The newest AP basketball Top 25 poll is out and, as expected, the Badgers fell back a few spots after a 1-1 week. Wisconsin clocks in at No. 16 in the latest poll after beating Rutgers on Dec. 3 and losing on the road to Marquette in overtime on Saturday.
Wisconsin (8-2, 2-0 Big Ten) started the week by holding off a scrappy Rutgers team, 69-64 at the Kohl Center. The Scarlet Knights were leading at halftime, a few days after almost beating Michigan State, but the Badgers battled back and stayed unbeaten in conference.
When the weekend came, the Badgers travelled east down I-94 to the sparkling new Fiserv Forum to duke it out with in-state rival Marquette. Despite a career-high 34 points from Ethan Happ, the Badgers could not overcome a feisty Golden Eagles team and lost in overtime, 74-69. Two #nice scores UW, though.
The Badgers are entering a lighter, exam/holiday portion of their schedule and should have the opportunity to get everything locked in before conference play starts in earnest. Wisconsin will prepare for one home game this week against Savannah State on Thursday then will not playing again until the following Saturday (Dec. 22) against Grambling State. For what it’s worth, Savannah State is ranked 343rd on KenPom.com out of all 353 teams in Division 1 hoops, so hopefully the starters can get a bit more rest in that one.
After losing to Tennessee on Sunday, Gonzaga vacated the No. 1 spot and it was filled by undefeated Kansas. Duke, Tennessee, Gonzaga and Michigan round out the top five. The rest of the Top 25 is littered with Big Ten teams with Michigan State (No. 9), Ohio State (No. 15), Iowa (No. 22) and Indiana (tied for No. 25) all occupying spots. Nebraska and Maryland sit at 26th and 27th, respectively.
The state of Wisconsin also now has a second ranked team as the aforementioned Marquette Golden Eagles entered this week’s poll at No. 21.