Badgers climb to No. 8 in AP Top 25 Poll; Marquette falls off

The latest Associated Press men’s basketball rankings were

released Monday and they delivered a different sort of surprise for Wisconsin

and Marquette.

The Badgers found themselves at No. 8, nestled inside the

top 10 for the first time since the Nov. 28, 2011 poll. The Golden Eagles found

themselves … well, nowhere. Marquette went from being ranked among the Top 25

the entire first month of the season to not receiving a single vote in the Week

5 poll, tumbling totally off the board.

Wisconsin (8-0) moved up two spots after winning the Cancun

Challenge championship last week with wins over St. Louis and West Virginia.

Meanwhile, Marquette (5-3) dropped two games to unranked opponents, including a

loss to San Diego State in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy

tournament in Anaheim, Calif.

On Saturday, the two teams will have a chance to directly

impact the rankings — as well as secure bragging rights — when they meet in

Madison in the annual intrastate rivalry game.

It’s so far been a season of unexpected success for the

Badgers, who have climbed steadily since being ranked 20th in the preseason AP

poll. They beat then No. 11 Florida on Nov. 12 and have recently reverted to

winning their customarily low-scoring games, after earlier in the season

getting into high-scoring shootouts uncharacteristic of Bo Ryan-coached teams.

For Marquette, which advanced to the Elite Eight last year,

a campaign that was expected to be challenging because of several key player

departures has played out accordingly. After starting the season ranked 17th,

Marquette had been hanging on by a thread at No. 25 the past two weeks before

two losses in four games last week knocked them all the way off.

In the USA Today Coaches Poll, Wisconsin is No. 9, while

unranked Marquette received four votes.

AP Top 25 Poll

1. Michigan State (7-0)
2. Arizona (7-0)
3. Kentucky (7-1)
4. Syracuse (7-0)
5. Ohio State (6-0)
6. Kansas (6-1)
7. Louisville (6-1)
8. Wisconsin (8-0)
9. Oklahoma State (7-1)
10. Duke (6-2)
11. Wichita State (8-0)
12. Connecticut (7-0)
13. Oregon (7-0)
14. Villanova (7-0)
15. Florida (6-1)
16. Memphis (5-1)
17. Iowa State (5-0)
18. UCLA (7-0)
19. Gonzaga (7-1)
20. Baylor (7-1)
21. Massachusetts (6-0)
22. Michigan (5-2)
23. Iowa (7-1)
24. San Diego State (5-1)
25. Dayton (6-1)