NCAA First Round Game at 7:15 PM: Rufus and the Ohio Bobcats are ready for “The Madness to Begin” against Virginia

Mar 19, 2021

Saturday, March 20 vs. No. 4 Virginia (18-6) | NCAA First Round | 7:15 p.m. | Bloomington, Ind. | Assembly Fall | truTV | March Madness Live | Ohio Game Notes | Virginia Game Notes

INDIANAPOLIS — The No. 13 Ohio men’s basketball team opens play in the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 20 when the Bobcats face No. 4 Virginia. Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. ET.  Saturday’s game can be seen on truTV where Carter Blackburn, Deb Antonelli and Dana Jacobson on the call.

Saturday’s game can be heard on the Ohio Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 13th season as the “Voice of the Bobcats,” along with Ohio alum Rob Cornelius. WXTQ (Power 105) in Athens returns as the 11-station network’s flagship. 

STORYLINES
• Ohio is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2021.
• The Bobcats are 7-14 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. 
• This is the 4th all time meeting between Ohio and Virginia. 
• Ohio leads the all-time series, 2-1. 
• The Bobcats and Virginia last met on Feb. 26, 2003 in Athens, when the Bobcats won, 78-72. 
• Ohio also defeated #14 Virginia, 94-83 on Nov. 19, 1994 in the Preseason NIT. Jeff Boals was a member of that team. 
• The Bobcats’ last trip to the NCAA Tournament happened in 2012, where Ohio defeated Michigan and USF to make it to the Sweet 16, before falling to No.1 seed North Carolina. 
• In 2010, the Bobcats defeated Georgetown in the NCAA First Round. 
• Dwight Wilson III is currently second in the Nation in field goal percentage. 
• Wilson III is on pace to set to break Gary Trent’s single season field goal percentage mark (65.1). Wilson III is currently shooting 66.5 percent from the field. 
• Jason Preston is sixth in the nation in assists per game. 
• Dwight Wilson III is close to 1,000 points. Currently he sits with 986 points
• Head Coach Jeff Boals is one of eight coaching his alma mater in this year’s tournament.  
• Junior Jason Preston surpassed 1,000 career points on March 13 in the MAC Championship game. 
• Redshirt junior forward Ben Vander Plas hit the 1,000 point mark on Feb. 25 against Eastern Michigan. 
• Jason Preston was named the MAC Tournament MVP, while he and Ben Vander Plas were also named to the All-Tournament team. 
• Five Bobcats earned a MAC Post Season Award Jason Preston was named First Team All-MAC, Ben Vander Plas and Dwight Wilson III were named Third Team All-MAC.  Mark Sears earned a spot on the All-Freshmen Team.  Lunden McDay earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team.
• On Feb. 25, the Bobcats set a program record in assists in a game when they dished out 30 against Eastern Michigan. 
• On Jan. 23 against Ball State, Jason Preston recorded his second career triple double, scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 boards and dishing out 11 assists. It is the third triple double in program history. 
•  On Dec. 6 against Cleveland State, the NCAA record for scoring run against a Division I opponent with a 40-0 run to open the second half beginning at 43 seconds remaining in the first half and ending at 8:03 in the second half.
• Jason Preston was named the MAC Player of the week on Nov. 30, marking a week capped off by a 31-point performance on Nov. 27 against No. 8 Illinois. 
• The Bobcats opened the 2020 season at the Illinois MTE Nov. 25-27, finishing with a 2-1 record and nearly knocking off No. 8 Illinois in a 77-75 battle. 

SCOUTING No. 4 VIRGINIA
Virginia enters the matchup with the Bobcats with an 18-6 record and finished the ACC season with a 13-4 mark. 

Virginia averages 68.6 points per game, while shooting 48.0 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three and 81.7 percent from the line. Virginia also averages 31.8 rebounds a game.

Individually, Virginia is led by Sam Houser who scored 16.0 points a game, while grabbing 6.7 boards and shooting 51.8 percent from the field, He also shoot 88.1 percent from the line. 

Next is Jay Huff with 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds, followed by Trey Murphy III with 11.3 points. 

SCOUTING No. 13 OHIO
The Bobcats enter the matchup with Virginia with a 16-7 record after rolling through he MAC Tournament, defeating No. 4 Kent State, No. 1 Toledo and No. 2 Buffalo. 

Overall, the Bobcats are averaging 80.9 points per game, while shooting 48.9 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three-point range and 70.1 percent from the free throw line. The Bobcats also average 34.8 rebounds a game to go along with 17.9 assists, 6.7 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. 

Meanwhile, opponents are averaging 73.3 points per game, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three-point range and 70.1 percent from the free throw line. Opponents also average 33.6 rebounds, 14.0 assists, 5.6 steals and 2.4 blocks per game. 

Individually, Jason Preston leads Ohio with 16.6 points per game, while shooting 53.0 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 58.5 percent from the free throw line. He also adds 7.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. 

Dwight Wilson III is next with 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds a contest, while shooting 66.5 percent from the field. Ben Vander Plas is next, averaging 12.8 points per game, while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 78.4 percent from the free throw line and adds 5.7 rebounds a game. 

OHIO IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Ohio is making its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2021.

The Bobcats are 7-14 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Bobcats’ last trip to the NCAA Tournament happened in 2012, where Ohio defeated Michigan and USF to make it to the Sweet 16, before falling to No.1 seed North Carolina. 

In 2010, the Bobcats defeated Georgetown in the NCAA First Round. 

ROAD TO INDY
The Bobcats’ ran their way through the 2021 MAC Tournament, defeating No. 4 Kent State, No. 1 Toledo and No. 2 Buffalo on their way to capturing their seventh conference title. 

Ohio’s 22-point victory against Kent State in the MAC Tournament was the largest margin of victory for the Bobcats in the quarterfinals since they were moved to Cleveland. 

ALL TIME VS. VIRGINIA
This is the 4th all time meeting between Ohio and Virginia. 

Ohio leads the all-time series, 2-1. 

The Bobcats and Virginia last met on Feb. 26, 2003 in Athens, when the Bobcats won, 78-72. 

Ohio also defeated #14 Virginia, 94-83 on Nov. 19, 1994 in the Preseason NIT. Jeff Boals was a member of that team. 

Ohio’s only loss against UVA came on Dec. 6, 2000 with Ohio falling, 90-71. 

ALL THE VIRGINIA TIES
Head coach Jeff Boals played 14th-ranked Virginia in the 1994 Preseason NIT, defeating UVA. 

Dean Vander Plas – father to Ben – played with UVA head coach Tony Bennett at Green Bay. 

Ben – Bennett – Vander Plas is named after the Bennett family. 

UVA’s Sam House and Ben Vander Plas played basketball together as kids in Wisconsin. 

MAC TOURNAMENT HONORS
Jason Preston was named the MAC Tournament MVP, while he and Ben Vander Plas were also named to the All-Tournament team.  

ALL- MAC HONORS
Five Bobcats earned a MAC Post Season Award

Jason Preston was named First Team All-MAC

Ben Vander Plas and Dwight Wilson III were named Third Team All-MAC. 

Mark Sears earned a spot on the All-Freshmen Team. 

Lunden McDay earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team.

MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Jason Preston was named the MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week on Match 17. 

IN THE NCAA
Dwight Wilson III currently ranks second in the NCAA in field goal percentage. 

Jason Preston Ranks sixth in assists per game. 

As a team, Ohio is sixth in the nation in assists per game and 10th in assist/turnover ratio. 

SHARING THE WEALTH
On Feb. 25 against Eastern Michigan, the Bobcats set a new program record in assists in a game when they dished out 30. 

#OUohyeah 

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