March Madness: Ohio State gets good news prior to first NCAA Tournament game

Zed Key and Kyle Young are available for Ohio State as the Buckeyes begin 2022 NCAA Tournament play.

The Buckeyes are set to tip off against Loyola-Chicago in a first-round game just after noon in Pittsburgh.

Explore5 things to know about Ohio State's first-round tournament matchup

Key and Young, respectively Ohio State’s top center and power forward, were sidelined at the end of the season by injury, and the Buckeyes missed not only their combined 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds but also the physicality and toughness they brought to the front line.

OSU coach Chris Holtmann said earlier in the week Key (ankle) and Young (concussion protocol) were able to take part in practice but hadn’t been fully cleared yet.

How much they are able to play Friday remains to be seen.

Their presence — or lack thereof — could be a big factor against a Ramblers team Holtmann said resembles a Big Ten squad for its physical play.

Ohio State is trying to avoid consecutive first-round exits after winning one game in the tournament in each of Holtmann’s first two seasons in Columbus.

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