On Sunday, December 5th, 2010, 6th ranked and undefeated Ohio State walked off their home court in Columbus, Ohio after handing a game Oklahoma team its first loss of the season thanks in part to Jantel Lavender and her 32 points. It was a given that the Big Ten conference season was going to be Ohio State's to lose, again, for the seventh straight regular-season championship.
Since going off the court that day, Ohio State has gone off the rails. Ohio State has recorded three wins and six losses since that day. Last night Ohio State lost to Northwestern for the first time since 2000. The previous 19 games between the two teams had been won by the Buckeyes. And for the first time this season, Ohio State has lost its College Women's Hoops S-Factor-predicted at-large bid.
It won't get much easier for the Buckeyes. Thanks to the Big Ten's unusual number of teams, each team plays 6 of the other conference teams twice and 4 of them just once. The four teams Ohio State plays only once are the four worst teams in the league in terms of S-Factor ranking (Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin). Ohio State's next game is against conference leader Michigan State.
While Ohio State's difficult schedule will weigh on the minds of the selection committee, it will mean nothing if Ohio State can't crack .500 in the Big Ten conference (they're currently 1-3).
Now in: Cal Poly, East Tennessee State, Wisconsin, LSU
Now out: Lipscomb, UC Irvine, Ohio State, Vanderbilt
Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 8
Big Ten: 7
Big 12: 6
Atlantic 10: 2