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Defensive line coach Larry Johnson uses his Maryland connections well in recruiting for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State: Larry Johnson makes most of Maryland roots; why Buckeyes can keep exceeding expectations in NCAA Tournament

Ohio State football is the No. 1 topic in Wake Up  most days — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

How Larry Johnson uses Maryland connections at Ohio State

Larry Johnson has developed many important connections during his time as a high school coach and high-level college football assistant. Johnson’s recruiting is well established in Maryland and at high school powerhouse DeMatha. Land of 10’s Ryan Donnelly examines Johnson’s established relationships at DeMatha and why they could very well come in handy during the 2019 recruiting cycle.

Ohio State can keep exceeding expectations in NCAA Tournament

Ohio State’s expectations got watered down a little bit in recent weeks. The Buckeyes enter the NCAA Tournament with a 2-3 record in their last five games and they’ll have gone 13 days without playing a game when they tip off  against South Dakota State on Thursday afternoon. Ohio State might be a popular team to pick against in the first round, but Land of 10’s Austin Ward thinks the team can exceed expectations in the tournament — just like it did throughout the regular season.

“Across the board, the Buckeyes have exceeded expectations at every turn,” Ward wrote. “So, there’s really no reason by now to think that won’t continue once they get to Idaho.”

Women’s basketball earns No. 3 seed in NCAA Tournament

Ohio State’s women’s basketball team will be staying home to host the first weekend of games in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State earned a No. 3 seed Monday evening. The Buckeyes will play No. 14 George Washington on Saturday at St. John Arena (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

If Ohio State moves to the second round, the team will face the winner of No. 6 LSU vs. No. 11 Central Michigan. The full Women’s NCAA Tournament bracket — which leads up to a Final Four in Columbus — can be found here.

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Keita Bates-Diop named second-team All-American by USBWA

Keita Bates-Diop was honored by the United States Basketball Writers Association on Monday. Bates-Diop, the Big Ten Player of the Year, was named a second-team All-American by the USBWA. Bates-Diop led Ohio State in points (19.4 per game), rebounds (8.8) and blocks (1.7).

Scouting South Dakota State star Mike Daum

Speaking of Bates-Diop, it should be fun to watch him go up against South Dakota State’s Mike Daum. A 6-foot-9 forward, Daum fills stat sheets at a blistering pace, averaging 23.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while shooting 42.1 percent on 3-pointers. Slowing Daum will be the Buckeyes’ top defensive priority in their meeting with the Jackrabbits on Thursday.

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