Gophers improve to No. 16 in AP Top 25 after beating Ohio State

Brandon Johnson scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in Minnesota's 81-56 win over Michigan State Monday night at Williams Arena. ((credit: University of Minnesota Athletics))

Last week, the University of Minnesota men’s basketball team entered the Associated Press poll at No. 21 for the first time in three years.

Monday, the Gophers improved to No. 16 in the country after a 2-1 week, all against ranked teams. The same day they entered the national rankings, the Gophers dominated then No. 17 Michigan State 81-56. Minnesota then went to Wisconsin on New Year’s Eve and suffered its second road loss of the season, 71-59.

The Gophers bounced back Sunday night, beating No. 25-ranked Ohio State 77-60 at Williams Arena. Minnesota had a 43-37 lead at the half, and led by as many as 17 points in the second half. The Gophers also moved up on Monday to No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Liam Robbins led the for Minnesota in the win with 27 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals. He was one of five Gophers in double figures, and it was his first double-double of the season.

Robbins on Monday was named the Big Ten Player of the Week. He also had 18 points and nine rebounds in Minnesota's win over Michigan State. Robbins had 11 blocks over the past week, and leads the Big Ten with 2.8 blocks per game.

Minnesota now has three wins over top-25 teams after getting just two all of last season. The Gophers also improved to 3-2 in the Big Ten, and are now 10-0 at Williams Arena this season.

In a surprise, the Gophers entered the first NCAA NET rankings at No. 43, and improved in the KenPom rankings to No. 23. The Gophers are one of seven teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this week, and their schedule doesn’t ease up any time soon. Minnesota travels to No. 10 Michigan and No. 5 Iowa before coming home to face Michigan again.