College basketball polls: Wisconsin falls to No. 9 in AP Top 25

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

So maybe the damage isn't so bad after all?

In case you've purged the memories from your mind, Wisconsin lost twice this week to a pair of solid Big Ten foes. Apologies for the dour reminder to begin the week, but we've all to move on eventually.

Perhaps, though, the damage isn't so bad. Polls in mid-January still don't mean a ton, but Badgers fans might take heart in noting UW fell only six spots to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 released Monday.

RANK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Arizona Wildcats 18-0 1621
2 Syracuse Orange 18-0 1559
3 Michigan St. Spartans 17-1 1497
4 Villanova Wildcats 16-1 1377
5 Wichita St. Shockers 19-0 1368
6 Florida Gators 15-2 1303
7 San Diego St. Aztecs 16-1 1211
8 Kansas Jayhawks 13-4 1117
9 Wisconsin Badgers 16-2 1074
10 Iowa Hawkeyes 15-3 1041
11 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 15-3 971
12 Louisville Cardinals 16-3 804
13 UMass Minutemen 16-1 781
14 Kentucky Wildcats 13-4 769
15 Cincinnati Bearcats 17-2 736
16 Iowa St. Cyclones 14-3 644
17 Ohio St. Buckeyes 15-3 549
18 Duke Blue Devils 14-4 447
19 Saint Louis Billikens 17-2 421
20 Pittsburgh Panthers 16-2 419
21 Michigan Wolverines 13-4 362
22 Kansas St. Wildcats 14-4 221
23 Memphis Tigers 13-4 201
24 Baylor Bears 13-4 170
25 Oklahoma Sooners 14-4 111

That leaves the Badgers in the Big Ten, behind Michigan State (No. 3), Iowa (No. 10), Ohio State (No. 17) and Michigan (No. 21). Wisconsin gets Minnesota next, at The Barn on Wednesday night. A win there would do wonders in erasing last week's bad vibes. Minnesota's 3-3 in Big Ten play thus far, and 14-5 overall. The Gophers took down Ohio State Thursday for their first statement win of the season, and they'll certainly be eying Wednesday's game for No. 2.

For Wisconsin, the generous-on-paper schedule we've been maligned for having should also help matters. The Badgers get Ohio State (Feb. 1) and Michigan State (Feb. 9) just once each, and both at home. Their next three road games (Minnesota, Purdue and Illinois) are all fairly winnable, and a chance to payback Michigan in Ann Arbor Feb. 26 also looms nine days before Indiana comes to Madison.

Altogether, the sky has not yet fallen. Two ugly, frustrating losses in a row is certainly no good, but it's not like Wisconsin was about to run the table in Big Ten play. The fact remains the Badgers are a worthy top-10 team in the heart of Big Ten play, with a manageable schedule ahead and several chances to make statements reversing last week's ugly losses. Wednesday night, we'll see how quickly Wisconsin's able to respond.

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