Ohio State vs. Siena: Opening Round Tale of The Tape

HD Handshoe - BlockONation.comAnalyst IMarch 18, 2009

The selection committee certainly did not do the Buckeyes basketball team any favors in round one of the NCAA basketball tourney.

Ohio State (22-10) drew an eight-seed and will play ninth-seeded Siena Saints on Friday night at 9:40 p.m. in Dayton. That's about the only favor the committee did was place OSU in the Midwest region.

In case you don't remember that far back, last year as a No. 13 seed, Siena rolled over fourth-seeded Vanderbilt.

The Saints (26-7) have an RPI of 18, compared to 36 for the Buckeyes. They have a talented back-court and, though small up front, are a great rebounding team.

Senior Kenny Hasbrouck (14.8 ppg) can drive to the basket but can also extend the defense by knocking down the triple. He connected on 53 3-pointers this season.

Ronald Moore, a junior point guard, looks to pass first and takes care of the basketball, sporting a stout 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio.

For the Buckeyes to avoid what I would hesitate to call "the upset," they'll need leader Evan Turner to consistently display the skills that earned him Big Ten 1st-team honors and runner-up in the POY voting.

They'll also need sophomore Jon Diebler and freshman William Buford to help shoulder the load by getting open looks and hitting their outside shots.

If forward Dallas Lauderdale and 7-footer B.J. Mullens don't score and can't apply plenty of defensive pressure inside and control the boards, it could go South for Ohio State in a hurry.

Siena won't be intimidated, nor should they be.

If the opportunity to watch this game on TV isn't available your area, you might just want to log on to CBSSports.com and watch it LIVE online.

It has the potential to be one of the best games of the opening weekend if not the whole tourney!