The Wisconsin Badgers faced many challenges during their non-conference schedule, but they went untouched. They will take their 13-0 record into conference play against the Northwestern Wildcats. This matchup should be considered a tuneup game before the Badgers face a very tough test in the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Northwestern stands at 7-6, but it does have some talent. Drew Crawford is easily one of the better players in the Big Ten and his 16.4 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game prove that.
Still, the Wildcats will more than likely finish near the bottom of the conference standings.
Iowa is ranked in the top 25 as well.
Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State all entered the season with higher expectations than Wisconsin. The Spartans and Buckeyes have not disappointed and the Wolverines already have four losses. Well, the Badgers have climbed up the ranking quite a bit and should not only be a threat to win the Big Ten, but make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament as well.
A lot can happen in conference play. Wisconsin may be ranked as high as No. 4, but it could certainly drop down the rankings with a couple of losses in the Big Ten–right away that is.
The game against Northwestern will be played on the road, so you never know what will happen in that one. If the Badgers play their game, then it should be a tuneup for them. The same thing cannot be said about the matchup with Iowa on Jan. 5, which will be played at home for Bo Ryan‘s team.