Chris Holtmann’s third season at Ohio State will open with increased expectations among the national media.

As preseason predictions continue to trickle in from national media outlets, the Buckeyes continue to find themselves picked to begin the year among the nation’s top 25 teams. Athlon Sports and Lindy’s have Ohio State as their preseason No. 14 and 17 teams, respectively.

A third, Blue Ribbon, announced its preseason top 25 Wednesday as it was sending its copies to press. Ohio State checked in at No. 24. That averages out to a No. 18 preseason ranking.

The last time the Buckeyes opened the season in the national rankings, they were No. 20 in the 2015-16 preseason Associated Press poll that was released on Halloween.

It’s been three years since the Buckeyes even received a preseason vote for the Associated Press top 25. The Buckeyes received 18 points in the 2017 preseason poll, which was good for a tie for 35th nationally.

Street & Smith’s annual preseason magazine, which features brothers Andre and Kaleb Wesson on its cover, does not include Ohio State in its preseason top 25. However, they are No. 3 on a list of the “Top 5 Final Four sleepers,” one spot ahead of Xavier.

“Coach Chris Holtmann led a Buckeyes team that barely made the NCAA Tournament to a first-round win last season,” it reads. “The pieces should fit better around forward Kaleb Wesson in 2019.”

The Buckeyes are picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten with Kaleb Wesson as their primary piece.

“He’ll concentrate on helping the Buckeyes return to the NCAA Tournament, where they reached the second round for the second straight year under Holtmann,” it reads. “The question is how well OSU’s young holdovers will be able to step forward, particularly at the offensive end.”

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy