After dropping out of the Associated Press top 25 for four weeks, the Basketball Buckeyes reappeared, at No. 25 last week and on the strength of their Sunday win over Maryland, have now moved up two more spots to No. 23. Five other Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 25. Maryland leads the way at No. 9, followed by No. 16 Penn State, No. 18 Iowa, No. 19 Michigan, and No. 23 Michigan State. With four games to go in the regular season, the week ahead looms large for the Buckeyes. They visit second to last place Nebraska Thursday (9 PM, ESPN 2) and then host Michigan Sunday (4 PM, CBS.)
"Both these games are games Ohio State really has to win," 610 WTVN basketball analyst and former Buckeye captain Tony White said on Monday night's Bucksline show. "If they can go 2-0 this week, they can pretty much guarantee that they're not going to be in that Wednesday play in day at the Big Ten Tournament...and that's huge."
Ohio State (18-9, 8-8 Big Ten) is tied with Indiana for 9th in the Big Ten but is only a half-game behind Rutgers, one game behind Michigan and are within shouting distance of five teams tied for second in the league with 10-6 conference records.
We talked about the crowded Big Ten standings, the big win over Maryland, Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon calling Kaleb Wesson a "bully," the Kyle Young injury and more on Bucksline. Thanks again to Buckeye Nation and our listeners for all the feedback. Some great questions and comments this week. If you missed the show, you can check out the podcast here.