South Dakota State Jackrabbits (28-6) at Ohio State Buckeyes (24-8)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm (Taco Bell Arena)
The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -8.5 -- Over/Under: 148.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The South Dakota State Jackrabbits and Ohio State Buckeyes will square off at Taco Ball Arena this Thursday afternoon in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 12-seed South Dakota State Jackrabbits finished their regular season with a 28-6 (13-1 Summit) overall record and punched their ticket to their 3rd consecutive NCAA Championship after defeating the South Dakota Coyotes, 97-87, in the Summit League Championship. South Dakota State was outstanding on the offensive end throughout the matchup and had no trouble securing the victory after the Jackrabbits went into halftime with a 47-35 lead. South Dakota State shot 47.7% from the field and 50.0% (14-28) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Jackrabbits was David Jenkins Jr. who had 29 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist. On the season, South Dakota State is averagng 84.9 ppg on 47.0% shooting from the field. The Jackrabbits are averaging 10.6 three-pointers per game on 40.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, South Dakota State has been led by Mike Daum (23.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.3 apg), David Jenkins Jr. (16.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), Reed Tellinghuisen (12.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 apg), and Tevin King (9.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.7 spg). Defensively, South Dakota State is allowing their opponents to average 74.1 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Jackrabbits have a rebound margin of 3.7 and a turnover margin of 0.6.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (24-8; 15-3 Big-10) couldn’t secure the Big-10 Championship this season, however, the Buckeyes were still one of the more surprising teams of the season and earned a 5-seed as an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Ohio Seed earned the 2-seed in the Big-10 Tournament however, didn’t make it very far after being defeated by the Penn State Nittany Lions, 69-68, in the quarterfinals. Ohio State held a 4-point lead with less than two minutes left in regulation, however, struggled offensively the rest of the way allowed Penn State to win it on a Josh Reaves dunk with just :05 seconds left in the game. Ohio State shot 44.1% from the field and 34.8% (8-23) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Buckeyes was Keita Bates-Diop who had 25 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. On the season, Ohio State is averaging 75.8 ppg on 48.5% shooting from the field. The Buckeyes are averaging 6.8 three-pointers per game on 35.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Ohio State has been led by Keita Bates-Diop (19.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.7 bpg), Jae’Sean Tate (12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.0 spg), C.J. Jackson (12.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.0 spg), and Kaleb Wesson (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.1 apg). Defensively, Ohio State is holding their opponents to an average of 66.7 ppg on 41.5% shooting from the field. The Buckeyes have a rebound margin of 5.3 and a turnover margin of 0.4.
The Jackrabbits are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win and 29-11 ATS in their last 40 games overall. The Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 5-21 ATS in their last 36 neutral site games.
South Dakota State is a team that certainly no one should sleep on as the Jackrabbits have an explosive offense that ranks 6th in scoring offense and 12th in 3P-FG% and has one of the better stretch-big man in College Basketball in Mike Daum. Ohio State has been solid this season on both ends of the court as the Buckeyes currently rank 42nd in scoring defense, 24th in FG%, and 50th in defensive FG%. Ohio State has had a great season, however, they have lost 3 of their last 5 games, and as the Jackrabbits have the offensive ability to put up plenty of points on the board, I think the play in this one is to take South Dakota State and the points.