SPOKANE, Wash. (WCMH) — Ohio State looks to keep dancing in the NCAA Tournament when the No. 6 Buckeyes face No. 2 Texas at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Buckeyes made it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2017 after upsetting No. 3 LSU 79-64. But players said they weren’t surprised about beating the Tigers or being one of 16 teams still playing.

“We weren’t really look at as an upset. We think we’re one of the best teams in the NCAA,” sophomore guard Rikki Harris said. “That win was great but we’re still here to play.”

Only one Buckeye, Taylor Mikesell, had any NCAA Tournament experience but that hasn’t fazed OSU, and neither is a matchup with Texas.

“I think we’re a championship team, a national championship team and any given day is for anybody,” sophomore guard Kateri Poole said. “The Buckeyes are here now, so all that advancing and bracket stuff is done with. I believe that our mentality is stronger than any other team in NCAA.”

Scouting Texas

OSU coach Kevin McGuff said Texas had one of the best defenses in the country, with the Longhorns only allowing 56.5 points per game. That’s due in large part to their ability to force 21 turnovers per game, 12th nationally.

“I think what makes them unique is their ball pressure, their ability to deny passing lanes and disrupt offenses,” McGuff said. “They’re as good as anyone at taking live-ball turnovers and turning them into layups.”

Besides limiting turnovers, McGuff said the other area of focus for OSU will be keeping the taller Longhorns off the glass.

“They’re a very physical, athletic team that can really do some damage on the offensive boards,” McGuff said.

Rebounds were a point of emphasis and pride in the Buckeyes’ win over LSU, too, when OSU, which starts an unorthodox four guards, outrebounded the Tigers 34-22 despite a size disadvantage.

“They’re a good team, we’re a good team so it’s just going to come down to heart and who wants it more,” Harris said.

Let Jacy Cook

Jacy Sheldon has been vital to the Buckeyes’ success so far. In the first round against Missouri State while the rest of the team struggled to score, she dropped 25 points to go with five assists, six rebounds, five steals and 10 free made throws.

The Dublin Coffman product followed up that performance with an even better one against LSU in their own backyard of Baton Rouge by pouring in 23 points, eight assists and three steals while playing the entire 40-minute game.

Sheldon controls the way the Buckeyes play and if she, along with Taylor Mikesell play at their best, the Buckeyes can take down the Longhorns and earn their first Elite 8 appearance since 1993.