Ohio State drops to No. 9 in Top 25 for men’s basketball

Buckeyes

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn, center, works for a rebound against Ohio State forward Zed Key, left, and forward Justin Ahrens during an NCAA college basketball game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 6, 2021. Illinois won 73-68. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A late-season losing streak is causing Ohio State to drop in the Associated Press men’s basketball poll.

The Buckeyes (18-8) are No. 9 this week, down from No. 7 last week and from No. 4, their highest mark, two weeks ago. They have lost four straight games to end the regular season heading into the Big Ten tournament. Three of those losses, though, have been to teams ranked in the top 10.

Ohio State will open Big Ten tournament play as the No. 5 seed on Thursday against Minnesota or Northwestern, who play Wednesday.

The losing streak has likely cost the Buckeyes a shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, although a strong run in the Big Ten tournament could still make them a No. 2.

Gonzaga (24-0) remained No. 1 in the poll. A loss by Michigan (19-3) to unranked Michigan State on Sunday dropped the Wolverines from No. 2 to No. 4. Baylor (21-1) and Illinois (20-6) each moved up a spot to No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Iowa (20-7) gave the Big Ten three teams in the top five and four in the top 10.

Here is the complete Top 25:

  1. Gonzaga (24-0)
  2. Baylor (21-1)
  3. Illinois (20-6)
  4. Michigan (19-3)
  5. Iowa (20-7)
  6. Alabama (21-6)
  7. Houston (21-3)
  8. Arkansas (21-5)
  9. Ohio State (18-8)
  10. West Virginia (18-8)
  11. Kansas (19-8)
  12. Oklahoma State (18-7)
  13. Texas (17-7)
  14. Villanova (16-5)
  15. Florida State (15-5)
  16. Virginia (17-6)
  17. Creighton (18-7)
  18. Loyola Chicago (24-4)
  19. San Diego State (20-4)
  20. Texas Tech (17-9)
  21. Purdue (18-8)
  22. Virginia Tech (15-5)
  23. Colorado (20-7)
  24. Southern California (21-6)
  25. Oklahoma (14-9)

Others receiving votes: BYU 93, Oregon 67, Connecticut 53, Clemson 25, Wisconsin 24, Tennessee 14, Wichita State 13, St. Bonaventure 11, Winthrop 7, Virginia Commonwealth 4, LSU 2, San Diego 1, Michigan State 1, UC Santa Barbara 1

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