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Jan. 17, 2011

Ohio State Moves to No. 1 spot in national rankings

The last time Thad Matta’s Ohio State Buckeyes topped The Associated Press Top 25, they reached the national championship game.

Could the same karma take place in 2010-11?

”It did happen that way before and it would be great for it to happen again,” Matta said Monday, hours after the Buckeyes replaced Duke at No. 1. ”I’d trade it right now for better defense. But it’s great for our program.”

The Buckeyes (18-0) moved up one spot to replace Duke, which was No. 1 in the preseason Top 25 and the first nine polls of the regular season, including six weeks as the unanimous pick of the 65-member national media panel.

The Blue Devils’ loss at Florida State on Wednesday opened the way for the Buckeyes, who are No. 1 for the third time in school history. Ohio State was No. 1 for all of 1960-61 and 1961-62, a run of 27 straight polls, and for three weeks at the end of 2006-07.

”This is big for our program and The Ohio State University,” Matta said. ”At Ohio State we’re trying to be the best program we can be and this is part of that. I don’t know if the players will wear it as a target. I think we know how tough it will be to keep it.”

Ohio State, led by John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas, won the national championship in 1960 and lost the title game to Cincinnati in 1961 and 1962. The Buckeyes, this time led by Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., reached the Final Four in 2007, losing to Florida in the championship game.

The Buckeyes got as high as No. 5 last season with Evan Turner, the national player of the year, leading the way. He left early for the NBA draft and is now with the Philadelphia 76ers.

”I’m glad to see it,” he said of the No. 1 ranking. ”They’re doing well and just playing terrific. I knew they were going to be really good, especially with the returning players they had and the incoming players they have now. They paid their dues over the last three years. This is perfect.”

With West Virginia moving into the poll for the first time this season, the Big East ties its own record with nine teams in the Top 25. There were nine Big East teams ranked for one week in January 2009.

The Buckeyes received 49 first-place votes Monday. Kansas, which was No. 1 on six ballots, and Syracuse, which got eight first-place votes, each moved up one spot to second and third.

Duke, which still received one first-place vote, dropped to fourth. Pittsburgh, which was also No. 1 on one ballot, San Diego State and Villanova remained fifth through seventh.

Connecticut, BYU and Texas rounded out the top 10.

Fourteen ranked schools lost last week, including Purdue, Notre Dame and Illinois, which each lost twice.

The other schools moving into the poll this week are Minnesota and Michigan State, both of which were ranked earlier this season, and Saint Mary’s, Calif.

Kansas State, which was No. 3 in the preseason poll, Temple, Georgia and UCF dropped out this week.

OSU RECORD WHEN RANKED NO. 1
61-5, .924
No. 1 Associated Press Poll (59-4)
No. 1 in ESPN/USA Today Only (2-1)
No. 1 in Both Polls Simultaneously (9-1)
No. 1 in ESPN/USA Today (11-2)

Date         W/L  Opponent OSU-OPP
12/17/60  W  @Wichita 93(1)-82(16)
12/19/60  W  @Loyola (Chi.) 90(1)-65
12/22/60  W  Detroit 84(1)-73(8)
12/27/60  W  vs Seton Hall 97(1)-57
12/29/60  W  vs St. John’s 70(1)-65(7)
12/31/60  W  vs St. Bona 84(1)-82
1/7/61     W  Illinois 91(1)-65
1/9/61     W  Evansville 86(1)-59
1/14/61   W  @Northwestern 79(1)-45
1/21/61   W  Minnesota 75(1)-56
1/28/61   W  Purdue 92(1)-62(10)
1/30/61   W  @Wisconsin 100(1)-68
2/4/61     W  @Michigan 80(1)-58
2/6/61     W  Indiana 100(1)-65
2/11/61   W  @Michigan State 83(1)-68
2/13/61   W  Northwestern 89(1)-65
2/18/61   W  @Iowa 62(1)-61(9)
2/20/61   W  @Indiana 73(1)-69
2/25/61   W  Wisconsin 97(1)-74
3/4/61     W  Michigan State 91(1)-83
3/11/61   W  @Illinois 95(1)-66
3/17/61   W  @Louisville 56(1)-55
3/18/61   W  vs Kentucky 87(1)-74
3/24/61   W  vs St Joseph’s 95(1)-69
3/25/61   L  vs Cincinnati-OT 65(1)-70(2)
12/2/61   W  Florida State 72(1)-57
12/6/61   W  @Pittsburgh 99(1)-79
12/8/61   W  Wichita 85(1)-62
12/9/61   W  @Wake Forest 84(1)-62(3)
12/16/61  W  Loyola (Chi) 92(1)-72
12/18/61  W  @St Louis 61(1)-48
12/23/61  W  Penn State 92(1)-49
12/27/61  W  vs Washington 59(1)-49
12/28/61  W  vs UCLA 105(1)-84
12/30/61  W  vs S California 76(1)-66
1/6/62     W  @Northwestern 85(1)-62
1/13/62    W  Michigan 89(1)-64
1/20/62    W  @Minnesota 90(1)-76
1/22/62    W  Purdue 91(1)-65
1/29/62    W  @Purdue 94(1)-73
2/3/62     W  Northwestern 97(1)-61
2/5/62     W  Iowa 89(1)-63
2/10/62   W  Minnesota 91(1)-66
2/12/62   W  @Michigan 72(1)-57
2/17/62   W  @Michigan State 80(1)-72
2/24/62   W  Illinois 102(1)-79
2/26/62   W  @Iowa 72(1)-62
3/3/62     L  @Wisconsin 67(1)-86
3/10/62   W  Indiana 90(1)-65
3/16/62   W  vs W Kentucky 93(1)-73
3/17/62   W  vs Kentucky 74(1)-64(3)
3/23/62   W  vs Wake Forest 84(1)-68
3/24/62   L  vs Cincinnati 59(1)-71(2)
3/3/07    W  at Michigan 65(1)-61
3/9/07    W  vs Michigan 72(1)-62
3/10/07  W  vs Purdue 63(1)-52
3/11/07  W  vs Wisconsin 66(1)-49(3)
3/15/07  W  vs Cent Conn St 78(1)-57
3/17/07  W  vs Xavier-OT 78(1)-71
3/22/07  W  vs Tennessee 85(1)-84(22)
3/24/07  W  vs Memphis 92(1)-76(5)
3/31/07  W  vs Georgetown 67(1)-60(9)
4/2/07    L  vs Florida 75(1)-84(6)
(#) indicates AP Poll ranking

No 1 in ESPN/USA Today Poll (11-2)
Date  W/L  Opponent OSU-OPP
11/29/06  L  at North Carolina 89(1)-98(6)
12/2/06   W  Valparaiso  78(1)-58
2/25/07   W  Wisconsin  49(1)-48(2)
3/3/07     W  at Michigan 65(1)-61
3/9/07    W  vs Michigan 72(1)-62
3/10/07  W  vs Purdue 63(1)-52
3/11/07  W  vs Wisconsin 66(1)-49(4)
3/15/07  W  vs Cent Conn St 78(1)-57
3/17/07  W  vs Xavier-OT 78(1)-71
3/22/07  W  vs Tennessee 85(1)-84
3/24/07  W  vs Memphis 92(1)-76(5)
3/31/07  W  vs Georgetown 67(1)-60(9)
4/2/07    L  vs Florida 75(1)-84(6)