South Dakota State vs. Ohio State - NCAA First Round - 3/15/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
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 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
We have some NCAA tournament first round action out of the West region as the #12 seed South Dakota State Jackrabbits take on the #5 seed Ohio State Buckeyes in a college basketball matchup from Taco Bell Arena on Thursday.
The South Dakota State Jackrabbits got their invite to the big dance as the regular season and conference tournament champion of the Summit League, finishing the regular season with a 28-6 overall record, including a 13-1 conference record, with tournament wins over Western Illinois and North Dakota State before taking down in-state rival and #2 seed South Dakota in the championship game. The Jackrabbits didn’t give themselves a cupcake schedule out of conference, taking on some tough opposition with the likes of Colorado, Wichita State, Missouri State and Kansas while also picking up wins over Mississippi, Buffalo and Iowa. Mike Daum led the Jackrabbits by averaging a double-double per game with 23.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while Brandon Key led South Dakota State in assists with 3.3 assists per game this season. As a team, South Dakota State is scoring the 6th-most points per game in the country at 84.9 per game on 47% shooting from the field, 40.3% from behind the 3-point line and 76% from the foul line this season.
USA TODAY Sports
The Ohio State Buckeyes got their invite to the national tournament thanks to a 24-8 overall record, including a 15-3 record in Big Ten play, good enough for the #2 seed and a double bye in the conference tournament. However the Buckeyes tournament stay didn’t last long, losing to the Penn State Nittany Lions in the quarterfinals. Give Ohio State credit, for hanging with and taking down some tough competition like North Carolina, Clemson, Butler, Stanford and Gonzaga. Keita Bates-Diop led Ohio State with an average of 19.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while C.J. Jackson led the Buckeyes in assists with 3.8 assists per game this season. As a team, Ohio State is scoring 75.8 points per game on 48.6% shooting from the field, 35.4% from behind the arc and 72.6% from the foul line this season.
South Dakota State is 29-11 ATS in their last 40 games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games while the over is 6-2 in their last 8 games against the Big Ten. Ohio State is 5-21 ATS in their last 26 neutral site games and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 NCAA tournament games while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 games against the Summit.
While South Dakota certainly has the potential to pull off the upset, the problem for me with South Dakota State got blown out by some good teams and some average, including a 20-point loss to Missouri State and a 34-point loss to Kansas. I have Ohio State somewhere in between the two and while anything can happen in the Big Dance, so while the trends may not help the Buckeyes, I see Ohio State winning this one by double digits, so I’ll lay the points here.