Week 13 Wisconsin basketball review
The Wisconsin basketball team started last week as the 11th-ranked team in the country. They played two games, a road game at Illinois and a home matchup with Penn State. It was a great opportunity for the Badgers to get a quality win on the road and then finish the week off by taking care of business against the Nittany Lions, who were in the bottom third of the conference.
Well, last week wasn’t too kind to the Badgers. They ran into a buzzsaw in Champaign, losing to the Kofi Cockburn-led Illini, 67-80. The 13-point loss was the Badgers’ fourth loss on the season, but their third conference loss as well. It wasn’t a terrible loss, however. The Illini played well at home and with the win over the Wisconsin basketball team, they climbed to the top of the conference. That loss shouldn’t hurt their NCAA Tournament resume in March.
But their game against Penn State was ugly. This is a game the Badgers should have dominated. At halftime, the score was just 18-13. After a pair of late-game runs by both teams, the Badgers squeaked out a two-point victory over Penn State as the Nittany Lions missed a potential game-winning three.
In the Badgers’ victory over Penn State, Johnny Davis was held to just four points on just 2-of-13 from the field. He even said after the game he has been forcing some shots lately. Brad Davison, the Badgers’ no. 2 scorer, contributed just 9 points. With teams starting to focus on Davis and Davison, other Badgers are going to have to step up, just like all season long.
Week 14 ranking and voting information
So after a 1-1 Week 13, the Badgers dropped three spots to the 14th spot in the Week 14 AP Poll, receiving 706 points. The Fighting Illini, who just defeated the Badgers, are now ranked 13th, right ahead of the Wisconsin basketball team. They received 818 points, well above the Badgers.
The Villanova Wildcats are right behind Wisconsin at 15 with 634 points. So the Badgers are firmly in that 14th spot.
Other Big Ten teams in the AP Poll are Purdue (3rd), Illinois (13th), Ohio State (16th), and Michigan State (17th). Indiana and Iowa were outside of the rankings, but are at 35th and 36th, respectfully.
If we look at the votes the Badgers received, we’ll see that the voters are cooling off on the Badgers a little. A couple of weeks ago, the Wisconsin basketball team earned some top-3 votes. Now, their highest vote was 10, by three voters. A majority of the voters put the Badgers at 14 and 15. But as usual, there was one NR vote, which belonged to Jesse Newell, who has been low-balling the Badgers all year, and for some reason, putting Iowa in the top-20 consistently, even after they lost to Penn State, who the Badgers just beat.
Week 14 Wisconsin basketball schedule
Coming up this week, the Badgers have another big matchup with #17 Michigan State on Tuesday, February 8th. The Spartans trounced the Badgers in Madison a couple of weeks ago. The Badgers will look to return the favor when they travel to East Lansing. The Spartans are a half-game back from the Badgers in the conference standings and a game back in overall record. This is a great opportunity for the Badgers to rise up the polls next week, strengthen their position in the conference standings, and add a big win to their postseason resume. Like the last matchup, the Spartans are coming off of a disappointing loss to a lesser team. They lost at Rutgers on Saturday, 84-63.
Their second game of the week will be at home against Rutgers on Saturday afternoon. Rutgers is entering the week with a 13-9 (7-5) record on the year. They play at home against #16 Ohio State before they come to Madison.