Ohio State Should Earn Top Five Ranking on Monday

With their win over Iowa and three teams ahead of them losing this week, it's very likely the Buckeyes will enter the national top five in the AP Poll in the next rankings release.
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Ohio State isn't just riding a heater. They're on a roll that's never quite been seen in the history of the program.

After beating the No. 8-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday night, Chris Holtmann basketball Buckeyes earned a school-record breaking fourth road win this season against a top-15 team. They also beat Rutgers at home when the Scarlet Knights were ranked No. 11 on December 23.

All four of those wins have come since January 9 - or in other words, over the last 27 days.

Before winning the first of those such games, the Buckeyes lost to Minnesota 77-60 in what has turned out to be their only bad game of the season to date. That loss knocked the Scarlet and Gray out of the Top 25 the following Monday.

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But now that they've won seven of their last eight games (dropping only to Purdue on a 3-pointer in the final seconds), including some incredibly impressive performances, Ohio State has rocketed up the AP Poll to No. 7 this week.

With three of the six teams ahead of them losing this week (No. 3 Villanova, No. 5 Houston and No. 6 Texas), it stands to reason that Ohio State will enter the national top five on Monday when the next AP Poll is released.

Should that happen, it will be the first time that the Bucks have been ranked inside the top five this late in the season since they were a Final Four team in 2012.

Ohio State's schedule the next four weeks is extremely difficult and we shouldn't assume that this stretch will just automatically continue. But while the Buckeyes are certainly projected to be a No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in March with the way they've played so far this year, Thursday night's win puts them firmly in the conversation for a No. 1 seed.

Gonzaga and Baylor look like the two best teams in college basketball this year through the first three months. They've been off-the-charts good. But after those two, you could certainly make an argument that the Buckeyes belong in the conversation as the next best team in college basketball with a few weeks to play.

The team has the weekend "off" while they prepare for a Monday night showdown in College Park against the Maryland Terrapins.

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