Following a 1-1 week that saw them beat Penn State on the road and lose a heavyweight battle to No. 3 Michigan at home, the Ohio State men’s basketball team held steady at No. 4 in the AP Poll. Illinois is just 14 points behind the Buckeyes at No. 5, but the voters clearly value Ohio State’s resume above Illinois’ and the Buckeyes’ loss to Michigan was not enough to warrant them flipping the two.
Ohio State fell out of the AP Poll completely by the first week of January, but have since won 10 of their last 12 games and are now in the conversation for a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament. There seems to be a very noticeable gap between the top-five teams (Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State, and Illinois) and the rest of the poll, as No. 6 Alabama is a whopping 160 points behind Illinois in the poll. Oklahoma, Villanova, Iowa, and West Virginia round out the top 10 in this week’s poll.
Ohio State was penciled in as a 1-seed in every major sports network’s predicted bracket, but may yield that honor to Illinois if the Buckeyes don’t finish their schedule on a high note. The Buckeyes final three games are at Michigan State, home against No. 9 Iowa, and home against No. 5 Illinois. If they can complete season sweeps of the Hawkeyes and Illini, it would be the first time that has happened since the 2017-2018 season.
Four other Big Ten teams were included in the poll. They are: No. 3 Michigan, No. 5 Illinois, No. 9 Iowa, and No. 23 Wisconsin.
No. 4 Ohio State will face off against Michigan State (11-9, 5-9) Thursday night in East Lansing. Tipoff for that game is 9:00 p.m. ET. Ohio State knocked off MSU 79-62 on January 31. The The Spartans are clinging to their NCAA Tournament dreams, but have Illinois and Ohio State on the schedule this week.
The Buckeyes will then come home to take on No. 9 Iowa (17-6, 11-5) on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Ohio State defeated the Hawkeyes in their first matchup in Iowa City, 89-85. Iowa has won four straight games and will be looking to exact revenge on Ohio State after their loss at home to the Buckeyes.
You can check out the whole poll here:
AP Top 25 Poll- Week 14
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