I'm not in the mood for fancy, or even adequate, ledes right now. UB Men's Tennis found out minutes ago that they'll be taking on Ohio State in their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The first-round match will take place in Columbus, as the Buckeyes will host early-round games for their section of the bracket.
Like Women's Soccer before them, and Women's Tennis even longer before, the Bulls draw a historically strong opponent from a power conference in their opening round game. To date, Buffalo as an athletics department has no team wins in five NCAA Tournaments or football bowl games.
Buffalo is a heavy underdog in this match against Ohio State, as well. UB enters the NCAA Tournament having only barely eked into their conference tournament and is one of only three conference champions in 2015 to win their automatic bid from the fourth seed or lower. By comparison, the Buckeyes are ranked #12 in the country and will be looking for redemption after dropping the Big Ten Championship to Illinois.
In fact, Illinois is the only opponent to beat the Buckeyes in conference play this season. Despite the loss to the Illini, Ohio State managed a share of the Big Ten regular season championship, their tenth straight.
OSU will be the sixth nationally-ranked program on the Bulls' 2015 schedule, and is led by Chris Diaz and Mikael Torpegaard at #1 and #2 singles and Kevin Metka and Ralf Steinbach at #1 doubles. UB's depth will be put to the test, as Ohio State has a winning record on the season at every singles slot as well as #1 and #3 doubles, and the Buckeye record at #2 doubles is still 11-12.
The trip to Columbus will be a familiar one for UB Athletics, as the team will return to the city for the department's second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance following Men's Basketball's game against West Virginia in their respective championship.
Should UB pull off the upset in the first round and claim the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, they would take on the winner of Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.