When the first USA Today Coaches Poll was released this afternoon you didn’t have to scroll far to find Thad Matta and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have opened up in the first poll of the 2012-13 basketball season ranked 4th overall, the second highest in the Big Ten Conference behind the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers.
The Hoosiers received 21 of the 31 first place votes available, with #2 Louisville receiving five and John Calipari and the third-ranked Kentucky Wildcats receiving the remaining five.
The Michigan Wolverines are ranked directly behind the Buckeyes in fifth, giving the B1G three of the top five teams in the country to begin the season. Also ranked from the B1G is Michigan State (14), and Wisconsin (21).
North Carolina State, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse and Florida round out a top ten that includes three B1G teams, two from the SEC, two from the Big East, two from the ACC and one from the Big-XII.
Ohio State’s 2012-13 schedule contains ten games against six currently-ranked opponents with Duke, Kansas, Michigan State (twice) Michigan (twice), Wisconsin (twice) and the first-ranked Hoosiers (twice). The Jayhawks come to Columbus this year after beating the Buckeyes in Laurence last season as Jared Sullinger looked on from the sidelines nursing an ailing foot. They also knocked off Ohio State in the 64-62 in last year’s Final Four.