What a season it’s been already, and it’s only January.
After checking in at No. 22 in last week’s AP Poll, which was the first time the Ohio State men’s basketball team had been ranked since the 2014-15 season, the Buckeyes jumped up to No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 after defeating Northwestern and Minnesota away from Columbus last week.1
After their win Monday night as the 13th-ranked team in the country, the Buckeyes are a perfect 9-0 in the Big Ten and 18-4 overall. Since their loss to North Carolina on December 23, Ohio State has rattled off eight straight wins while continuing to gain momentum and improve every single day. Not bad for a team that wasn’t supposed to be even mediocre this season, according to almost all projections.
Game by game and week by week, the scarlet and gray seem to exceed expectations all while continuing to surprise people in head coach Chris Holtmann’s first season leading the way.
The Big Ten has been considered by many to be having a down year, but the conference has three top-13 teams, including Ohio State. The other two are No. 2 Purdue and No. 6 Michigan State. Michigan is also in the Top 25, coming in at No. 25 after losing to Nebraska last week.
Although they jumped nine spots in the rankings, the Buckeyes are still only the third-best team in Ohio, at least according to the poll. Both Xavier (No. 8) and Cincinnati (No. 9) are ahead of Ohio State. You could say college basketball is going quite well in mid-to-southern Ohio so far this season.
In Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology on ESPN, he has Ohio State as a No. 3-seed in Villanova’s—the No. 1-overall seed—East bracket. The Tar Heels are the No. 2-seed in the same bracket. Although plenty can (and will) change before the final bracket is announced, it’s refreshing to see not only the Buckeyes back in the hunt for the Big Ten title, but in March Madness as well.
Things are going well for Ohio State on the hardwood. They only seem to be looking even better going forward.
- Ohio State defeated Nebraska Monday night in their first game as the 13th-ranked team in the country. [↩]