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AP Poll Reaction: Badgers Earn Respect

The 2014-15 college basketball season is edging closer and closer until the first game.  Today marks the unveiling of the preseason Associated Press top 25 poll.  Wisconsin basketball debuts as the number 3 rated team in the country, which is the team’s highest preseason ranking of all-time (previous high was number 9 in 2006-2007).  Maybe a final four run from Wisconsin is what it took to finally start getting nationally recognized as one of the most consistently good college basketball programs in the country.  After all, Bo Ryan has never once finished worse than 4th in the Big Ten conference, making the ncaa tournament in every one of his 13 seasons as the head coach of Wisconsin.

Expectations have never been higher for a Wisconsin Basketball season and the players are fully aware of what they need to do in order to accomplish the goals that they have set for themselves and as a team before the season begins (hint: winning a championship might be one of them).

Wisconsin is ranked 3rd in the preseason poll, but it is worth mentioning that they received 8 first place votes, which is more than 2nd ranked Arizona (5), who the Badgers defeated in last season’s thrilling elite 8 match-up.

Naturally, Kentucky is the top dog in the poll, receiving 52 first place votes from the 65 ballots considered.  John Calipari’s team returns both Harrison twins, Dakari Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, and Marcus Lee along with a brand new batch of top recruited “one and done’s” that include Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, Karl Towns, and Trey Lyles.  A “stacked” team is an understatement.

Wisconsin was not the only Big Ten team to earn a preseason ranking from the Associated Press,

as Michigan St (18), Ohio St (20), Nebraska (21), and Michigan (24) were also represented in the poll.

Wisconsin appears to be the early favorite in the Big Ten conference but do not make the mistake of underestimating the conference’s depth.  The Big Ten looks poised to battle the ACC for the right to be called the best conference in America in regards to college hoops.

Non-conference update:

Wisconsin’s non-conference schedule has the potential for some pretty juicy match-ups early on.  Depending on how their non-conference tournament in the “Battle for Atlantis” shakes out, Wisconsin could end up facing Florda (7), North Carolina (6), and Duke (4) all in a 7 day span!

Another fantastic and exiting season of college basketball is fast approaching! As Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) would say, “get your popcorn ready!”

Currently a Sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Journalism major. Big sports fan, especially football and basketball. I enjoy sports writing in my free-time.

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