Trip to the Final Four a familiar journey for Buckeyes

Basketball team after their National Championship victory

Overall, Ohio State has played in nine Final Four tournament games (not including the game tomorrow or the 1999 game vacated by the NCAA). Pretty impressive, huh? Here’s the breakdown:

  • The first NCAA tournament in 1939 featured Ohio State versus Villanova University in the Final Four matchup. Ohio State defeated Villanova to move on to the championship game versus the University of Oregon. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes lost that game, 46-33.
  • In 1944 the Buckeyes played their first of three consecutive Final Four games. That year, they lost to Dartmouth University, 60-53.
  • The following year Ohio State again lost in the semifinals to New York University, 70-65.
  • The 1946 tournament had Ohio State losing another Final Four game, this time against the University of North Carolina, 60-57. OSU did, however, play a third-place game, in which the Buckeyes beat University of California, 63-45.
  • In 1960 Ohio State defeated NYU, 76-54, on its way to winning the National Championship.
  • During the 1961 and 1962 seasons, Ohio State returned to the Final Four, defeating St. Joseph’s University, 95-69, and Wake Forest University, 84-68, respectively.
  • The Buckeyes returned to the Final Four in 1968, losing to North Carolina, 80-66, but once again winning a third-place game against the University of Houston, 89-85.
  • The last official Final Four appearance came in 2007 with a win over Georgetown University, 67-60.

Harold Olsen, 1935

And one more quick fact about the NCAA tournament and Ohio State:

Did you know Ohio State’s longest tenured basketball coach, Harold G. Olsen, played a pivotal role in the creation of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament? While head coach at Ohio State (1922-1946), Olsen organized a push for a postseason national playoff tournament. The first year of the tournament featured eight teams, including Ohio State, and was played at Northwestern University.

Olsen led the Buckeyes to four Final Four appearances during his tenure as head coach. Olsen also led the Buckeyes to five Big Ten Championships in 1925, 1933, 1939, 1944, and 1946. As president of NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches), chair of the NCAA Basketball Committee for eight years, and a member of the 1948 Olympic Committee, Olsen earned a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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