The MAAC champion Loyola Greyhounds will take on the No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the East region of the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Playing in their first NCAA tournament since 1994 when the late Skip Prosser coached the Greyhounds to their only other MAAC championship, Loyola (24-8) earns its second trip to the “Big Dance” as the No. 15 seed after winning the MAAC tournament last Monday.
The Buckeyes finished the season with a 27-7 record and were ranked seventh in the NCAA RPI to earn the second seed in the East. Ohio State fell to Michigan State, 68-64, in the Big Ten tournament championship on Sunday afternoon.
Since taking over the Greyhounds following their 1-27 season in 2003-2004, Jimmy Patsos has taken Loyola to its highest point in nearly 20 years and will face a major challenge in slowing big man Jared Sullinger and the Buckeyes, coached by Thad Matta.
Thursday’s game is scheduled for a 9:50 p.m. tip-off and will be televised on TNT.