Monday, February 15, 2010

Bucky Slips Back a Few

Two wins this week and it's conceivable that the Badgers could be a Top Ten team right now, especially with the losses suffered by some of the nation's top teams in the last seven days. But the Badgers suffered a pretty rough loss of their own, losing to a nonranked Big Ten team at home for the first time in Bo Ryan's tenure. The loss to Illinois wasn't terribly detrimental, as they are a program on the cusp of the rankings, but it obviously didn't do many favors.

In the last polls, the Badgers sit at #14 in the Associated Press and #16 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. The ranking could have been a lot worse, but they righted their ship in a big way with an 83-55 victory at Indiana last weekend. At 19-6, they are the fourth highest ranked team with six losses, behind Georgetown, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

The Badgers can try to climb back up a little bit this week with games against Minnesota and Northwestern, two games you figure the Badgers have to win if they are truly as good as we are starting to think they are. One positive note in that regard is that Jon Leuer has been cleared to practice following his injury, and could be looking at returning this Thursday against Minnesota.

As for Marquette, they are technically ranked #30 in the AP, although still garnering no votes in ESPN/USA Today edition of the rankings. Most predictions still have MU falling just short of the tourney, so it would be nice to see them pick up a couple of wins this week especially against Pittsburgh. Actually, Thursday night should be a pretty entertaining next for college basketball fans - the Badgers play on ESPN and Marquette on ESPN2 with both games starting at 8pm.

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