Ohio State basketball team will not play in South Dakota's Crossover Classic
The Ohio State men's basketball team will not be participating in the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, The Dispatch has learned.
The decision was made due to the rising COVID-19 positivity rate within the state and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's recent inclusion of South Dakota on a list of states that would require Ohioans to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon their return.
The Buckeyes were scheduled to open the three-day, multi-team event Nov. 25 against Memphis at the Sanford Pentagon. The eight-team field was also slated to include Creighton, Dayton, South Dakota State, Texas A&M, West Virginia and Wichita State.
The Buckeyes are the third team to pull out of what was initially supposed to be the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. When the event found a new home in South Dakota, Duke dropped out and was replaced by Dayton. Recently, Utah also dropped out and was replaced by South Dakota State.
It's not immediately clear how the Buckeyes will address the hole in their schedule. Teams can play in a maximum of 27 games this season provided they participate in a three-game, multi-team event. If they are unable to find another similar event, they would max out at 24 possible games. The Dispatch has learned that Ohio State is looking into either participating in another multi-team event, perhaps on its own campus, or simply filling its schedule with nonconference games.
“We have been in talks about some exciting scheduling opportunities in place of that (South Dakota event) and hopefully in the next week and a half to 10 days we’ll be able to release our schedule in full,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said in a short video posted to Twitter.
Nov. 25 is the first day of allowable games this year. Following the tournament, Ohio State is scheduled to host Morehead State on Dec. 2 and Alabama A&M three days later. Those games are still on, according to both opposing coaches, as is a game at Notre Dame on Dec. 8 as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and a game in Cleveland against North Carolina on Dec. 19 as part of the CBS Sports Classic.
The Big Ten has not announced how many conference games it will play this season. That number is believed to be 20, but it is possible it could grow