After securing yet another road victory over a top-15 team, the Ohio State men’s basketball team has jumped into the top five of the AP Poll for the first time since Dec. 30, 2019, coming in at No. 4 in the nation in Monday’s updated rankings. The Buckeyes, who knocked off then-No. 8 Iowa last Thursday in Iowa City, have now won seven of their last eight games, including wins over four ranked teams.
Ohio State opened the season ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll and rose to No. 20 after their 5-0 start. However, they split their next six games and fell out of the rankings completely by the first week of January. But since Jan. 4, the Buckeyes have gone 7-1, steadily climbing the AP Poll as they continue to rack up quality wins. The Buckeyes jumped six spots last week to No. 7, and with No. 5 Houston and No. 6 Texas both losing last week (paired with Ohio State’s win over Iowa), the red-hot Buckeyes have now shot themselves straight into the top-four behind only Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan.
A big reason for the Buckeyes’ recent surge? E.J. Liddell. The 6-foot-7 sophomore forward is averaging 19.1 points and seven rebounds per game over his last six contests, as well as knocking down eight of his 19 three-point attempts over that same stretch (42.1%). Not too shabby for a guy shooting just 29.7% from downtown this season.
Six other Big Ten teams were included in the poll. They include: No. 3 Michigan, No. 6 Illinois, No. 15 Iowa, No. 21 Wisconsin, No. 24 Purdue and No. 25 Rutgers.
Ohio State is set to take on Maryland (10-9, 4-8) tonight in College Park, MD. They will then return home to take on the Indiana Hoosiers (10-8, 5-6), who themselves just knocked off the Hawkeyes, on Saturday afternoon.
You can check out the full poll here:
AP Top 25 (Week 12)