For the first time in five years, the Ohio State men’s basketball team will open the season ranked in the Associated Press top 25.
In the preseason poll released at noon Monday, the Buckeyes checked in at No. 18 nationally.
It’s their highest preseason ranking since they were No. 11 in the 2013-14 preseason poll and the first time they have appeared in the rankings since they opened the 2014-15 season at No. 20.
Since that year, Ohio State has received zero preseason votes in three of the last four polls. It received 18 points in the 2017-18 preseason poll.
The Buckeyes are one of four Big Ten teams in the top 25. Michigan State is No. 1, ahead of Maryland at No. 7 and Purdue at No. 13. Illinois also received 14 points in the poll, 33rd most in the nation, and Michigan received two.
Cincinnati, which comes to Value City Arena for the season opener Nov. 6, was unranked in the poll, receiving eight points.
Ohio State opened the season at No. 11 in the KenPom.com rankings. It is projected to finish the regular season 21-10 overall and 13-7 in the Big Ten.
According to odds released Monday morning by BookMaker.eu, the Buckeyes are listed at 55/1 to win the national championship and tied with Auburn and Seton Hall for 17th-best in the nation.
Six of last year’s top eight leading scorers return, led by junior center Kaleb Wesson at 14.6 points per game. In all, 68.8 percent of the team’s scoring and 68.7 percent of its minutes played return. Wesson was voted first-team all-conference in a preseason media poll conducted jointly by The Dispatch and the Athletic and freshman D.J. Carton was voted freshman of the year. The Buckeyes were picked to finish third in the league in that poll.