MADISON, Wis. -- The Big Ten season is in the home stretch. The Badgers have just six games left in the regular season, before they take off for the Big Ten Tournament and (probably) the NCAA Tournament. And with just under a month left to go, the Badgers find themselves within striking distance of first place.
After losing three of four games to open the conference slate, the Badgers are just a game out of first place, with game remaining against Michigan State and Ohio State. However, both of those games are on the road, and will be tough gets after losing to both teams at the Kohl Center. But Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan isn't worried about where his team is in the standings; they only thing the Badgers can do is try and win the next game on their schedule.
"The only thing that's important is the next one, (the one) we have control over," Ryan said in his weekly press conference. "(There's) three things we have control over. How you think, how you feel, and how you behave. So what we've got to do in our practices is think about the things that we can do and do them well, and hopefully feel good about them in the end. But that's all we can do right now."
The Badgers will learn their fate in the Big Ten soon enough. Their window of opportunity is shrinking, but there's still time to act.
The Week Ahead
The Badgers have another light week, with one game scheduled for Thursday, and another against Penn State on Sunday afternoon. The Badgers will travel to East Lansing, Mich., on Thursday for a 6:00 p.m. CST game. The game is scheduled for broadcast on ESPN.
In The Polls
The Badgers moved up to No. 15 in the AP poll, up from No. 21 in last week's edition. The Badgers also jumped up to No. 17 in the Coaches' poll, up four spots from No. 22 the week before.
In The Standings
The Badgers are currently in fourth place in the Big Ten, but are just one game out of first place after Michigan State topped Ohio State on the road on Saturday. A win over the Spartans at the Breslin Center on Thursday would give the Badgers a huge boost in the race for the regular season conference crown.
Even with the historic strength of their program, the Spartans only have a ten-game edge on the Badgers in the all-time series, which they lead 70-60. The Spartans won the last contest 63-60 in Madison.