Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: Minnesota, Northwestern and Nebraska rise in latest power rankings

Illinois v Purdue
Illinois v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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3. Wisconsin (11-3, 3-0)

The recent golden days of Wisconsin basketball are in the past, though those two trips to the Final Four are still less than a decade ago. Greg Gard took over the program shortly thereafter and has kept the Badgers as a contender on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, the Badgers haven’t been to the Sweet Sixteen since 2017 and missed the field entirely last season. This year has been a different story.

Wisconsin actually got off to a bad start, losing by double digits to Tennessee and Providence in the first two weeks of the season. They then ran off an impressive streak that included big wins over Virginia, Marquette, and at Michigan State, getting the Badgers into the national rankings and plenty of attention. They suffered a blowout loss at Arizona in December but have been solid ever since, getting their first three wins in Big Ten play, including over Nebraska most recently.

It’s a mix of talent in Madison, with AJ Storr and Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl and others combining to lead this team to some resume-building wins. A really rough performance in Arizona is their only blemish of the last eight weeks and it’s easy to get excited about these Badgers. It’s honestly been a mixed bag in their biggest games and we’ll see how they handle the rigors of Big Ten play. For now, expect good things from the Badgers, who have already picked up a major road win in conference play.