No. 1 spot is unfamiliar to Buckeyes

By Jim O’Connell The Associated Press

Ohio State took over the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press college basketball poll Monday, the first time the Buckeyes have held the top ranking since 1962 when they were led by Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek and on a run of three straight Final Fours.

Led by freshmen Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., Ohio State advanced one day after beating Wisconsin in a meeting of Nos. 1 and 2.

“You hate there had to be a team that lost that game,” Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said Monday, referring to his team’s 49-48 victory that clinched a second straight Big Ten title.

“Fortunately for us we made the bucket at the end and came away on top.”

Ohio State (26-3) moved up one spot in the rankings, receiving 62 first-place votes and 1,786 points from the 72-member national media panel. It is the Buckeyes’ first time as No. 1 in the AP rankings since the final poll of the 1961-62 season.

Ohio State was ranked No. 1 for all of 1960-61 and 1961-62, a run of 27 straight polls. The Buckeyes won the national championship in 1960 and lost the title game to Cincinnati in 1961 and 1962.