"It's something we've been working on for two weeks," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Friday. "Thought it would be nice for the guys. It's always good to throw your guys a bone during the long season. Thought it would be good for us to do and for the guys to enjoy."
Lue said Ohio State coach Urban Meyer invited the team to a game after the Cavs played a preseason contest at Ohio State in October. The Cavs planned to fly to Columbus after their 128-90 win over the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
A devoted Ohio State fan, James has been on the sideline at Ohio Stadium in the past, but not for a game he said is on his "bucket list." And this year's matchup between the No. 2 Buckeyes and No. 3 Wolverines has national championship implications.
"We have an opportunity to go down to Columbus and watch an unbelievable battle between two great colleges," James said following Friday's win.
James and his teammates also attended several Cleveland Indians' postseason games when they reached the World Series. Saturday's showdown will be another big moment.
"Stuff like this doesn't always come around, the World Series in your backyard and our Buckeyes have been very successful, but you don't know how many times it's going to happen " James said. "A two-three matchup, that's perfect timing."
James doesn't plan on addressing the Buckeyes before the game.
"It hasn't come up," he said.
James has more than a rooting interest in this year's game. He has also provided Ohio State's players with cleats -- inspired by his signature Nike sneakers -- to wear against Michigan. He said the idea was hatched 10 years ago, but it took time before the cleat could be developed.
"It's been something that's been in the works for years now," he said. "We finally was able to put together a shoe and work with the Nike football lab to put a cleat on there. It's always a hard process when you turn a basketball shoe into a cleat, so we finally was able to find a shoe that fits the Nike lab football cleat."
James said some of the players tested them this week at practice before deciding whether to play in them.
"It was just like, great timing, I guess, that it came together when they were playing Michigan in the biggest game of the season," he said.
It's also perfect timing that James' cleats are being unveiled when Ohio State is facing Michigan, which this season is wearing Jordan Brand, sports gear designed by Michael Jordan, whose "Jumpman" logo adorns the uniforms.
James, though, said it was just a coincidence that the cleats came out this week.
Ohio State is one of four schools whose basketball teams wear exclusively James apparel and sneakers.
Information from ESPN's Brian Windhorst and The Associated Press was used in this report.