Ohio State basketball knocked off Michigan State on Sunday, meaning we will have a new No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The 80-64 loss doesn’t move the Spartans from the top of the Big Ten ― not even close ― but it provides a heck of a résumé for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State looked to be ahead of its rebuilding schedule earlier this season, but a win over the No. 1 team in the nation still came as a surprise. Chris Holtmann’s first season with the Buckeyes has been better than expected.
This is a team that didn’t even make the NIT last season. This campaign didn’t look any more promising after losing three players from the previous season.
The Big Ten’s lack of, let’s say, talented teams comes at a good time for Ohio State, but Michigan State’s as talented as anyone in the nation. This is a big win that could come in handy at NCAA Tournament time.
To the rankings!
1. Michigan State
Still on top. The Spartans look a bit more vulnerable than they did before Sunday, but one game won’t ruin a team’s résumé.
The Boilermakers started Big Ten play with a resounding 82-51 win over Rutgers, and added to it with an 82-74 win over Nebraska. They are comfortably holding on at second place.
The Wolverines beat Iowa and Illinois, which was to be expected. A showdown with Purdue looms on Tuesday. Should be informative.
4. Ohio State
5. Penn State
Honestly, it gets tricky at this point. Each team below has been bad in its own way. Penn State beat a Northwestern team that’s looking worse each week, and did so convincingly. That’s more than I can say for the teams below.
The Terps no longer have potential first-round draft pick Justin Jackson or backup forward Ivan Bender for the rest of the season because of injuries, and that’s a huge hit to a team that’s on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Maryland lost by 30 to Michigan State and but sandwiched that with wins over Penn State and Iowa.
The Gophers are now mired in a scandal after forward Reggie Lynch was found responsible by the school for a sexual-assault claim. Then they lost to Indiana. This team has all sorts of problems right now.
Beat Northwestern by 15 and lost to Purdue by 12. A fine week for the Huskers.
Beat Minnesota. Seems good, but that’s also a team reeling after a sexual-assault investigation. Lost to Wisconsin. That’s just bad.
The Wildcats didn’t put up too much of a fight against Penn State in a 78-63 loss.
Let’s look at the win probability, via KenPom:
Not a close one.
Beat Indiana by 10, but lost to Rutgers.
Lost to Michigan, Ohio State and Maryland last week.
Lost to Michigan and Minnesota, each by 10 points.
Beat Wisconsin! Wisconsin’s bad. Lost to Purdue by 31.
The game to watch this week
Purdue vs. Michigan, Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN.
Thanks for hanging around. See you back here next Monday.