- Marcus Hartman
Apparently this is a pretty good year to be a college basketball team in Ohio.
Dayton Flyers fans might disagree, but the overall results can’t be argued up to this point in the season.
Xavier is on top in the Big East, half a game ahead of Villanova at 11-2.
Cincinnati (13-0) leads the American Athletic Conference by a whopping three games.
Wright State was knocked out of first place in the Horizon League over the weekend, but the Raiders could be back with a win over Northern Kentucky (practically Ohio, right?) this week.
Buffalo somehow leads five Ohio colleges in the MAC East, but we can still claim the West, where Toledo is on top.
Count Andy Katz as a believer.
The long-time college basketball writer has been ranking the top 36 teams in the country (that’s how many at-large bids go out from the NCAA tournament) this season for NCAA.com, and this week’s version has three teams from the same state on top.
Xavier leads the way followed by Cincinnati and Ohio State.
The Musketeers moved up four spots after some chaos in front of them last week, while a big win over Purdue vaulted the Buckeyes up five spots.
The Boilermakers, whose best player is perhaps not-coincidentally Ohio native Vincent Edwards of Middletown, check in eighth this week.
And lest this be dismissed as one man’s opinion, Associated Press voters are pretty high on Buckeye State basketball, too.
Xavier and Cincinnati are ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, marking the first time the Queen City rivals are in the top five at the same time, and Ohio State is eighth.
Will this all translate to a dominant Big Dance for teams from our beloved state? That remains to be seen, but the Buckeye State will definitely be part of the last weekend of March Madness thanks to Columbus, the site of the women’s Final Four.