EAST LANSING, Mich. – After closing the regular season with nine wins in its final 12 games, Ohio State has earned the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten tournament and will face No. 10 seed Purdue to open the postseason.
The game will be played Thursday at 6:30 and televised on the Big Ten Network.
The matchups were finalized after the Buckeyes lost at Michigan State, 80-69, on Sunday evening roughly two hours before Illinois defeated Iowa, 78-76, to officially close the 2019-20 Big Ten regular season.
"When you get to tournament play it’s really just how you play in that 40-minute stretch," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said after losing to the Spartans on Sunday evening. "I haven’t looked exactly at who we play but it could very well be somewhat of a road environment like the one we played today. You look at things, we’ve obviously had a very good last 5-6 weeks to finish nine out of 12 in this league. That’s a tremendous credit to our guys. I would’ve loved to be able to get this one, but just weren’t able to get it done."
Should the Buckeyes win Thursday night, they will face No. 2 seed Michigan State on Friday at 6:30 p.m. In the lone meeting between the Buckeyes and Boilermakers this season, Ohio State beat Purdue, 68-52, at Value City Arena on Feb. 15.
"It’s the postseason," Ohio State junior CJ Walker said. "Everyone is 0-0. It’s kind of like life or death at this point. You’ve got to give everything that you have. You never know what can happen. You flip the page past this game. There’s nothing we can do now."
Ohio State finished the regular season 21-10 overall and 11-9 in the Big Ten.
The Big Ten tournament has not been kind to Ohio State in recent history. The Buckeyes have not won multiple games in the tournament since the 2014 season and have lost six of their last nine games. Under coach Chris Holtmann, they are 1-2 overall after being bounced by Penn State in 2018 and defeating Indiana but losing to Michigan State in 2019.
Their average seed since 2014 has been 8.8.
It’s been a tough go for Holtmann, too, who has a career record of 2-8 in conference tournaments.
As a No. 7 seed, the Buckeyes have a 1-1 record. During the 2016 tournament, they beat No. 10 seed Penn State before losing to No. 2 seed Michigan State.
The Spartans have won a league-best six tournament titles. Ohio State has four, with its last title coming in 2013.