Ohio State looking to escape Dayton without NCAA tournament stumble, starts vs Iona

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.