The two sides met Wednesday night, and McDermott emerged as a serious candidate to replace Thad Matta, the sources said.
McDermott, 52, has spent the past seven years in Omaha, Nebraska, where he has taken the Bluejays to the NCAA tournament four times. He also spent four seasons at Iowa State and five at Northern Iowa.
Creighton finished 25-10 last season and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Rhode Island. The Bluejays have been in the Big East for the past four seasons.
Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg also was a candidate to replace Matta, who was forced out this week after 13 seasons with the Buckeyes. However, sources told ESPN that Hoiberg was not among the leaders for the position.
"Any time your name is associated with a great job, it's an honor," Hoiberg told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday night. "But I'm head coach of the Bulls and have no intention of leaving."
Ohio State was 17-15 last season and 7-11 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes haven't been to the NCAA tournament since 2015.