NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT 2ND ROUND Today at 6:10 P.M. : West (13) Ohio vs. (5) Creighton, at Hinkle Fieldhouse, TNT; Bobcats game preview

THE DANCE CONTINUES FOR “RUFUS” AND THE OHIO BOBCATS!

Mar 21, 2021

FOLLOW OHIO MEN’S BASKETBALL: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monday, March 22 vs. No. 5 Creighton (21-8) | NCAA Second Round | 6:10 p.m. ET | Indianapolis, Ind. | Hinkle Fieldhouse | TNT | March Madness Live | Ohio Game Notes | Creighton Game Notes

INDIANAPOLIS — The No. 13 Ohio men’s basketball team (17-7) is back in action in the NCAA Second Round on Monday, March 22 when the Bobcats take on No. 5 Creighton (21-8). Tip-off is set for 6:10 p.m. ET inside Hinkle Filedhouse. Monday’s game can be seen on TNT where Ian Eagle, Grant Hill and Jamie Erdahl will be on the call. 

Monday’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 8-14 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. 
• This is the 2nd all-time meeting between Ohio and Creighton. 
• Creighton leads the all-time series, 1-0. 
• The Bobcats and Creighton last met on Dec. 17, 1962 where the Bluejays won, 77-75.  
• With the win on Saturday, Ohio has now won three-straight First Round games (2010, 2012, 2021).
• 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 third 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 65.6 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 993 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. 5 CREIGHTON
Creighton enters the matchup with Ohio with a 21-8 record. The Bluejays are coming off a 63-62 victory over No. 12 UCSB on Saturday. 

As a team, Creighton is averaging 76.5 points per game, while shooting 47.5 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three and 64.1 percent from the line. The Bluejays are averaging 35.9 rebounds a game. 

Meanwhile, opponents are averaging 68.1 points per game, while shooting 40.5 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from three and 70.8 percent from the line. Opponents also average 36.5 rebounds a game. 

Individually, Marcus Zegarowski averages 15.6 points and 3.7 rebounds a game. He shoots 46.7 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from three and 77.3 percent from the line. Denzel Mahoney added 12.5 points and 4.1 rebounds a game, while Damien Jefferson averages  

SCOUTING No. 13 OHIO
The Bobcats enter the matchup with Virginia with a 17-7 record after defeating No. 4 Virginia, 62-58 Saturday night (March 20) in the NCAA First Round. 

Overall, the Bobcats are averaging 80.1 points per game, while shooting 48.7 percent from the field, 35.9 percent from three-point range and 70.8 percent from the free throw line. The Bobcats also average 35.0 rebounds a game to go along with 17.7 assists, 6.5 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. 

Meanwhile, opponents are averaging 72.6 points per game, while shooting 48.7 percent from the field, 33.5 percent from three-point range and 76.2 percent from the free throw line. Opponents also average 33.4 rebounds, 13.8 assists, 5.6 steals and 2.6 blocks per game. 

Individually, Jason Preston leads Ohio with 16.3 points per game, while shooting 53.2 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 60.5 percent from the free throw line. He also adds 7.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. 

Dwight Wilson III is next with 14.6 points and 7.5 rebounds a contest, while shooting 65.6 percent from the field. Ben Vander Plas is next, averaging 13.0 points per game, while shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 78.4 percent from the free throw line and adds 5.6 rebounds a game. 

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

The Bobcats are 8-14 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. 

Ohio has won three-straight NCAA First Round games (2010, 2012, 2021). 

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. CREIGHTON
This is the 2nd all-time meeting between Ohio and Creighton. 

Creighton leads the all-time series, 1-0. 

The Bobcats and Creighton last met on Dec. 17, 1962 where the Bluejays won, 77-75.  

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 third 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 12th 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. 

PROTECT THIS HOUSE
Ohio has registered an impressive 527-176 (.756) all-time record at the Convocation Center, which opened in 1968.

WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW
After his 31-point performance against No. 8 Illinois on Nov. 27, Jason Preston‘s star has exploded on the national level. 

This season, the junior point guard is averaging 16.3 points per game, while shooting 53.2 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 60.5 percent from the free throw line. He also adds 7.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. 

In the Bobcats first game of the year against Chicago State, Preston scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out eight assists in Ohio’s 84-61 victory. He went 5-of-9 from the field and 1-of-2 from three-point range and had no turnovers in 30 minutes on the court. 

Preston was even better against North Carolina A&T, scoring 21 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out seven assists in the 84-72 victory. He went 8-of-13 from the field, 3-of-7 from three-point range and 2-of-3 from the free throw line.

Preston was named the MAC Player of the Week on Nov. 30 for his performance that week. 

On Dec. 10 against Purdue Northwest, Preston scored 22 points and dished out a season-high 11 assists in the 92-72 victory. 

After missing four games due to injury, Preston returned to the Bobcats’ lineup on Jan. 12 against Miami, scoring 10 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out eight assists in the 78-61 victory. 

Preston took over the game on Jan. 16 against Kent State, scoring 23 points and dishing out 10 assists. 

Preston recorded his second career triple double on Jan. 23 against Ball State, scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists. 

In the MAC Tournament, Preston was dominant, averaging 22.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He shot 65.1 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three.

Preston was named the MAC Tournament MVP. 

