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.
But even during basketball season, football is still king in Ohio:
The turning point for the Ohio State men's basketball team came in mid-January after OSU football coach Jim Tressel addressed the team at coach Thad Matta's request.
Tressel led OSU to a Big Ten championship last fall and the Bowl Championship Series title game vs. Florida in January.
"Tressel delivered a heck of a message about everyone staying on the same page," Matta said Monday. "When coach speaks, no eyes come off him."
Thanks in part to Tressel, the Buckeyes have a swagger that was absent in the first half of the season, when Matta said players were a bit overwhelmed by expectations.
"Guys were too tight," Matta said. "I've always wanted them to enjoy basketball. It's a kid's game."