Four Ohio teams projected for NCAA tournament

Cincinnati Bearcats forward Justin Jackson (5) drives to the basket during the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Jim O'Connor/Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the last batch of conference tournament championship games, two NCAA tournament field projections have four teams from the Buckeye State making the field of 68.

Both Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com and Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com have Xavier as one of the last four in. That would earn the Musketeers an 11 seed and a trip up I-75 to Dayton for the First Four. That would figure to be anything but a neutral court for Xavier, an age-old rival of UD sure to get a rude welcome from Flyers fans in the stands.

Lunardi also has Dayton in his last four in, meaning the Flyers would play on their home court in a First Four game against Nebraska. Palm puts the Flyers in the field of 64 with an 11 seed and headed to San Antonio to play sixth-seeded Kentucky in what the NCAA (but few others) calls the "second round."

Both writers project Ohio State to receive a No. 5 seed with Palm expecting the Buckeyes to take on Stephen F. Austin in St. Louis in the Midwest region and Lunardi projecting an OSU matchup with North Dakota State in Spokane as part of the West region.

The highest projection for an Ohio team goes to Cincinnati, a No. 3 seed according to Palm, who has the Bearcats playing Mercer in Buffalo as part of the East. Lunardi sees UC as a No. 5 seed in the East but starting the tournament in San Diego against Harvard.

Ohio State and Cincinnati both made the tournament last season with the Buckeyes having qualified five years in a row and the Bearcats going to the last three.

Xavier missed the field last year after making it seven consecutive seasons, while the last of Dayton’s 14 NCAA tournament appearances came in 2009.

Dayton has published information on purchasing tickets should the Flyers be selected for the tournament, and Cincinnati has invited fans to watch the selection show with the team at Fifth Third Arena.

Follow on Twitter @marcushartman