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Men’s Basketball: Pair of losses drops Ohio State eight spots to No. 16

Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop drives to the basket in the first half of Ohio State’s 74-62 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for Content

The Ohio State men’s basketball team had one of its worst weeks of the season, dropping two straight games for the first time since losing to Butler and No. 15 Clemson on Nov. 26 and 29, respectively.

The result was a drop of eight spots from No. 8 to No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Buckeyes are joined by No. 2 Michigan State, No. 9 Purdue and No. 17 Michigan.

Ohio State lost to Penn State on the road in a blowout 79-56 loss Thursday before losing again on the road at Michigan 74-62. Head coach Chris Holtmann’s team in one week went from controlling its own destiny in the Big Ten — win out and claim the outright Big Ten regular-season title — to now falling behind the Spartans in the standings.

With just two remaining games on the schedule, the Buckeyes will need Michigan State to lose at least one more game in order to finish with at least a share of the Big Ten title. Purdue is currently tied with Ohio State in the standings, but the Buckeyes would have the tiebreaker for seeding in the Big Ten tournament.

Ohio State plays its final home game against Rutgers at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Its final game of the season comes against Indiana at 8 p.m. Friday in Bloomington.

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