The Badgers are a top-10 team once again.
After a pair of wins last week to push its winning streak to seven games, Wisconsin is back in the top 10, checking in at No. 9 in this week's AP poll. Bo Ryan's bunch moved up five spots from No. 14.
It's the latest bit of good news for the Badgers, a team that dominated the first two months of its season before stumbling in the middle of Big Ten play. After starting the season 16-0 and climbing as high as No. 3 in the AP rankings, Wisconsin at one point lost five of six games, falling out of the top 25 entirely. But since that last loss on Feb. 1, the Badgers have won seven in a row and are back to having a single-digit number in front of their name.
Thanks to a rough patch from the Spartans of Michigan State, the Badgers are also back in the Big Ten regular-season title picture. Michigan has already clinched at least a share of that title, but with just two games left, Wisconsin can grab a share, too. The Wolverines have a 13-3 conference mark, the Badgers are at 11-5.
Speaking of the Wolverines, they were the other big climber in the poll for the Big Ten this week, moving up from No. 16 to No. 12. That four-spot rise comes after Michigan narrowly avoided an embarrassing loss at Purdue, needing a buzzer-beating jumper in overtime to win by one. The Wolverines have games against hot Illinois and Indiana teams to close out their regular season.
As mentioned, Michigan State is having troubles, losers of five of eight. That includes the Spartans' lone game last week, a Saturday loss to the Illini at home. Tom Izzo's crew dropped from No. 18 to No. 22 in the AP poll. Iowa also fell, going from No. 20 to No. 24.
Ohio State, last week's No. 22 team, fell out of the top 25 following a pair of road losses to Penn State and Indiana.