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The Buckeyes are tournament tested. Their players have 53 games of combined NCAA Tournament experience, including 26 starts. Those players have accounted for 342 points, 167 rebounds, 109 assists, 59 steals and 19 blocks.
A total of 26 Ohio State players have scored 1,000 or more points and pulled down at least 500 rebounds. Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. became the latest when he scored nine points against Purdue on Thursday. He now has 1,008 points and 548 rebounds.
Sophomore reserve guard Amedeo Della Valle earned a gold medal playing for Italy this past summer at the 20-and-under European Championships. Della Valle led his team with 13 points per game during the tournament.
The Buckeyes rank third in the nation in three-point
field-goal percentage defense (.294) and No. 7 in scoring defense (59.8 points per game).
All Thad Matta does is win. In 14 seasons as a head coach, including 10 with the Buckeyes, Matta has a career record of 377-113 overall. He has never failed to reach at least 20 wins in a season.