With their upset win at Purdue and thrashing over Iowa last week, the Ohio State Buckeyes have jumped from No. 14 to No. 8 in the latest Associated Press Top 25. For the first time since January 6, 2014,1 At 22-5, the scarlet and gray have more losses than any other top-10 team, which proves just how much the voters seem to respect them and their unbelievable turnaround this season.
Along with Ohio State, the Big Ten has four teams in the top 25: No. 2 Michigan State, No. 6 Purdue, and No. 22 Michigan. The conference has struggled this season and is having a down year, but the top of the Big Ten is doing well, and the AP Poll proves that.
With just four games to go in the regular season, the Buckeyes have a one-game lead over both Michigan State and Purdue atop the Big Ten standings. Given that they have the head-to-head advantage over both, Ohio State essentially has a two-game lead atop the conference with just four games to go.
Ohio seems to be the most dominant state in college basketball this season, at least so far. The state has three top-8 teams, including the Buckeyes. The other two are Xavier (No. 4) and Cincinnati (No. 5). Not bad for a state that’s known for their football, not basketball.
Although the AP Top 25 has nothing to do with Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology or CBS’s NCAA Tournament Bracket Preview, it’s worth noting that the Buckeyes are a No. 4-seed in both, even though they are No. 8 in the rankings. With that said, it seems that both Lunardi and CBS may just be doing it to create buzz and to get people talking. It is only mid-February and there’s still a few weeks left in the season. Ohio State must continue to improve and win in order to secure their best spot in the NCAA Tournament in March.
It’s worth mentioning that three of the Buckeyes’ five losses this season have come against teams currently in the top 14. Gonzaga (No. 9), Clemson (No. 11), and North Carolina (No. 14) all beat Ohio State earlier in the season, before head coach Chris Holtmann and company seemingly went on this hot streak.
- When the Buckeyes were No. 3 before losing their next game. [↩]