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March 3, 2014

AP Poll: UW back in the Top 10

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Badgers (24-5, 11-5) moved up five spots to No. 9 in this week's AP Poll.

The Badgers find themselves back in the top-10, a place they called home for nine consecutive weeks earlier in the season before dropping five of six games.

Now, winners of seven straight games, the Badgers are peaking as the regular season comes to a close. For the fourth week in a row, the Badgers have moved up in the polls since being unranked the week of February 3.

Wisconsin's resume continues to hold water among the nation's elites. The Badgers are an impressive 7-1 against the current AP Top 25, including two Top-5 wins (No. 1 Florida and No. 5 Virginia). Additionally, the Badgers have played the second-toughest schedule in the country, trailing only No. 8 Kansas, and are owners of the fourth-best RPI in the country.

The Badgers continue to set the pace for the Big Ten as they are now the highest ranked Big Ten team for the second straight week. No. 12 Michigan, No. 22 Michigan State and No. 24 Iowa join Wisconsin in the Top 25 this week. Ohio State, losers of two straight with both losses coming to unranked teams, fell out of the rankings this week.

No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Wichita State and No. 3 Arizona lead the way for the second straight week, with Florida receiving 46 first-place votes and Wichita State (14) and Arizona (5) capturing the remaining votes. No. 4 Duke moved up four spots while Virginia saw its stock rise from No. 12 to No. 5 after defeating Syracuse and winning the ACC regular season title. This is the first Top Ten appearance for the Cavaliers since 2002.

No. 6 Villanova, No. 7 Syracuse, No. 8 Kansas, No. 9 Wisconsin and No. 10 San Diego State round out the Top Ten.

The Big Ten relinquished its place among inter-conference rankings with Ohio State's dismissal, leading way to the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and its five ranked teams taking over as this week's most represented conference. The Big Ten and ACC each have four teams in this week's poll, followed by the Big 12 (3), SEC (2), Big East (2), Mountain West (2), Pac-12 (1), Missouri Valley (1) and Atlantic 10 (1).

There are eight games this week featuring two ranked teams, with the majority of them taking place in the American Athletic Conference.

On Wednesday, No. 11 Louisville travels to No. 18 SMU. On Thursday, No. 20 Memphis heads to No. 15 Cincinnati and No. 24 Iowa is at No. 22 Michigan State. On Saturday, No. 18 SMU is at No. 20 Memphis, No. 19 Connecticut is at No. 11 Louisville, No. 25 Kentucky is at No. 1 Florida, No. 14 North Carolina is at No. 4 Duke, and No. 21 New Mexico is at No. 10 San Diego State.

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

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