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Ohio's Success on the Gridiron Transitions to the Hardwood

Ohio's football and men's basketball programs have combined for 37 wins this season.

March 13, 2012

ATHENS, Ohio - Only five teams in Division I-A athletics have won 10-or-more games in football and 25-or-more games in men's basketball this season. Ohio University is one of those five.

Over the last five years, only 19 schools nationally have accomplished the feats Ohio achieved this season, joining the likes of Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee - to name a few. In addition, Ohio is the first school in the Mid-American Conference history to accomplish these feats in the same season.

In the 2011-12 campaign, the Ohio men's basketball and football teams have combined for 37 wins and both reached the postseason. The Bobcats' 37 wins in men's basketball and football is tied for third nationally.

"This is truly a golden age for Ohio University Athletics," said Director of Athletics Jim Schaus. "Success in these high profile sports is critical as it generates a significant amount of exposure for the university and assists the department financially. But our goal must be to work even harder to grow the program to the highest level of excellence.

With the men's basketball team's 64-63 victory over Akron in the 2012 MAC Championship, Ohio punched their ticket to NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which put the Bobcats in an elite category of just two teams.

Ohio joined Michigan State as the only teams in the country this season that have won 10 games in football, won a bowl game and captured the men's basketball conference tournament title. What's more impressive is that only five teams nationally can lay claim those achievements in the last five years.

"Winning is always a team effort," Schaus said. "To succeed, it takes everyone to make it happen from coaches, student-athletes, central administration, staff and fans. So many people can feel a part of our team because so many truly played a key role."

In 2011, the Bobcat football team authored one of the finest seasons in school history, winning 10 games for the first time since 1968 and capped the year with a thrilling 24-23 victory over Utah State in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

At the end of the football season, the Ohio men's basketball team took center stage and opened up the year with a 13-1 record. It then went on to close the year with an 8-1 record en route to winning the MAC Championship for the second time in three years.

On Friday, Ohio will look to continue its storybook 2011-12 campaign in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament against Michigan.