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ESPN Bracketology: Badgers jump to No. 2 seed in latest rankings

The Badgers are a top-eight team in the country, according to Joe Lunardi.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Wisconsin Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into this week, the Wisconsin Badgers were on a roll, jumping up another four spots in the AP Top 25 to No. 11, while ranking in the Top 11 in both KenPom and the NET rankings.

However, one analyst is even more bullish on the Badgers, as ESPN’s Joe Lunardi placed Wisconsin as the No. 8 overall seed in his latest bracketology, good for the last spot among the No. 2 seeds in his projected NCAA Tournament.

In the ranking, Wisconsin leapfrogged Illinois, who dropped to 15, and now are along the same tier of teams like the Arizona Wildcats, Tennessee Volunteers, and Houston Cougars. The Badgers lost to both Arizona and Tennessee earlier this season.

Now, the rankings don’t reflect Wisconsin’s recent loss this past week to the Penn State Nittany Lions, but are still an impressive feat for a Badgers team that wasn’t even considered in the NCAA Tournament last season.

Even with their loss this week, however, the Badgers still stand atop the Big Ten with a 5-1 conference record, as Purdue falls in at No. 2 with their two conference losses.

Wisconsin is one of six Big Ten teams projected to make the tournament in Lunardi’s latest bracketology, joining Purdue (No. 1 seed), Illinois (No. 4 seed), Michigan State (No. 8 seed), Northwestern (No. 10 seed), and Nebraska (No. 11 seed), while Ohio State is a part of the First Four Out.