Despite a second consecutive idle week, the Buckeyes climbed one more spot thanks to losses by teams above them.
Just like two weeks ago, No. 13 Ohio State’s only game of the week was cancelled last week due to team personnel catching and recovering from COVID-19. Two weeks ago it was their game against No. 18 Kentucky that was cancelled. Last week, it was their game against UT-Martin. But just like last week, the Buckeyes still jumped in the AP Poll this week after another seven days of no basketball.
No. 13 Ohio State (8-2, 2-0) last played on Dec. 11 when they beat No. 24 Wisconsin 73-55 at the Schottenstein Center. The team practiced most of the following week until one player became ill towards the end of the week. Once the whole team tested, at least one more positive test came up.
Their trip to Las Vegas to play Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic was cancelled, partially due to the fear of needing to leave players behind in Nevada if anyone tested positive out west. Another round of testing on Sunday, December 19 provided results that were not encouraging, and Ohio State’s game against UT-Martin scheduled for last Tuesday evening was also cancelled.
Chris Holtmann’s squad was able to get back in the gym Sunday night for the first time as a team, and were intent on playing tomorrow night against New Orleans — that was, until news broke this morning that their game was cancelled due to continued health and safety concerns within the Ohio State program. It sounds like, despite resuming team activities, they do not have the number of players needed to suit up tomorrow night.
After debuting at No. 17 in the initial poll, losses to Florida and No. 23 Xavier dropped them to 4-2 overall and out of the poll. But four straight wins later, including victories over then-No. 1 Duke and a ranked Wisconsin team have them steadily climbing. Even after two-plus weeks of inactivity, the Buckeyes find themselves inside the top-15.
The top five teams remain unchanged in the poll, with No. 1 Baylor followed by Duke, Purdue, Gonzaga, and UCLA.
Three other Big Ten teams were ranked this week. They are: No. 3 Purdue, No. 10 Michigan State, and No. 24 Wisconsin.
Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota also received votes but were left outside the top-25.
You can check out the full poll here: