Wisconsin's men's basketball team is rolling, having won its first 10 games in a clear effort to hold the fan base over until football bowl season. After taking down Marquette in a physical contest Saturday, UW's effort was rewarded with a four-spot jump to No. 4 in the AP Top 25 and a three-spot climb to No. 6 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, both released Monday.
It's the first time Wisconsin has been ranked in the top five of the AP poll since March 5-11, 2007, when it reached No. 3.
"I think we expected this," forward Sam Dekker said after Saturday's game. "We have a lot of work to do but I think we're happy with where we're at at this point."
Wisconsin also beat Virginia on the road Wednesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
For fans of advanced metrics, Ken Pomeroy has Wisconsin as a top-10 team at No. 9 in his latest rankings. Per KenPom, the Badgers rank 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency (113.9 points per 100 possessions) and 13th on defense (92.8 points allowed per 100 defensive possessions).
|FOUR FACTORS ROUNDUP (per Kenpom.com)|
|EFFECTIVE FG %||53.1 (67th)||46.7 (95th)||49.4|
|TURNOVER %||13.9 (12th)||15.8 (302nd)||18.5|
|OFF. REB. %||29.0 (249th)||26.7 (30th)||31.9|
|FTA/FGA||41.9 (162nd)||25.9 (5th)||41.5|
After becoming the nation's first team to reach 10 wins, Wisconsin enters a relatively easy portion of the schedule before Big Ten play begins. The Badgers will host UW-Milwaukee Wednesday night before welcoming Eastern Kentucky to the Kohl Center Saturday. Wisconsin then gets two weeks off for the holidays before returning to action Dec. 28 vs. Prairie View A&M in Madison.
Big Ten conference play begins Jan. 2 for the Badgers with a trip to Northwestern.
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- Capital One Bowl 2014: Wisconsin to play South Carolina in Orlando
- 2013 BCS standings: Wisconsin finishes No. 19 in last-ever rankings
- Final regular-season rankings: Wisconsin No. 19 in USA TODAY Coaches, AP Top 25 Polls
- Wisconsin vs. Penn State recap: Badgers complete sweep with 4-3 win