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After losing spell, Buckeyes plummet in poll, standings, while trying to find some answers


Ohio State's Amir Williams, top, knocks the ball away from Wisconsin's Josh Gasser during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Madison, Wis. Ohio State upset Wisconsin, 59-58. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) (The Associated Press)

One month ago, Ohio State was unbeaten and ranked No. 3 in the nation.

The Buckeyes begin February having lost five of seven games and find themselves out of the Associated Press Top 25.

The problems are difficult to pin down. They've made too many turnovers, have shot poorly, occasionally don't play great defense and have been bewildered by opposing zone defenses. On top of all that, they've played good teams who make a tiny flaw look like a massive deficiency.

Heading into Tuesday night's game at No. 17 Iowa, coach Thad Matta needs to push the right buttons to lift his team out of its recent funk. Despite a big win at equally troubled Wisconsin on Saturday, the Buckeyes remain a fragile team.