College basketball rankings: Wisconsin returns to AP Top 25

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Wins over Michigan State and Illinois have Wisconsin back in the AP Top 25.

Sunday's game vs. Michigan State was hardly of "must-win" importance for Wisconsin, if you take any stake in such labels. After all, the Big Ten title is almost assuredly, sadly out of reach, and the Badgers will certainly garner a fair NCAA tournament seed. The latest ESPN bracketelogy has UW as a No. 4 seed in the West, two wins away from potentially facing No. 1 seed Arizona. Considering the full details of this season, that seems fair.

One additional, bonus lining, though, came Monday morning when the latest AP Top 25 was released and included Wisconsin yet again. Last week, the Badgers fell out all together and also landed on the brink at No. 24 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. Now, they're No. 21 in both.

Michigan State remains the cream of the Big Ten crop after a 1-1 week, holding steady at No. 9 in the AP poll and dropping two spots to No. 10 in the Coaches. Next is Michigan (No. 15 in the AP, No. 18 in the Coaches after going 1-1) and Iowa (Nos. 16, 15, respectively, at 1-1). After Wisconsin at No. 21, Ohio State rounds out the conference top-25ers at No. 22 in the AP and No. 20 in the Coaches after a pair of wins.

Next up for Wisconsin is Minnesota at home on Thursday followed by a trip to Michigan on Sunday.

AP Top 25

RANK TEAM RECORD PTS PREV
1 Syracuse Orange (65) 23-0 1625 1
2 Arizona Wildcats 23-1 1525 2
3 Florida Gators 21-2 1477 3
4 Wichita St. Shockers 25-0 1445 4
5 San Diego St. Aztecs 21-1 1373 5
6 Villanova Wildcats 21-2 1288 6
7 Kansas Jayhawks 18-5 1234 8
8 Duke Blue Devils 19-5 1130 11
9 Michigan St. Spartans 20-4 1025 9
10 Cincinnati Bearcats 22-3 970 7
11 Iowa St. Cyclones 18-4 925 16
12 Saint Louis Billikens 22-2 908 13
13 Louisville Cardinals 19-4 866 14
14 Kentucky Wildcats 18-5 769 18
15 Michigan Wolverines 17-6 702 10
16 Iowa Hawkeyes 18-6 686 17
17 Virginia Cavaliers 19-5 608 20
18 Creighton Bluejays 19-4 552 12
19 Texas Longhorns 18-5 417 15
20 Memphis Tigers 18-5 333 24
21 Wisconsin Badgers 19-5 242 26
22 Ohio St. Buckeyes 19-5 214 27
23 SMU Mustangs 19-5 205 29
24 Connecticut Huskies 18-5 194 22
25 Pittsburgh Panthers 20-4 175 25

USA TODAY Coaches Poll

RANK TEAM RECORD PTS PREV
1 Syracuse Orange (32) 23-0 800 1
2 Wichita St. Shockers 25-0 744 2
3 Arizona Wildcats 23-1 742 3
4 Florida Gators 21-2 711 4
5 San Diego St. Aztecs 21-1 675 5
6 Villanova Wildcats 21-2 629 6
7 Kansas Jayhawks 18-5 569 9
8 Louisville Cardinals 19-4 529 10
9 Duke Blue Devils 19-5 511 11
10 Michigan St. Spartans 20-4 479 8
11 Cincinnati Bearcats 22-3 467 7
12 Saint Louis Billikens 22-2 427 15
13 Kentucky Wildcats 18-5 403 14
14 Iowa St. Cyclones 18-4 369 17
15 Iowa Hawkeyes 18-6 333 13
16 Virginia Cavaliers 19-5 310 21
17 Creighton Bluejays 19-4 305 12
18 Michigan Wolverines 17-6 254 16
19 Texas Longhorns 18-5 170 18
20 Ohio St. Buckeyes 19-5 162 25
21 Wisconsin Badgers 19-5 158 24
22 Memphis Tigers 18-5 152 NR
23 Pittsburgh Panthers 20-4 148 22
24 Gonzaga Bulldogs 21-4 78 20
25 Oklahoma Sooners 18-6 55 23

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