Last week we saw the Wisconsin Badgers sneaking back into the AP Top 25 rankings. This week after a road win against Nebraska and home victory over Maryland, Greg Gard's squad again made an impressive jump up to No. 19 in Monday’s release of the AP Top 25 poll. UW’s five-spot jump was the largest of any team in the poll from last week.
Wisconsin (16-6, 8-3 Big Ten) will have a chance to further progress in the polls with No. 7 Michigan and No. 9 Michigan State on the schedule over the next two weeks (Feb. 9 and 12, respectively). UW will also travel to Minnesota for a Feb. 6 (8 p.m. CT, BTN).
These games will be crucial in the overall Big Ten standings as the Badgers sit just one game out of first place. There is a three-way tie atop the conference between Michigan State, Michigan, and No. 15 Purdue. All three programs currently sit ahead of UW at 9-2.
While the Badgers trended upward this week, many of their Big Ten opponents dropped in the latest polls. Both the Wolverines and Spartans slipped after losses this week. The Wolverines suffered their second defeat of the season on the road at Iowa, and the Spartans dropped back-to-back contests against Purdue and Indiana.
Maryland also fell three spots to No. 24 after dropping eight spots a week ago.
It wasn’t all bad for the Big Ten, however, as Iowa jumped back into the polls at No. 20 after their impressive win over Michigan. Purdue also moved up two spots after their upset win over Michigan State.
With six teams in this week’s rankings, the Big Ten and ACC sit tied for the most of any conference.