MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Badgers (19-5, 6-5) clawed their way back into the AP Top 25 this week, coming in at No. 21 after going 2-0 against Illinois (14-10, 3-8) and Michigan State (20-4, 9-2).
After a one week absence in the poll, the Badgers retain their spot as one of the top 25 teams in the country. The Badgers have been ranked in 16 of the past 17 weeks.
Wisconsin is seventh in the country in RPI, one of the tools used by the NCAA Selection Committee to evaluate teams, and is one of five teams with at least four wins against top 25 teams.
The top six spots of the poll remained the same for the second consecutive week, with No. 1 Syracuse (23-0) receiving all 65 first-place votes. Spots two thru six are home to Arizona (23-1), Florida (21-2), Wichita State (25-0), San Diego State (21-1) and Villanova (21-2).
No. 7 Kansas (18-5) moved up one spot, while No. 8 Duke jumped three spots into the top 10. No. 9 Michigan State (20-4) stayed true to last week's position after going 1-1 last week. No. 10 Cincinnati (22-3) fell three spots after having their 15 game winning streak snapped by now No. 23 SMU (19-5), who find themselves in the poll for the first time since 1985.
The Big Ten got back to its dominant poll presence this week with the return of No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 22 Ohio State (19-5). Joining them and No. 9 Michigan State are No. 15 Michigan (17-6) and No. 16 Iowa (18-6), bringing the conference's total to five teams in the poll and tying them with the American Athletic Conference (AAC) for most represented conference.
The Big Ten had an average ranking of 16.6 compared to the AAC's average rank of 18.0.
With Oklahoma and Oklahoma State both falling out of the top 25, the Big 12 saw its total drop to just three teams in the poll, one behind the ACC's four.
No. 15 Michigan travels to No. 22 Ohio State on Tuesday, No. 25 Pittsburgh hosts No. 1 Syracuse on Wednesday, No. 20 Memphis heads north to No. 24 Connecticut while No. 3 Florida travels to No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday, and No. 6 Villanova at No. 18 Creighton and No. 21 Wisconsin at No. 15 Michigan on Sunday wrap up a busy week of games featuring two AP Top 25 teams.
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