Ivo Baltic and the Bobcats had a remarkable season and finished in the Top 25 for the first time ever.
April 4, 2012
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Men's Basketball finished No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, marking the first time the Bobcats have been ranked to end a season.
The last Mid-American Conference team to be ranked in either poll was Kent State during the 2008 season. That squad was coached by new Ohio Head Coach Jim Christian.
The Bobcats have been ranked during four separate seasons, the last occurring in 1994-95 when the team reached No. 14 in the nation. That year, Ohio won the Preseason NIT with wins at Ohio State and No. 14 Virginia before toppling George Washington and New Mexico State at Madison Square Garden.
The 'Cats also played No. 3 Kentucky at Rupp Arena that season, losing by only five, 79-74. Ohio finished the season 24-10 and played in the Postseason NIT as well.
The highest ranking ever for an Ohio team took place during the 1969-70 season when it reached No. 5 in the land. That squad is most well-known for opening the season with wins over four Big Ten foes (Northwestern, No. 13 Purdue, No. 16 Ohio State and Indiana).
The Bobcats would finish 20-5, losing only one MAC game en route to the NCAA Tournament where it fell to No. 15 Notre Dame in the Mideast Regional.
The last time a MAC team was ranked at season's end was KSU in 2002. The Golden Flashes made the Elite 8 that season and finished No. 12 in the country.
This year's Bobcat squad became the fifth MAC team to make the Sweet 16 since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Ohio surpassed Miami this year for most NCAA Tournament wins of any MAC school with seven.