The Badgers are now #3 in the AP Poll, a dizzying new height for the team. They've actually picked up a #1 vote, courtesy of one Nick Jezierny. Why a man with this much insight is still at the Idaho Statesman is anyone's guess. Sadly, the polls don't mean all that much in basketball, but the recognition is nice.
They remain #4 in the Coaches' Poll, which is generally the inferior poll. The fact that the AP decided that the Badger football team was #7 (behind Louisville and Boise State) while the coaches had the good judgment to rank them #5 is trouble. But I digress.
About that game tonight: Chris at the Wisconsin Sports Bar reckons that it's Wisconsin's turn to drive the whole state of Ohio to mass suicide. Not swallowing the cyanide capsule just yet was Eleven Warriors, who concedes that the Buckeyes "will need to shoot a much higher percentage [than the 31% effort against Illinois] from deep to steal this game." The news out of Columbus is that Greg Oden's health will force him to be less active which will be a remarkable advantage for the Badgers; the combination of agility and size he possesses is thought to be exceptionally rare. He'll still be a threat under the hoop, but he probably won't be patrolling the perimeter, which plays right into Bo Ryan's offensive scheme. Yum.
Don't neglect the defense, though. The Badgers have been forcing opponents to take bad shots for several weeks now, limiting their last four foes to 36% shooting. Perhaps Michael Flowers will have a momentum-swinging steal and dunk that will ignite the Badgers again tonight.
The Badgers picked up a basketball recruit yesterday. Jared Berggren of Princeton, MN has committed to the team. According to Scout, Berggren is 6'10" and averaged about 10.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game. It seems that Bo Ryan's still getting whatever talent out of Minnesota that he wants, and that's just fantastic. It'll be tough for the Gophers to improve if their state keeps hemmorhaging recruits and sending them to Madtown.
Finally, some hockey: the CSTV Rink Rats rank Wisconsin #17 in hockey this week. Will the big series this weekend against #1 Minnesota change any minds? We can only hope.