The Ohio State basketball team finished second-to-last in the Big Ten last season after a dismal 5-15 conference record. That forced them to play on Wednesday of Big Ten Tournament week and made it a lot harder for them to advance. They ended up falling to Purdue, ending their season.
If they were to have to same finish in the conference next season, they wouldn't even be in the Big Ten Tournament. According to Jon Rothstein of College Hoops Today, the Big Ten is only allowing 15 of its 18 teams to make the Big Ten Tournament starting next year.
The Big Ten is also planning on staying at 20 league games despite adding four more teams. That means that the Buckeyes will only play two Big Ten teams twice. That makes it harder for the Buckeyes to get a bunch of wins against the bottom-dwellers of the league.
We know that the Ohio State basketball program isn't in a good spot right now. They still haven't won a road game in over a year. I'm afraid that Gene Smith won't get rid of Chris Holtmann after the season is over because he doesn't want his last act as AD to be firing the men's basketball coach.
If Holtmann were to stay on next season and not be able to even make the Big Ten Tournament though, he's as good as gone. I kind of like this idea. It makes the regular season way more important because teams can no longer hold on to that pipe dream of making the NCAA Tournament by winning the conference tourney. They have to be good enough to even qualify for that conference tourney first.
Do I expect the Buckeyes to miss the Big Ten tournament often once this new rule is in place? No. But I do know that it puts pressure on underperforming coaches across the Big Ten and that might not be a bad thing.