Feb 4, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jared Sullinger (0) shoots over Wisconsin Badgers guard-forward Ryan Evans (5) during the second half at the Kohl Center. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 58-52. Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Pollsters Don't Punish Badgers For Ohio State Loss

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.

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Tags: Big Ten Basketball Ohio State Polls

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