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Ohio State clashed with fellow top-10 team Michigan on Sunday. (Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

Ohio State Basketball

Buckeyes remain near top of polls despite rivalry loss

COLUMBUS — Ohio State had its seven-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a loss to Michigan.

But that top-five clash proved both teams are worthy of their high rankings. Despite the loss, Ohio State retained its status among the elite in the sport.

The voters watched Sunday and, despite the loss, determined Ohio State deserves to stay near the top of the polls, keeping the Buckeyes at No. 4 in the latest AP Top 25, which was released Monday afternoon. Gonzaga and Baylor, the two undefeated teams in major college basketball, retained the top two spots. Michigan stayed at No. 3 ahead of Ohio State after beating the Buckeyes. A third Big Ten team, Illinois, rounded out the top five again.

Ohio State (18-5, 12-5 Big Ten) just took on one of those top-five teams. And in the final three games of the regular season, the Buckeyes will play No. 5 Illinois and No. 9 Iowa. It’s a tough stretch to close out the regular-season slate in the most talented conference in the country.

“The Big Ten is the best basketball conference in the country,” said senior guard Duane Washington, who led the Buckeyes with a career-high 30 points. “Teams are really, really good. They have been all year. This is the time when teams are at their best, going into March. Everybody knows March Madness.

“Teams are prepping and preparing themselves at a really high level to take part in that. Some really high-level competition with really high-level guys. We’re just going to keep doing what we do, playing how we play.”

The Buckeyes have plenty to improve on, but it was clear again this week: they are still one of the top teams in the country.

The full AP Poll can be found below.

AP Poll (Feb. 22)

No. 1 Gonzaga (22-0)

No. 2 Baylor (17-0)

No. 3 Michigan (16-1)

No. 4 Ohio State (18-5)

No. 5 Illinois (16-5)

No. 6 Alabama (18-5)

No. 7 Oklahoma(14-5)

No. 8 Villanova (14-3)

No. 9 Iowa (17-6)

No. 10 West Virginia (15-6)

No. 11 Florida State (13-3)

No. 12 Houston (18-3)

No. 13 Creighton (16-5)

No. 14 Texas (13-6)

No. 15 Virginia (15-5)

No. 16 Virginia Tech (14-4)

No. 17 Kansas (17-7)

No. 18 Texas Tech (14-7)

No. 19 USC (18-4)

No. 20 Arkansas (17-5)

No. 21 Loyola-Chicago (19-4)

No. 22 San Diego State (17-4)

No. 23 Wisconsin (16-8)

No. 24 Missouri (14-6)

No. 25 Tennessee (15-6)

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