Veteran Ohio State Team Eyes Upset
Three Big Ten teams are among the final 16 schools playing for the women’s Division I national title, so third-seeded Ohio State has had plenty of challenging games to get ready for the showdown against a UConn program that has reached 15 straight Final Fours.
Both teams have to learn how to play without key offensive players during the season and that could prove beneficial on Saturday.
The women’s college basketball odds list UConn as a double-digit favorite and that could be as much a nod to the Huskies’ reputation, because there were times in the second-round game against Baylor when UConn didn’t look like a team that should be favored in a Sweet 16 matchup between nationally ranked teams.
UConn is 7-3 against ranked teams and Ohio State is 8-6 in those games this season.
When looking at the women’s college basketball news, Ohio State has played without junior guard Madison Greene since December.
UConn hasn’t had the services of former national player of the year Paige Bueckers and highly touted freshman Ice Brady all season long. The Huskies did get leading scorer Azzi Fudd back for the Big East tournament.
UConn is sixth in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and eighth in the coaches’ poll. Ohio State is 12th in both national polls.
According to the women’s college basketball lines, UConn (+700) trails only defending national champion South Carolina in the odds to win the national title. Ohio State (+8000) is ninth in the championship odds.
Ohio State had to navigate through most of the Big Ten season without one of its most experienced players.
Jacy Sheldon, a four-year starter, played in just one regular-season conference game and missed 21 of 22 games.
In the two NCAA Tournament games, Sheldon was on the court for 76 of the 80 minutes and finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists and six steals in wins over James Madison and North Carolina. Her basket with two seconds left lifted Ohio State past the Tar Heels.
Even without Greene, Ohio State has nine players who average more than 10 minutes per game.
It had to be a little surreal when UConn forward Dorka Juhasz saw Ohio State’s name pop up on the television screen as a potential Sweet 16 opponent. Juhasz played for Ohio State for three seasons and started 68 of 75 games for the Buckeyes before transferring to UConn.
The last time the teams played, Juhasz started for Ohio State and had eight points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes. Juhasz has scored in double figures in 11 straight games and has six double-doubles during that stretch. She is averaging 14 points and 8.5 rebounds.
She is part of a diverse starting lineup with Juhasz hailing from Hungary, Lou Lopez Senechal, a native of France, point guard Nika Muhl from Croatia and All-American post player Aaliyah Edwards from Canada. That group has allowed UConn to reach the regionals for the 29th straight time.
We’ve been to 30 Regionals, including 29 straight
…but this one is really special pic.twitter.com/Ue5rcDXBPD
— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) March 23, 2023
Ohio State vs UConn Head-to-Head
UConn has won all six meetings with Ohio State. This is the fourth time that both teams are ranked in the Associated Press poll at the time of the game.
The most recent meeting was a 73-62 win by visiting UConn on Nov. 24, 2019. Aubrey Griffin was the only player from the Huskies who suited up for the winning side on that day.
This will be the first NCAA Tournament matchup between the programs.
Ohio State vs UConn Game Information
- Game: Ohio State (27-7) vs UConn (31-5)
- Location: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, WA
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 25, 4:00 p.m. ET
- Ohio State vs UConn Live Stream: TBS.com
Ohio State vs UConn Betting Lines
Ohio State vs UConn Picks and Prediction
In many years, the Sweet 16 matchup was a mere formality for UConn as the Huskies prepare to play in the regional semifinals for the 29th tournament in a row. The last time the Huskies failed to reach the Elite Eight was in 2005. This could be one of the most challenging Sweet 16 matchups in recent memory.
UConn has outrebounded its first two opponents 86-50 while Ohio State is -4 in rebound margin in the NCAA Tournament so that is part of the game within the game.
Ohio State has forced 38 turnovers in the first two March Madness contests and will look to get the ball out of the hands of Muhl, UConn’s primary ball handler.
The Buckeyes are 10th nationally with an average of 11.4 steals per game and that is something to keep in mind for those who bet online.
Ohio State also committed 21 turnovers in the North Carolina game so that aggressive style of play can cut both ways at times.
The 10-point line set by the sportsbook is the second-highest among the women’s Sweet 16 games.
UConn is listed at -525 in our Vegas Women’s college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Huskies, you have a chance to win $19. Ohio State is +315, offering a chance to win $315 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives UConn a 84.00% chance to win, with Ohio State at 24.10%.