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January 27, 2014

Badgers fall out of AP Top 10





MADISON, Wis. - For the first time since the week of Nov. 18, the Wisconsin Badgers (17-3, 4-3) find themselves outside of the AP Top 10 after falling five spots to No. 14 in the latest AP Top-25 Poll.

A streak of three straight losses was cut short with a 72-58 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers (13-7, 3-4) on Saturday night in West Lafayette, Ind., but that was not enough to stop the Badgers from falling in the poll for a second straight week.

Wisconsin also lost its claim as the second-highest ranked team in the Big Ten this week as the No. 10 Michigan Wolverines (15-4, 7-0) jumped 11 spots from No. 21 after defeating then-No. 3 Michigan State (18-2, 7-1) 80-75 on Saturday night. The Spartans fell four spots in the poll to No. 7 in the country.

The Badgers can still hold solace in the fact that they rank No. 3 in RPI behind only No. 1 Arizona (20-0) and No. 6 Kansas (15-4) while playing against the third toughest schedule in the country. Wisconsin is also one of just seven teams in the nation to have three or more wins against Top-25 teams this season.

As for the rest of the poll, No. 1 Arizona and No. 2 Syracuse (19-0) lead the poll for the eighth straight week, just four week shy of the record held by UCLA and Marquette who were 1-2 for 12 consecutive weeks during the 1971-72 season.

With Texas' jump into the Top-25, seven teams from the Big 12 have now been ranked this season - keep in mind that the Big 12 only has ten teams. The Big Ten, 12 members, and the ACC, 15, have each had six teams ranked this season.

Joining No. 7 Michigan State, No. 10 Michigan and No. 14 Wisconsin from the Big Ten in the Top 25 are No. 15 Iowa and No. 24 Ohio State to bring the conference's total to five this week.

The Badgers will host Northwestern on Wednesday.

"They're much improved," Ryan said of the Wildcats. "They're playing well. You take away maybe eight minutes, eight, nine minutes of that game against Iowa. And people will tell you in the league they're playing as well as anybody. We know what we have coming in here."

For more Wisconsin Badgers news, notes and discussion, follow Zack on Twitter.



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