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Wisconsin basketball: Badgers move up in ESPN’s updated 2020-21 Way-Too-Early Top-25

The senior laden Badgers are now in the preseason top-10.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at St. Mary’s Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The deadline for college basketball underclassmen to submit their name for the NBA Draft is Sunday, April 26th and with most players having already made their decision, Jeff Borzello of ESPN updated his way-too-early top-25 for the 2020-21 season on Monday. The withdrawal date from the draft isn’t until June 15th, but that honestly might get pushed back because of the global pandemic that is currently happening.

A number of players this offseason have already transferred, or declared for the draft or decided to go play in the G-League so there was a lot of movement in Borzello’s top-25. The Villanova Wildcats remained at No. 1 but after that every team in the top-10 changed position.

The B1G is well represented with three teams out of the nation’s 10 best. Iowa is slotted in at No. 5 because everyone is assuming that Luka Garza will take his name out of the draft pool before the deadline and return to school. If he doesn’t, they would presumably tumble down the rankings.

Michigan State is at No. 8, but there is still a lot of roster happenings to, uh, happen for them before they can be properly ranked. Xavier Tillman may come back for another year and the Spartans still may look to add a lead guard to their recruiting class. They do add Joey Hauser, a Marquette transfer who sat out last year and I don’t think Wisconsin ever even heard of, to their rotation which will be good for them.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Badgers jump up to No. 9 (from No. 15) in Borzello’s rankings thanks, in part, to teams like Kentucky and Creighton being hit by early departures but also because national pundits are starting to recognize the all senior starting lineup UW will be trotting out there.

Wisconsin was playing some of the best basketball in the country at the end of last season and they’ll be returning almost everyone next year. Add in some exciting freshmen who can chip in for bench/energy minutes and this will be the most anticipated season in Madison since the last Final Four run in 2014-15.

Ohio State and Rutgers (!!!) are also in the preseason top-25 list while Michigan dropped out after seeing one top recruit choose the G-League over them and another choosing Arizona State. If the season starts on time, it should be another barn burner in the B1G.