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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After getting through its toughest stretch of the season, Ohio State is back at No. 1.
For the third week in a row The Associated Press Top 25 poll has had a new team on top. The Buckeyes climbed a spot over Duke, which lost at Virginia Tech on Saturday night.
The Buckeyes welcome their return.
“I tell our team all the time we want to be No. 1 at the end of the season,” coach Thad Matta said on Monday. “We want to be playing our best basketball in March. Moving to No. 1 is a tribute to how hard our guys have worked all year. We appreciate the recognition and our guys certainly deserve it.”
The Buckeyes were No. 1 for four weeks after reeling off a 24-0 record. Then came losses at Wisconsin and at Purdue in a span of nine days, sandwiched around a win over Michigan State.
Coming off two wins, and with two regular-season games remaining, the Buckeyes picked up a win Sunday 82-61 at home over Indiana and win Tuesday against Penn State. Then comes a showdown at home with No. 10 Wisconsin on Sunday.
The Buckeyes (27-2, 14-2) need one win to clinch at least a share of their fourth Big Ten championship in six years. Two wins, and they’re assured of their third outright title in that span.
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