Nobody doubted they were a good team. They have too much talent, including a special freshman, to think otherwise. But is Ohio State the best team in college basketball? We're about to find out.
In their next eight games, the Buckeyes play six teams currently ranked in the top 25 -- starting with Tuesday night's home game vs. No. 12 Purdue.
To date, the 20-0 Buckeyes' most impressive wins have been road games at Florida (currently 24th), Florida State (22nd) and Illinois (20th). Challenging? Yes. Daunting? No.
But they still have road games remaining at Purdue, Minnesota and Wisconsin, in addition to a home game with (so far) underachieving Michigan State.
Even if the Buckeyes emerge with a loss -- or two -- it won't affect their standing entering the postseason.
Here are three reasons why:
1. Jared Sullinger » The freshman power forward doesn't have great leaping ability. But few use their bodies better -- and his lower body is a trunk. He has a nice touch from 15 feet, too. But Sullinger's presence provides floor balance that last year's Sweet 16 team lacked -- even with player of the year Evan Turner.
2. Experience » Fifth-year senior David Lighty, who played on the 2007 National Championship runners-up, senior Jon Diebler and junior William Buford have combined for 287 career starts.
3. Point guard Aaron Craft » The other freshman. And someone whose presence might be as important as Sullinger's. He's their best on-ball defender -- by far -- and already has shut down some excellent point guards. Scoring is a bonus from him, but his ballhandling and defense make him invaluable.