Sports

Ohio State basketball: Buckeyes to open season in top 25

The Ohio State men’s basketball team is ranked 18th in the preseason Associated Press top 25.

The Buckeyes are ranked in the preseason poll for the first time since they opened 2014-15 at No. 20.

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The last time they were higher than 18th was a season earlier than that when they were No. 11 to start the year.

The Buckeyes went 20-15 last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second season in a row.

The highest they were ranked last seasons as 13th in late December, but a long January losing streak knocked them out of the rankings for the rest of the season.

Hopes are high for this season as third-year coach Chris Holtmann welcomes back leading scorer Kaleb Wesson as well as a highly-regarded freshman class.

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The Buckeyes open the regular season at home against Cincinnati on Nov. 6 against Cincinnati.

They face Cedarville in an exhibition game Oct. 30.

The Bearcats received votes in the preseason poll while six Ohio State opponents made the top 25: No. 1 Michigan State, No. 2 Kentucky, No 7 Maryland, No. 9 North Carolina, No. 10 Villanova and No. 23 Purdue.