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The Week Ahead: Badgers Face Back To Back Road Games

MADISON, Wis. -- Coming off a win against Penn State, the Badgers face a big two-game stretch this week, with plenty of opportunities for payback. They'll need to keep up a consistent shooting pace if they want to build momentum over the next two and a half weeks, and it would certainly help if they can get multiple players involved in the scoring. That worked out well against the Nittany Lions, where four of the Badgers' five starters ended up with double-digit points.

The Week Ahead

The Badgers have two games scheduled for this week, with both of them coming on the road. First, the Badgers travel to Iowa City on Wednesday for a Thursday night rematch with the Iowa Hawkeyes, who stunned the Badgers with a 72-65 upset win in Madison on New Year's Eve. It's a quick turnaround after that, as the Badgers have just one day to rest before heading to Columbus for another shot at the Ohio State Buckeyes, who defeated the Badgers 58-52 in Madison two weeks ago.

In The Polls

The Badgers' 1-1 record on the week didn't have a negative effect on their ranking, as they moved up to No. 15 from No. 17 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. But the AP Poll was a little different. The Badgers fell one spot to No. 16 from last week's No. 15. Michigan State leads the Big Ten at No. 6, with Ohio State just behind them at No. 8. Michigan checks in at No. 11, and Indiana drops to No. 23.

In The Standings

The Badgers are still in fourth place in the Big Ten, behind Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan. With four Big Ten games left this season, the Badgers have time to make up their two game difference in the standings, but would need a win at Ohio State on Saturday in addition to getting some help from other teams.

Down The Road

If the Badgers' season ended today, they would be the No. 4 seed in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, and would have a first-day bye in the tournament on Thursday. After that, the Badgers would face the winner of the No. 5 vs. No 12 game, which would feature Indiana and Penn State. The Hoosiers are 2-0 against the Nittany Lions this season, and the Badgers are a combined 3-0 against the two teams.