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February 17, 2014

Poll climbers: Badgers up to No. 16





MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Badgers (21-5, 8-5) moved up five spots to No. 16 in the latest AP Poll on Monday to secure their 17th ranking in the past 18 weeks.

After defeating Minnesota and Michigan last week, the Badgers recorded the second-largest leap in the poll, from No. 21, behind No. 11 Creighton that moved up from No. 18.

Heading into Week 16 of the poll, the Badgers are fourth in the Big Ten behind No. 13 Michigan State, No. 20 Michigan and No. 15 Iowa.

Wisconsin holds a 5-2 record against the current Top 25, the most such wins in the country, having beaten No. 2 Florida, No. 10 Saint Louis, No. 13 Michigan State, No. 15 Iowa and No. 20 Michigan.

No. 13 Michigan State is ranked for the 50th consecutive week, the fifth longest current streak in the nation behind No. 5 Duke (132), No. 8 Kansas (100), No. 1 Syracuse (74) and No. 2 Florida (61).

The Big Ten separated themselves from the rest of the nation's elite conferences, as it now holds sole possession of first place in the race for the conference with the most ranked teams (5). The American Athletic Conference (AAC) is represented by four schools lead by No. 7 Cincinnati; The ACC's three teams are lead by No. 1 Syracuse; and the three Big 12 teams ranked are paced by No. 8 Kansas.

The Badgers rank sixth in the country in RPI, one of the tools used by the NCAA Selection Committee to evaluate teams, and came in at No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

There are six games between ranked teams this week, beginning with No. 19 Texas visiting No. 17 Iowa State on Tuesday.

Saturday's slate is perhaps one of the best of the season with No. 11 Louisville at No. 7 Cincinnati, No. 16 Wisconsin at No. 15 Iowa, No. 19 Texas at No. 8 Kansas and No. 1 Syracuse at No. 5 Duke.

No. 13 Michigan State and No. 20 Michigan will battle in Ann Arbor on Sunday to determine first place in the Big Ten.

Kaminsky, Hayes honored

Junior Frank Kaminsky was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week and true freshman Nigel Hayes earned his fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor, the conference announced Monday.

Kaminsky netted his first career double-double in a win over Michigan on Sunday with a game-high 25 points.

Hayes earned his fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award, becoming the first player in Big Ten history to earn the honor in back-to-back weeks (Dec. 30 & Jan. 6, Feb. 10 & Feb. 17) on multiple occasions.

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


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