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Ohio State survived and advanced vs. South Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio State digs long ball to advance in NCAA Tournament; rematch against Gonzaga is next

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Ohio State survives against South Dakota State in NCAA Tournament

Ohio State is moving on in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The fifth-seeded Buckeyes, sparked by Kam Williams’ 4-point play, edged 12th-seeded South Dakota State 81-73 on Thursday afternoon in Boise, Idaho. It was the first NCAA Tournament win for Chris Holtmann at Ohio State, who said, “Our guys responded and came down the stretch. Players win games, and they did that.”

The teams combined to launch 71 3-point attempts, tying an NCAA Tournament record. Ohio State shot 40 of those triples and made 12. Keita Bates-Diop had a team-best 24 points (including 5 points in 9 seconds) and the Buckeyes also got 22 from Williams and 20 from C.J. Jackson. Here’s a full box score.

And here’s an updated tournament bracket and schedule after Day 1 of the big dance.

Ohio State advances to face No. 4 Gonzaga

Next up for the Buckeyes is a rematch against the defending national runner-up. Ohio State faces fourth-seeded Gonzaga on Saturday with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. Gonzaga, which beat Ohio State handily in November, narrowly avoided an upset against No. 13 UNC Greensboro on Thursday afternoon. The Zags went to the national title game last year, and they will have a bit of a home-court advantage, playing about 6½ hours south of Spokane, Wash.

The Saturday game is a tougher test for the Buckeyes, but a well-rested Ohio State team will be no easy out, Land of 10’s Austin Ward writes. The Buckeyes will also likely be listed as the underdogs in the matchup, so Holtmann can use that for more motivation.

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Ohio State fans have some fun with Michigan football tweet

Ohio State fans are not going to miss a chance to have some fun at Michigan’s expense. The Michigan football Twitter account posted a handful of pictures of Wolverines players going through winter workouts Thursday with the caption, “When we need one yard, who can we count on?”

Ohio State fans responded with plenty of J.T. Barrett tweets, reminding Michigan once again about the program’s 2016 loss in Columbus.

Chris Holtmann listed Naismith Coach of the Year finalist

Before leading the Buckeyes to a win over South Dakota State, Holtmann learned he was a finalist for a national Coach of the Year award on Thursday. Holtmann — the 2017-18 Big Ten Coach of the Year — was named one of four finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year honor. He was joined by Tennessee’s Rick Barnes, Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Villanova’s Jay Wright.

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