The Wisconsin Badgers have fallen just one spot in the latest AP poll, from 20th to 21st. It was an eventful week, involving a closer-than-expected victory at Penn State and a crushing home loss against Ohio State at the Kohl Center. All-in-all, though, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for a top-20 team, and the lack of movement in the polls reflects that.
The Badgers were only favored by eight points by the scorebooks at Penn State, and before a Tim Frazier layup in the final seconds made it 52-46, the Badgers had the spread covered evenly. The six-point deficit against Ohio State was just 2.5 points higher than Vegas expected as well — essentially, the Badgers did essentially what they were expecting this week.
This is hardly a comforting notion for Wisconsin players, coaches, or fans, of course. A promising six-game winning streak has come to a close, the Buckeyes dealt with the Kohl Center for the first time since 2000, and the Badgers’ chances of winning the Big Ten regular season title have dropped to just 1.3% according to the projections at TeamRankings.com
The upcoming week contains one game but one the Badgers likely need to win to maintain their chances at a top-three seed for the conference tournament and a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament: at Minnesota on Thursday night. The Gophers have been solid after opening the conference season 0-4 and have rebounded nicely to enter the week at 5-6 in the conference.