CLEVELAND -- The UTSA Roadrunners have one goal going into their Friday afternoon game with the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
They just want to continue their Ohio vacation.
After winning the Southland Conference tournament, UTSA began its NCAA journey in Dayton on Wednesday with a 70-61 win over Alabama State in the inaugural "First Four" round.
Sophomore guard Melvin Johnson III scored 29 points -- 25 in the first half -- to lead UTSA (20-13) to the first tournament win in school history.
Not long after the game, the Roadrunners boarded a bus for a dark, 3 1/2-hour drive to Cleveland.
"Funny enough," said Australian freshman center Jeromie Hill, one of UTSA's four international players, "I didn't even know where Ohio is."
Johnson, who wrote "SWISH" on the sides of his orange sneakers, had the game of his life.
"The ball was just going in," he said. "I don't know what was going on. The stars must have been aligned."
Half of the Milky Way may have to line up for the Roadrunners to take down the Buckeyes. Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, No. 1 seeds are 105-0 against No. 16 seeds.
There have been a few narrow escapes over the years, most notably in 1996 when Purdue survived a scare with a 73-71 win over Western Carolina, which missed two shots in the final seconds.
Ohio State coach Thad Matta remembers it well. He was an assistant for Western Carolina.
"I know what those guys are definitely thinking over there," he said.
For the Roadrunners to drop Goliath, they'll need to contain Jared Sullinger, who has spent his first year in college embarrassing far more seasoned players on the low block.
Even if UTSA does that, the Buckeyes can beat them from long range.
And then there's the issue of scoring against an Ohio State team that doesn't give up easy buckets.
UTSA coach Brooks Thompson believes he has a plan for Sullinger and the big, bad Buckeyes.
"We're going to throw the kitchen sink at him," Thompson said. "We'll have to double him some. We'll have to mix in some zone some. We're going to have to do things."
"But it's kind of a double-edged sword," Thompson continued. "If you want to go and throw the kitchen sink at Sullinger, then it's going to leave their shooters open. You kind of gotta pick your poison with it and see what happens."
Leaning back in a chair inside Ohio State's locker room Thursday, Sullinger seemed amused by all the fuss. As he and his teammates got ready for practice, Sullinger was asked if he was nervous before his first NCAA tournament game.
"No, not really," the fab freshman said. "It's just another basketball game. We just want to keep playing basketball."
The Buckeyes are close enough to their campus to make them feel at home, and they hope their game with the Roadrunners is the first step toward Ohio State's first NCAA title in 51 years.
Expectations have never been higher for Ohio State (32-2), which has spent most of this season at -- or near -- the top of the polls.
In a season where parity has ruled like never before, and in maddening March of upsets and near upsets, the Buckeyes have been tabbed as the team to beat.
"We don't have any worries," senior guard Joe Diebler said. "We're very talented and we feel that if we come to play and come with the intensity that we have, then we should be OK. It's not an easy run, but at the same time, we've been doing it all year."