Wisconsin Badger Basketball Team Receiving Votes in Preseason Coaches Poll

ANN ARBOR, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Ethan Happ (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Ethan Happ (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Wisconsin Badgers are receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll that was released on Thursday afternoon. The Badgers are receiving 21 votes, which is tied for seventh among teams that are not ranked.

The Wisconsin Badgers are receiving votes in the preseason coaches poll as the season starts in less than a month. There are six other teams receiving more votes than Wisconsin. Both the Badgers and the Providence Friars are receiving 21.

As for the Big Ten, Michigan State comes in as the second ranked team in the country with nine first-place votes. Minnesota is 15th followed by Northwestern at 20 and Purdue at 21. The Wisconsin Badger basketball team is receiving votes as the fifth best Big Ten team. Maryland follows Wisconsin with 20 and Michigan rounds out the league with 13 votes.

As a quick refresher, voting is based on points that go in descending order from 1-25. 32 coaches are represented in this poll. Each first place vote is worth 25, second place is 24 and so on. Also it’s worth noting that each coach comes from a different conference.

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It was going to be no surprise that Duke once again is the preseason number one team. With four five-star recruits and the return of Grayson Allen, they were the favorite.

My initial reaction when I saw Michigan State at two, I was a little shocked. I heard good things about Arizona. Kansas and Kentucky are blue bloods. North Carolina is the defending National Champion and Whichita State won’t lose many games this year.

No one really separates from each other though. The Spartans at number two could make sense. They do return seven of their eight main guys from last year. Gavin Schilling also returns after red shirting last year due to injury. Some could argue number two is too high, but this is Tom Izzo we’re talking about. Michigan State certainly has the talent who has a chip on their shoulder.

Minnesota comes next at 15. That will surely raise some discussion. The Gophers finished fourth in the league last year with an 11-7 record and 24-10 overall. They had an abnormally good RPI all last season. As the year went on, it was only a matter of time before they started to gain respect. That was given when Minnesota landed a five seed in the NCAA Tournament. Now here we are in 2017. The Gophers return all five starters and their top three guys off the bench. 15 may not seem like a crazy number after all.

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We were told that the next team was going to be here a few years ago, but no one really wanted to believe it. The Northwestern Wildcats made their first NCAA Tournament appearance last year and here they are at 20th to start the season. The Wildcats tied for fifth with four teams at 10-8 in the Big Ten. They finished with a 23-11 overall record. Northwestern won an NCAA Tournament game. It doesn’t matter how they did it. But it happened. They return four of five starters. A.J. Turner will replace Sanjay Lumpkin in the starting lineup. Turner is a transfer from Boston College. Chris Collins has these Wildcats playing well. We’re going to get used to this sooner or later.

Finally there’s the Purdue Boilermakers at 21. To me that’s low. This is a team that won the league by two games in the regular season with a 14-4 record. Purdue had an overall record of 25-7. At times, they looked like a team that could’ve made a deep run in the Tournament. Caleb Swanigan had times last season where he was really good, but could also be pretty inconsistent. He left. It’s now time for Isaac Haas to step up and be the dominant big man that Purdue normally has. Everyone else is back. Purdue will be back in the top two come March.

Now it’s time to talk about Wisconsin as the Badgers are receiving votes. Fifth in the Big Ten is right where I plan on putting them in my preseason rankings of the Big Ten. It’s going to be hard to put Bucky in the top-25. They lost alot. These Badgers are so young, but it’s Wisconsin basketball after all. Don’t ever count them out of the top-five in the league and most certainly as a possible sweet-16 team.

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I would like to comment on a few more things without taking away from a 2017-18 preview that will be coming out later.

These rankings will mean nothing come March. Duke was number one last year and they got bounced in the second round.

There’s no way each voter and yourself knows everything about each team. Most of these rankings are based on guesses. Any person who’s trying to logically think about how a team is going to finish shouldn’t pay much attention to a Badger team that lost a lot of experience. But the Badgers are receiving votes. 21 for that matter. It’s great respect for a team that’s going to rely heavily on their junior center.

One last thing. Don’t freak out over the fact that the Badgers are receiving votes.

There are 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament. Determining those 68 teams requires you to rank them and dividing into fours for seeds. So let’s say Wisconsin is ranked 32nd loosely on where they are at with receiving votes. That puts them as an 8 seed.  Exactly where they were last year, but with less of an experienced team.