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Bracketology 1/26: Ohio State In Cleveland For First And Second Rounds

The Buckeyes would play their first weekend games at the Q, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Chris Dobblerdean over at Blogging The Bracket released his most recent mock bracket, and Ohio State fans should take notice. The Buckeyes are projected to come up the road about 2 1/2 hours to play their first and second round games in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Their second round matchup would be especially interesting, as they would play the winner of the Georgetown-Arizona game. Georgetown has really disappointed, but a strong finish to the Big East season would make them dangerous, and lord knows they'd be hungry to avenge their loss to Ohio University in the tournament a year ago. What better way than to take it out on another Ohio team.

Arizona is a very strong team as well, at 20 in the KenPom ratings. They're 16-4 on the year and 5-2 in conference, with good wins over NC State, Washington State, Stanford and Cal.

In Chris's bracket, the Big Ten has the second most entrants into the Big Dance with six. The only other conference with more teams in the field is the Big East with 11. The Horizon League optimistically would get two teams in, with Butler as an at-large and Cleveland State the Horizon winner. The league is a tight race, with Cleveland State and Valparaiso in a two-way tie at 7-2, and Butler and Wright State right behind at 6-3. Cleveland State has UIC and Loyola Chicago up next before two critical games back-to-back that could determine their seeding against Butler (Feb. 3) and Valpo (Feb. 5), both at home.

Ball State (13-0, 5-0, KenPom 126) is currently slotted in as the MAC representative as a 15 seed. Whomever comes out of the MAC probably won't be better than that seed-wise, as the conference as a whole is down, although Buffalo could make a case as high as a 14 if they close out the year on a hot streak and win the conference tournament.

You can find the whole bracket here.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.