The Ohio State Buckeyes are no longer undefeated. Following their first loss of the season last Wednesday night against Syracuse, Ohio State fell three spots to No. 19 in the latest AP Poll. That comes after making their first appearance in the poll at No. 23 two weeks ago and jumping to No. 16 last week.
Although the Orange beat Ohio State in Columbus, they were not ranked this week. They had the 27th-most points, just outside of the Top 25. What could have been a good win for the resume wound up being an acceptable loss to a decent opponent.
Along with the Buckeyes, there are six other teams ranked in the Big Ten, with Ohio State being the fifth-highest ranked team in the conference: No. 5 Michigan, No. 10 Michigan State, No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 18 Iowa, No. 23 Maryland, and No. 24 Nebraska. Purdue and Indiana also received votes in the poll. To say that the Big Ten is deep would be an understatement. They are one of, if not the best conference in college basketball. The Big Ten season will be a grind for the Buckeyes because of this, just like it will for all the other conference teams. With that said, it will prepare Ohio State for March (and April), the most important time of the season.
The highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, Michigan seems to be the real deal and the class of the conference as it currently stands. They have already blown out Villanova, North Carolina, and Purdue, the latter two being in the last week. All three of those teams are ranked, which truly shows just how well the Wolverines have played this season. They have one of the best defenses in the country, led by Medina, Ohio native and 7-foot-1 big man, Jon Teske.
While they may have dropped in the rankings, the fact that they are still ranked is much better than many people projected for the 2018-19 Buckeyes. It’s only December, but the scarlet and gray have already made quite a name for themselves this season, surprising many people along the way. Now, they just have to keep it up and improve on their No. 19 ranking.