For two consecutive weeks, No. 13 Ohio State (9-2, 3-0) inched up the AP Poll despite not playing games while on pause due to COVID-19 cases in the program. Before their pause, they were No. 15. Two weeks later, they were No. 13 and finally ready to start playing again.
Back on the floor last night for the first time since December 11, the Buckeyes struggled against Nebraska on the road, losing the lead and trailing by five points with fewer than 30 seconds remaining. But thanks to a career night from Malaki Branham, two clutch free throws from E.J. Liddell, and one massive block by Eugene Brown, they were able to force overtime and then win in OT, 87-79.
However, during a week where only one team ahead of them (No. 11 Iowa State) lost, Ohio State’s close win against a horrible Nebraska team wasn’t enough to boost them in the poll. For the first time in three weeks, the Buckeyes stayed right where they were at No. 13. After debuting at No. 17 in the pre-season, early losses to No. 22 Xavier and Florida dropped them out of the poll before they began steadily climbing again.
The top five teams remain unchanged in the poll, with No. 1 Baylor followed by Duke, Purdue, Gonzaga, and UCLA.
Three other Big Ten teams were ranked this week. They are: No. 3 Purdue, No. 10 Michigan State, and No. 23 Wisconsin.
Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota also received votes but were left outside the top-25.
You can check out the full poll here:
Week 9 AP Top-25