Buckeyes On The Gators

By Josh Herwitt - August 29, 2007

After coming up one win short of a national championship last season, two-time Big Ten champ Ohio State has finalized its schedule for the upcoming 2007-08 season.

While the Buckeyes will tack on two additional conference games to their 18-game Big Ten schedule, they'll also have a challenging non-conference slate that features games at Tennessee, Butler and Cleveland State.

"Our 2007-08 schedule will be exciting for our fans for sure," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "This schedule will certainly help us prepare for the conference schedule and postseason competition."

But what fans in Columbus are really itching about is Ohio State's Dec. 22 rematch with two-time national champion Florida at Value City Arena.

And while the coaches and uniforms will be the same, the lineups will be drastically different.

Both teams saw most of its starting fives enter the NBA Draft last June, leaving both Matta and Billy Donovan little to work with from last year. Instead, the two coaches will have to rely heavily on their talented incoming freshmen as guys like Nick Calathes, Jai Lucas and Kosta Koufos will be forced to step in and assume a great deal of scoring responsibility right away for their teams.

The Buckeyes, nevertheless, should be well-tested by the time they meet Florida, as they'll have the privilege of hosting North Carolina beforehand in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 28.

And if there's one team with depth and experience coming into this season, it's Roy's boys down in Chapel Hill...

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:42 PM on August 29, 2007

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