Ohio was stunned when it was left out of the NCAA Tournament last season after the selection committee chose teams with a slightly stronger schedule.
The Bobcats didn’t forget about that decision when they prepared its 2019-20 schedule, which was released on Wednesday and includes four Power 5 teams, four teams that appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season and nine opponents that finished in the top-100 of the RPI last season.
Coach Bob Boldon didn’t hide the reasoning behind the tougher schedule, either.
"The NCAA committee showed us that playing and beating Power Five schools is an important metric in the RPI,“ Boldon said in the release from ohiobobcats.com, “so we scheduled several this season.”
The Bobcats, who went 30-6 last season, won’t wait for those tough opponents. They begin their season on the road Nov. 5 at Syracuse, who advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament last season. On Nov. 17, Ohio will travel to Ohio State for its first meeting with the Buckeyes since 2005.
On Dec. 15, the Bobcats will head south to play TCU. Three days later, they’ll play Texas.
Ohio will start Mid-American Conference play at home Jan. 4 against Northern Illinois and will finish the regular season on March 7 against Miami. The MAC Tournament will begin March 9 and move to the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for games March 11-14.
Those MAC games will be crucial for Ohio, who will return all but two players last season who were not regulars in the starting lineup.
The Bobcats will have one of the most talented rosters in the conference as long as Cece Hooks, Erica Johnson and Amani Burke are in the lineup. Now, they’re looking to give the committee no reason to leave them out of the tournament if they can replicate the success from last season.