Jeff Boals

Ohio head coach Jeff Boals celebrates after the Bobcats defeated Virginia 62-58 on Saturday. No. 13 Ohio faces No. 5 Creighton on Monday at 6:10 p.m. 

 

The Ohio Bobcats are trying to make a habit out of making it to the Sweet 16. 

The Creighton Blue Jays are trying to break through to that round.

Ohio and Creighton will hit the court at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Monday at 6:10 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

The winner will advance to the Sweet 16. 

The game will be on TNT. 

Ohio's last trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 resulted in a trip to the third round, after beating Michigan and South Florida. 

The No. 13 Bobcats are at it again nine years later, upsetting No. 4 Virginia in Saturday's opener. 

Ohio improved to 17-7 on the season, and 8-14 all time in the NCAA Tournament. 

"I think it's huge for a lot of reasons," Ohio coach Jeff Boals said of the victory. "Recruiting, fan base, alumni, university. It's something that every school like ours dreams about. With social media the way it is right now, I can imagine what Court Street is doing. Our goal is to represent Ohio University the right way on the floor, off the floor. We got 15 great kids to do that. I know they're proud of them."

The Bobcats next opponent is Creighton, a No. 5 seed that is 21-8 after surviving an upset bid, 63-62, on Saturday against No. 12 UC Santa Barbara. 

The Blue Jays haven't made the Sweet 16 since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, losing second round games in 1991, 1999, 2002, 2012, 2013 and 2014. 

Creighton will try and end that streak on Monday. The Blue Jays were second in the Big East behind Villanova, going 14-6 in the conference. 

Creighton has won four out of fives games overall, the only defeat coming in the Big East Tournament to Georgetown. 

Similar to Ohio, Creighton has five players averaging double figures. Marcus Zegarowski leads the way with 15.6 points per game, also averaging 4.5 assists a night. 

Denzel Mahoney averages 12.5 points, while Damien Jefferson averages 12.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Christian Bishop also adds 11.0 points per game, while Mitch Ballock has 10.1 points a night. 

Overall, the Blue Jays average 76.5 points per game, while allowing 68.1 points. 

Greg McDermott is in his 11th season leading Creighton. 

The Bobcats come in rolling, having won 10 out of their last 11 games. They are averaging 80.1 points per game on offense, and allowing 72.6 points on defense. 

Jason Preston posted a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds, also adding eight assists in the win over Virginia. He's averaging 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. 

Dwight Wilson averages 14.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while Ben Vander Plas checks in at 13.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. 

Ohio and Creighton meet for just the second time. The Blue Jays took a 77-75 decision back on Dec. 17, 1962. 

The Bobcats also advanced to the Sweet 16 in 1960, and to the Elite Eight in 1964. 

Ohio has won four NCAA Tournament games since 2010. The Bobcats only had one NCAA Tournament victory, coming in 1983 against Illinois State, between 1964 and 2010.

 


 

Email at kwiseman@athensmessenger.com; follow on Twitter @KevinWmessenger

 

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