South Dakota State vs Ohio State Preview and Prediction
South Dakota State vs Ohio State Preview
In what always delivers at least one upset per year, the 12-seed versus 5-seed is a crapshoot when predicting the winners. This matchup between South Dakota State and Ohio State is no different.
If you don’t know the name Mike Daum, the time is now to learn it. We profiled Daum early in the season and he has delivered as expected. Daum was the Summit League’s Player of the Year, averaging 23.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, while also shooting 42.1 percent from behind the arc. Daum also won the award as a sophomore in the 2016-17 season.
He was joined in the conference awards slate by guard David Jenkins Jr., who was selected as the league’s Freshman of the Year. In his first year of college basketball, Jenkins averaged 16.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.
In just his second season at SDSU, T.J. Otzelberger was honored as the Summit League Coach of the Year. The Jackrabbits lost to Gonzaga in the Round of 64 in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Should SDSU upset The Buckeyes, they will have the opportunity to get revenge in their second tournament game on Saturday.
In addition to Daum (First Team) and Jenkins (Second and All-Newcomer Team), SDSU guard/forward Reed Tellinghuisen received an All-Summit League Honorable Mention. Those three are the Jackrabbits only players to average in double-figures on the season.
Ohio State has struggled against guard-heavy teams with the ability to connect from downtown. At 6-foot-9, Daum is the tallest player on the team that averages more than five points per game, but as evidenced by his 91 three-pointers on the season, he is more of a perimeter player—as is 6-foot-7 Tellinghuisen.
However, on the defensive end, the Jackrabbits can get after it on the glass. Their 1,019 defensive rebounds were the second most in the country on the year, and their 1,321 boards were the 13th most nationally as well.
So, while playing a 12th-seeded mid-major from South Dakota might lull some Buckeye fans into a false sense of security for OSU’s first tournament game, everyone in Buckeye Nation should be on notice that these Jackrabbits are very capable of being this year’s No. 12 Cinderella.
Who to watch for the Buckeyes
Ohio State is led by Big Ten Player of the Year Keita Bates-Diop who nearly averaged a double-double, 19.4 PPG and 8.8 RPG. The matchup between him and SDSU’s Mike Daum will be the deciding factor of who comes away with the victory.
Outside of Bates-Diop, Ohio State features two players averaging more than 12 points per night. Jae’Sean Tate and C.J. Jackson average 12.5 and 12.2 points per game respectively. If Daum holds Bates-Diop in check, they will need to provide a majority of the scoring for the Buckeyes.
LINE: -8 Ohio State
I was somewhat surprised to see the line close to double-digits. The Buckeyes might have more overall talent, but Daum will be the best player on the floor in this contest. I expect this game to be a single-digit affair throughout with the Jackrabbits pulling the not-so-shocking 12/5 upset.
South Dakota State 77 Ohio State 74