The Buckeyes are the #2 seed in the Midwest and the favorite in March Madness odds to win the region now that top-ranked Kansas is gone.
March Madness betting lists Ohio State as a 4.5 point favorite against Tennessee. The Buckeyes have been nearly unbeatable since Evan Turner returned from injury. Turner is likely to win Player of the Year honors and he simply takes over games. He had 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the win over Georgia Tech. The Buckeyes have a very good starting lineup but not much depth so they will need to stay out of foul trouble in this game.
Tennessee was not supposed to get this far. Bruce Pearl has done a fantastic job this season dealing with all of the issues at Tennessee. The team had to deal with suspensions and the dismissal of one of their best players in Tyler Smith. Pearl found a way though and the Volunteers are in the Sweet Sixteen. "When you get down to six scholarship players and three walk-ons and you really don't know what you have, the whole way you've built your team is now maybe going to change course," Bruce Pearl said. "But one of the things that we do in coaching is we try to prepare our players to handle adversity.”
Tennessee is very deep and that is their one advantage in this game. The Vols also play defense as they have allowed opponents to shoot just 38% from the field in the tournament.
Tennessee has been solid in non-conference games lately. They are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. They have also done well against the Big 10 going 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games. The Volunteers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games as an underdog.
The Buckeyes are 4-11 in March Madness betting in their last 15 NCAA Tournament games. The Buckeyes are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
Six of the last eight neutral site games for Tennessee have gone under the total. 21 of their last 30 overall have gone under. Six of the last seven Ohio State games in March Madness odds have gone over. Four of their last five games as a favorite have gone over.