Thad Matta loves the University of Dayton Arena.

Even though Ohio State hasn't fared all that well there since he's been head coach — never made it out intact in the NCAA tournament — it's still the place for his fondest college memory. It's where he hit a game-winning shot for Butler.

The second-seeded Buckeyes (26-7) open on Friday against Iona (20-13).

It's a comfortable commute for Ohio State, which practiced on its home court in Columbus on Thursday morning, then made the one-hour, 15-minute bus ride to Dayton for a workout in front of hundreds of fans.

Iona also has a memory at UD Arena — a really bad one. The Gaels blew a 25-point lead and lost to BYU last year in the First Four, the biggest collapse in NCAA tournament history.