Ohio State debuts at No. 1 in first NET basketball rankings of season

Adam Jardy
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann [Adam Cairns]

For a second straight year, the NCAA has released its first NET rankings designed to help sort NCAA Tournament resumes for men's basketball teams.

And for a second straight year, Ohio State has the top spot.

The ranking comes hours after the Buckeyes took their first loss of the season, an 84-71 defeat at Minnesota on Sunday night. It dropped Ohio State to 9-1 on the season after signature, lopsided wins against No. 7 North Carolina, No. 10 Villanova and Penn State.

Per the NCAA's website, the NET rankings rely on “game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses” to sort teams.

The Buckeyes are 2-1 against Quad 1 teams, the top echelon of college basketball.

Ohio State is the only Big Ten team in the top 10 but not the only team from Ohio – Dayton debuted at No. 10. Maryland is one spot behind at No. 11, while Penn State at No. 18 is the only other Big Ten team in the top 20.

In spite of the loss, this year's ranking looks more legitimate than did last year's. Ohio State was 6-0 when the rankings were unveiled in late November, boasting road wins against Cincinnati and Creighton that would ultimately help seal an NCAA Tournament berth.

Ohio State was ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll at the time. Entering Sunday's game, the Buckeyes had climbed to No. 3 and were thought to be likely to ascend to No. 1 with a win against the Golden Gophers. The new rankings will be released later Monday.



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