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Posted on Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Get to know Ohio U., the Michigan basketball team's NCAA opponent

By Rich Rezler

The Michigan basketball team will open its NCAA Tournament with a second-round game against Ohio on Friday in Nashville, Tenn.

Don't know much about the Bobcats? We're here to help:


Ohio guard D.J. Cooper, right, hugs teammate T.J. Hall with one arm and the Mid-American Conference tournament trophy with the other after the Bobcats 64-63 win over Akron Saturday in Cleveland.

AP Photo

Ohio Bobcats

Main campus: Athens, Ohio

Enrollment: More than 35,000 students on the main campus and five regional campuses

Conference: Mid-American Conference East Division

Record: 27-7 (11-5, third place in MAC East)

RPI: 59th

Strength of schedule: 177th

Vs. top 50 opponents: Lost to Louisville, 59-54 (Nov. 25), beat Marshall, 70-68 (Nov. 30).

Colors: Hunter green and white

Coach: John Groce, who served as an assistant coach at Ohio State from 2004-08.

How they got here: The Bobcats were the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament. They beat Toledo in a quarterfinal, Buffalo in a semifinal and upset top-seeded Akron in the championship game, earning the conference's automatic bid.

Top players: Point guard D.J. Cooper averaged 19.7 points in Ohio's MAC Tournament run, including 23 in the championship game. The 5-foot-11, junior is averaging 14.6 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds over the season. Walter Offutt (6-3, jr., G) averages 11.7 points and 3.6 rebounds; Reggie Keely (6-8, jr., F) averages 9.2 points and 5.1 rebounds; and Ivo Baltic (6-8, jr., F) averages 9.0 points and 5.1 rebounds.

NCAA rankings: 70.7 points scored per game (107th), 62.0 points allowed per game (55th), +0.5 rebound margin (170th), .429 field goal percentage (200th), .330 3-point percentage (216th).

More numbers: Team statistics | Roster | Schedule/results

NCAA Tournament history: In 2010, the 14-seeded Bobcats beat No. 3 Georgetown, 97-83. They lost in the second round to eventual Elite Eight member Tennessee. Overall, Ohio is 5-13 in NCAA Tournament games. They were eliminated in the first round of their three prior appearances in 2005, 1994 and 1983.


Rich Rezler

Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

The enrollment at Ohio has been corrected in this story. Thanks to those who pointed out the error here and via email.

don clary

Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Finally! The michigan team will get a chance to play Ohio since the coaches (and others) have been so arrogant in using the name of the Bobcats to refer to that other schoool in Columbus. I can tell you the folks in Athens are not happy with the way you have belittled their name over the past year and they might just use that motivation this wee. Now if Brandon can only chance the football schedule this fall to play the Ohio Bobcats in football, then Michigan might have a couple of wins this year against Ohio.

Basic Bob

Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

OU beat #3 seeded Georgetown two years ago in the first round. This year, they played in a very competitive MAC East, beating Akron by one in the conference championship. The MAC should have placed two teams in the NCAA tournament this year, if it were based on skill, talent, and record - rather than strictly how many tickets they can sell. Such is life in the mid-majors. U-M will come out cold in the first five minutes, and they will be done. Even without a dominant center, there will be no catching up on this team. Go Zips vs. Wildcats in the NIT!

Basic Bob

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 4:12 a.m.

@KZ, Who is Karen?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.

Karen, Karen, Karen...


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 2 p.m.

The enrollment statistic reported is not even close to accurate. Ohio University had 35,324 students in 2010-11 with all but 10,216 of those on the main campus in Athens, OH. In addition to the main campus, there are five regional campuses (so a total of six, not five campuses as stated above). All of this information is easily attainable from the school's web site at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. It appears the author reported information about the regional campuses only and forgot to include the main campus which is easy to do if your only source is Ohio University's wikipedia page.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Michigan plays down to the level of their weaker opponents, and lacks a killer instinct -- they will have trouble winning two tournament games, and definitely won't make it past UNC in the Sweet Sixteen.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 8:43 a.m.

I think the semi final loss to TOSB's was all about Conformity, normality, regularity, soundness.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

Regularity? Prunes ... the breakfast of champions.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

I think Michigan was plain tired in the OSU game yesterday. All of their shots were hitting the front of the rim, which is a sign of &quot;no legs&quot;, and Sullinger , Craft, and Thomas were on fire. I think Ohio's win was triggered by their outstanding defense on Michigan--Burke could not get into a rhythm and was hounded the whole game. Hardaway was out of it, and Morgan was dominated and out of it (he airballed a free throw???). I think it was a one game aberration, and that Michigan will be prepared for the tourney. One nice thing in this game yesterday was the intensity and leadership of its two seniors (and a third if you count Person's garbage time). That bodes well. We will miss Novak and Stu a lot.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

I'm not a fan, but I actually think the OSU blowout was an aberration...I think this UM team is at least Sweet 16 caliber.


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 1:18 a.m.

Unless both Ohio's have jared sullinger, I expect Michigan to advance. Past that, we have not shown an ability to blow anyone out...I have faith that our semi final loss was an aberration, combined with playing one of the top teams in the country.