first time OSU has missed the tournament since the 2004-05 season when they were ineligible for postseason play.
NIT-ology, a blog that predicts the brackets for that tournament, has the Buckeyes as a No. 1 seed in the tournament. That would likely mean they would host a home game against an as-yet undetermined opponent Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Big Ten fielded four teams in the tournament. Wisconsin is the No. 3 seed in the Midwest, Purdue is the No. 6 seed in the West and Indiana is the No. 8 seed in the East. Two teams from Ohio made the tournament with Kent State earning a No. 9 seed in the Midwest and Xavier pinning down at No. 3 seed in the West.
In all, 34 teams earned at-large bids for the tournament.Five teams with higher RPI rankings than OSU were also shut out of the tournament: Dayton, Illinois State, Massachusetts, Mississippi and Creighton.
"They're very good teams," Tom O'Connor, George Mason athletics director and chairman of the selection committee, said after the brackets were released. "They're just not one of the 34 best at-large teams in the country."
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