Ohio State climbs to No. 10 in AP men’s basketball poll

Adam Jardy
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann leads his team out of a timeout during the first half of a win over Villanova on Wednesday in Value City Arena. [Adam Cairns]

After beating a top-10 team by 25 points on Wednesday, the Ohio State men’s basketball team has climbed into the Associated Press top 25 poll itself.

On the heels of a big home win against then-No. 10 Villanova, the Buckeyes are No. 10 in this week’s poll, which was released at noon Monday. It’s the second time they have been ranked in the top 10 under third-year coach Chris Holtmann and their first time since his first season, when they climbed as high as No. 8.

Ohio State was ranked No. 18 in the preseason poll, its first inclusion in five years. It then climbed two spots to No. 16 after a season-opening win against Cincinnati and a 20-point win against UMass Lowell on Nov. 10, which led into Wednesday’s win against Villanova.

The Wildcats dropped to No. 17 after their loss. Three Big Ten teams are among the nation’s top 10: Michigan State at No. 3 and Maryland at No. 6.

Ohio State has not won a game as a top-10 team since the 2013-14 season, when the No. 3 Buckeyes beat unranked Nebraska at home, 84-53, on Jan. 4, 2014. Since then, Ohio State has played just four games as a top-10 team and lost them all.

The Buckeyes continue the nonconference portion of their schedule Monday night when they host Stetson. It’s the first of four straight games in which they have at least a 93 percent chance of victory according to projections on before they go to No. 5 North Carolina on Dec. 4 as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Ohio State is 21-9 as a ranked team under Holtmann, 19-6 as a ranked team against unranked teams and 13-2 when hosting an unranked team as a ranked team.