Preston passed 1,000 career points on March 13 against Buffalo in the MAC Championship game. 

In the NCAA First Round game against No. 4 Virginia, Preston nearly recorded a triple double, scoring 11 points, grabbing a season-high 13 rebounds, while dishing out eight assists. 

1,000 POINT WATCH
Dwight Wilson III is close to 1,000 points. Currently he sits with 993 points

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. 

MAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jason Preston was named the MAC Player of the week on Nov. 30 for her performance the week on Nov. 24. 

ALL TIME ASSISTS MARK
Junior Jason Preston currently sits fourth all-time on Ohio’s all-time assist list with 483. 

1. D.J. Cooper (2010-1…………………..934
2. Dennis Whitaker (1990)……………651
3. Paul Baron (1983-86) ……………….579
4. Jason Preston (2019-Present)…482
5. Jaaron Simmons (2016-17.)……….475
6. Roger Smith (1984-87)………………401
7. Sonny Troutman (2004-07)……..384

STEADY BVP
Redshirt junior Ben Vander Plas continues to be a steady force for the Bobcats. 

Vander Plas adds 13.0 points and is shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 78.4 percent from the free throw line and is averaging 5.6 rebounds per game. 

BVP recorded his first double double of the season on Dec. 30 against Bowling Green, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 boards. 

Vander Plas’s best game of the season came on Jan. 16 against Kent State where he scored a season-high 24 points, while hitting a career-high five threes in the game. 

Vander Plas hit the 1,000 point mark on Feb. 25 against Eastern Michigan. 

Vander Plas was named to the MAC All-Tournament Team. 

In the NCAA First Round matchup against Virginia, Vander Plas was stellar, scoring a game-high 17 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists, while scoring 10-straight points to put the Bobcats ahead in the second half. 

WELCOME TO OHIO DJ
Since senior transfer Dwight Wilson III‘s transfer waiver was approved three days before the Bobcats first game of the season, he has fit right in to the starting five. 

Wilson III is averaging 14.6 points per game and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 65.6 percent from the field. 

Wilson II has recorded double doubles in back-to-back games for the first time this season, recording on against Cleveland State in the first half of the game, and one against Purdue Northwest on Dec. 10. He then made it three-straight games on Dec. 13 at Marshall, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 boards. 

The Week of Dec. 7, Wilson III was on fire. In two games, Wilson III averaged 20.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and shot 60 percent from the field. 

Wilson III added another 20-point performance on Dec. 30 against Bowling Green. Scoring 20 points and recording six boards. 

Wilson III registered his best game on the season on Jan. 5 against NIU, where he scored a season-high 25 points, went 12-of-14 from the field and grabbed eight boards in the 76-73 victory. 

On Jan. 29 at Buffalo, Wilson III was vital, scoring a game-high 21 points, including the game-wining put back basket to give Ohio a one-point lead with 25 seconds to go. 

Over the last six games, Wilson III has been unstoppable, averaging 17.6 points and  is shooting 88.4 percent from the field, while making 38 out of his last 43 field goal attempts. 

BREAKOUT YEAR FOR BROD?
After a freshman year that was hampered by injuries, sophomore Ben Roderick is looking for a breakout year.

Roderick is averaging 12.5 points per game and is 53-of-131 from three-point range. 

Roderick had a career day against North Carolina A&T where he scored a career-hight 22 points and tied his career-high six made threes in the victory. 

Coming off of injury, Roderick was on fire the week of Dec. 30 for the Bobcats. Over two games, Roderick averaged 18.0 points, shot 54.6 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three. 

Roderick recorded another 20-point performance on Jan. 12 against Miami, scoring 20 points while going 6-of-10 from three and 7-of-11 from the field in the victory. 

Roderick was vital against Buffalo on Jan. 29, scoring 17 points – 15 in the first half – helping Ohio to the 76-75 victory. 

Against Toledo in the MAC Semis, Roderick scored 20 points. 

Roderick was ice cold in Ohio’s NCAA First Round game against Virginia, scoring 15 points and hitting three three-pointers, including the game-sealer with a little over a minute to go. 

SEARS MAKES A MARK
Freshman guard Mark Sears earned his first career start on Dec. 30 against Bowling Green, and made the most of it. Sears scored nine points, grabbed six boards and dished out nine assists, while only committing two turnovers in 32 minutes. 

Sears was even better in his second start on Jan. 2 at Ball State, scoring a career-high 18 points, while grabbing six boards and dishing out eight assists in the Bobcats 78-68 victory. 

Sears was calm once again on Jan. 5 against NIU, scoring 10 points and dishing out seven assists and hit a clutch three in the 76-73 victory. 

Start four for Sears was even better. On Jan. 8 at Toledo, Sears scored 20 points, going 6-of-9 from the field, dished out eight assists and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. 

After Preston returned to the starting lineup on Jan. 12, Sears was clutch off the bench, scoring nine points, grabbing seven boards and dishing out four assists in 19 minutes. 

On Jan. 23 Sears led the Bobcats with 19 points off the bench in the 85-77 victory.

On Jan. 26, Sears again set a career mark, scoring 21 points in a victory against Western Michigan.  

NCAA RECORD RUN
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.

#OUohyeah 

COURTESY OHIO ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

RELATED ARTICLES