For the first time since the 2009-10 season Wisconsin will not start out ranked in the Coaches Poll Top 25 rankings.
Though the Badgers reached the Sweet 16 last year, there’s enough roster turnover for voters to be wary of Wisconsin. In the preseason poll out Thursday, Wisconsin had 21 receiving votes points. For reference, No. 25 Alabama received 82 points.
Four other Big Ten teams are ranked to start the season: No. 2 Michigan State, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 20 Northwestern and No. 21 Purdue.
Here’s how Wisconsin has done each season, going back to the 2009-10, which was the last time Wisconsin didn’t start ranked in the Coaches Poll.
Coaches Poll Ranking
|2010-11||No. 25||25-9||Sweet 16|
|2011-12||No. 14||26-10||Sweet 16|
|2012-13||No. 21||23-12||Round of 64|
|2013-14||No. 21||30-8||Final Four|
|2014-15||No. 4||36-6||NCAA Runner-up|
|2015-16||No. 17||22-13||Sweet 16|
|2016-17||No. 10||27-10||Sweet 16|
Wisconsin has reached the Sweet 16 four consecutive seasons, the last two under the direction of coach Greg Gard. Though Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Zak Showalter, Jordan Hill and Vitto Brown are no longer on the roster, Ethan Happ should be one of the Big Ten’s best players this season. Wisconsin also has talented freshman would could help right away, including G Kobe King.