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NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Get to know Ohio

Matt Smith, D.J. Cooper

Ohio’s D.J. Cooper (5) drives past Toledo’s Matt Smith (43) in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game in the Mid-American Conference men’s quarterfinals Thursday, March 8, 2012, in Cleveland. Ohio won 65-57. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)


Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: MAC

Coach: John Groce

Record: 27-7, 11-5 (3rd)

Rankings and Ratings:

- Kenpom: 72
- RPI: 50
- AP/Coaches: Unranked

Seeding?: Ohio will be an interesting team to seed. Thanks to a strong non-conference schedule, the Bobcats have a solid RPI and some nice wins. I don’t think a 13 seed would be a stretch.

Names to know: DJ Cooper (14.6 ppg, 5.7 apg, 2.4 spg), Walter Offutt (11.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg), Reggie Kelly (9.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg)

Stats to know: Ohio’s strength is on the defensive end of the floor where they are second in the nation is turnover percentage and fourth in steal percentage. That aggressiveness gets them a lot of easy baskets in transition, but it is also a reason they commit a lot of fouls and give up a lot of offensive rebounds.

Tendencies: We all know the name DJ Cooper by now, and he’s the guy you want to stop on this team. He’s small and he’s lefty and he’s a pest defensively and he’s already made a name for himself in the NCAA Tournament, going for 23 points and eight assists as a freshman in a win over Georgetown. The ball is going to be in his hands to make a play.

Big wins, bad losses: Ohio picked up wins against Lamar, Marshall and Northern Iowa and went 11-5 playing in the tough eastern division of MAC.

How’d they get here?: The Bobcats were the three-seed in the MAC Tournament, but they rolled through both of the top two seeds in Buffalo and Akron en route to the automatic bid.

Outlook: Ohio is going to be a tough out for whoever they play because of the way that they defend. If they are forcing turnovers and Cooper is playing well, they can be tough. But if they go up against a team that has good guards and will be more athletic than them, that’s when they will run into trouble.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.