24. Wisconsin (9-3)
It’s been an up and down affair for the Badgers this season, though they’re riding the highs from some of those ups in recent weeks. The Badgers had a tough run to start the season, with double-digit losses against Tennessee and Providence, but have stockpiled some nice wins to build their resume, something that’ll be very important a few months from now.
Wisconsin did not have a game in the last seven days, meaning we can instead focus on that resume. The Badgers won big over Virginia, got a true road win at Michigan State, and danced to an 11-point win over rival Marquette at the beginning of December. A really tough 25-point loss at Arizona threatened to undo some of that progress, but one bad night won’t unravel Wisconsin’s progress this year.
This team isn’t necessarily elite, but should be one of the main contenders in a quite Big Ten this year. Things can certainly change in the weeks ahead, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find many teams in their conference in better shape than the Badgers, even with those tough losses. If they play their game, Wisconsin can beat just about anyone. They’ll get Big Ten play going in earnest this upcoming week with winnable home games against Iowa and Nebraska.