Wisconsin basketball rises into the top 10 in the AP Poll

Jan 13, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Carter Gilmore (14), center Chris Vogt (33), and guard Lorne Bowman II (11) cheer their team during a scoring run in the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Carter Gilmore (14), center Chris Vogt (33), and guard Lorne Bowman II (11) cheer their team during a scoring run in the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports /
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The latest AP Top 25 Poll has been released and the Wisconsin basketball team continues to rise. After the Badgers went 1-0 last week against #16 Ohio State at home, they find themselves ranked 8th in the country and inside the top 10 of the poll for the first time since they were #10 last January.

The Badgers jumped five spots from #13 to #8 and are now the second-highest ranked team in the Big Ten Conference, behind Purdue, who is ranked #4 this week. Other Big Ten teams ranked this week are Michigan State (14), Illinois (17), and Ohio State (19). The Iowa Hawkeyes are technically ranked 26th, behind #25 UCONN by just 17 points.

The Badgers are sitting at #8 with 1,056 points, just ahead of #8 UCLA, who received 1,041 points, and #10 Houston who received 1,036 points. So the 8-10 spots are a tight group.

A quick breakdown of the votes the Wisconsin basketball team received on College Poll Tracker shows that a lot of voters are generally very high on the Badgers. They received six votes for both the #3 and #4 spots. A majority of the voters had Wisconsin 12 or higher, but there were a few outliers as well.

Theo Lawson, from the Spokesman-Review from Spokane, WA had the Wisconsin basketball team at #16. Stephen Tsai from the Honolulu Star Advertiser had the Badgers at #19 and finally, our old friend Jesse Newell from the Kansas City Star put the Badgers at #23. Last week, Newell had the Badgers unranked, despite their big 3-0 week that included wins over Purdue, Iowa, and Maryland.

But the Badgers arenโ€™t the only team slighted by Newell. He put the 16-1 Auburn Tigers at #9 on his ballot. If he would have placed them in the top 4 as the other 59 voters did, the Tigers would have been the #1 team in the country. In fact, the Tigers received 36 first-place votes, so the fact that Newell put them at #9 on his ballot is a bit of a red flag.

But thatโ€™s neither here nor there. The Badgers are back in the top 10 in a season where no one expected them to compete in the conference or even a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

They will have a chance to continue rising up the rankings this week when they go to Northwestern, who just defeated Michigan State in East Lansing, on Tuesday night. Then they will play #14 Michigan State at home on Friday night. So another shot at a ranked opponent to add to their postseason resume.