Snapping UConn’s Incredible Run
Ohio State ended UConn’s record streak of 14 straight Final Four appearances and now the Buckeyes are a win away from the program’s first trip to the Final Four since 1993.
Top-seeded Virginia Tech is looking for its first trip to the Final Four.
Slow starts have been an issue for Ohio State as the Buckeyes trailed at the end of the first quarter in two of the previous three tournament games. However, the Buckeyes have a +24 scoring margin in the second quarter of the tournament games.
Virginia Tech also took out one of the sport’s iconic programs with a Sweet 16 win over Tennessee. The Hokies haven’t trailed in the NCAA tournament.
Ohio State is eighth nationally in scoring offense, putting up 80.8 points per game. Virginia Tech is in the top 30 in scoring defense so pace of play could be crucial in this matchup.
Virginia Tech is 7-2 against teams ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 poll this season with Ohio State 9-6 against ranked teams.
The Hokies are the single favorite in the Seattle Regional 3 title game according to the women’s college basketball odds.
When looking at the women’s basketball news, Ohio State has played without junior guard Madison Greene since December.
Maryland transfer Ashley Owusu hasn’t played since Feb. 26 for Virginia Tech. The other six players averaging more than 10 minutes per game have missed a combined total of two games this season.
Virginia Tech, winners of 14 straight games, is fourth in The Associated Press poll and five in the coaches’ poll. Ohio State is 12th in both national polls.
According to the women’s college basketball lines, Virginia Tech (+2200) was fourth in the odds to win Women’s College Basketball national title heading into the Elite Eight games while Ohio State comes in at +3500.
Buckeye State Provides Players
While UConn rolled out four starters from outside the United States in the Sweet 16 matchup, Ohio State had a different approach when it came to building its roster.
Four of the five starters were Ohio natives.
Freshman Cotie McMahon was the best player on the court with 23 points in 33 minutes before fouling out. Jacy Sheldon had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists while Taylor Thierry and Taylor Mikesell combined for 20 points.
23 & 5 from the freshman. @cotiemcmahon23 pic.twitter.com/jdPThB48rU
— Ohio State WBB (@OhioStateWBB) March 26, 2023
McMahon 18.3 points and 6.3 rebounds and Sheldon (16.7 points, 6 rebounds, 6.3 assists) have led the way during the tournament while Mikesell and Thierry combine for 24.7 points. Five of Ohio State’s seven losses came when Sheldon was sidelined earlier this season.
A Year of Firsts
Virginia Tech secured the program’s first Elite Eight appearance with the win over Tennessee and now comes the next step.
The women’s basketball lines had Virginia Tech with the longest odds among the No. 1 seeds to win the national title but other than defending national champion South Carolina, the Hokies are the only other No. 1 seed in the Elite Eight.
Virginia Tech returned four of its top five scorers from last year’s 23-win team so it is not a surprise to see the Hokies in this position.
Junior guard Georgia Amoore is putting up 24 points per game in the tournament after a 29-point effort against Tennessee. Four-year starter Elizabeth Kitley is averaging 12.7 points and 12 rebounds during the NCAA tournament. Cayla King is another three-year starter.
Virginia Tech had losing records in each of its first 14 seasons in the ACC before Kitley and King arrived as freshmen in 2019. Virginia Tech not only won the ACC tournament for the first time, but went 46-24 in conference play during the regular season over the last four seasons.
Ohio State vs Virginia Tech Head-to-Head
Virginia Tech won the only previous meeting between the teams with an 81-73 win on Dec. 21, 2018 in the West Palm Beach Invitational.
The Hokies beat Nebraska 85-54 in the only matchup of the season against a team from the Big Ten. Ohio State is 3-0 against ACC teams and that is something to keep in mind when it comes to making women’s college basketball picks. The Buckeyes edged North Carolina 71-69 in the second round of the NCAA tournament and posted wins over Louisville and Boston College during the regular season.
Ohio State vs Virginia Tech Game Information
- Game: Ohio State (28-7) vs Virginia Tech (30-4)
- Location: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, WA
- Day/Time: Monday, March 27, 9 p.m. ET
- Ohio State vs Virginia Tech Live Stream: TBS
Ohio State vs Virginia Tech Betting Lines
Ohio State vs Virginia Tech Prediction
Ohio State forced 63 turnovers and came up with 34 steals in the first three games in the NCAA tournament. It seems unlikely that the Buckeyes will approach those numbers against a Virginia Tech team that committed the second-fewest turnovers among ACC teams. However, Virginia Tech guard Georgia Amoore did turn the ball over five times in the Hokies Sweet 16 game.
Virginia Tech led the ACC in 3-pointers made and attempted with Ohio State third in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage defense so that could be the key to the game.
Neither team is particularly deep with Virginia Tech using six players in the Sweet 16 win against Tennessee and six players were on the court for all but four minutes in the UConn win. Ohio State shut down UConn’s top post player Aaliyah Edwards with some help from Edwards getting into foul trouble. Can the Buckeyes do the same against Virginia Tech’s 6-foot-6 Kitley with McMahon and Eboni Walker, who both stand 6-foot, the tallest Ohio State starters.