College basketball rankings: Wisconsin enters Top 25 And 1 after earning its fifth straight win

When Kobe King quit Wisconsin’s team late last month, it was reasonable to assume the Badgers’ season might go the wrong direction. Greg Gard’s team was already shaky — just 12-8 overall, 5-4 in the Big Ten. Would losing a key player, the team’s second-leading scorer, really help things?

Surprisingly, the answer appears to be … yes.

The Badgers won again Thursday, this time 81-74 at Michigan, and are now 6-2 since King quit. They had three Quadrant 1 victories when King quit after a 70-51 loss to Purdue in which he missed all five shots he took; now the Badgers have eight Quadrant 1 wins. They’ll take a five-game winning streak into Sunday’s game with Minnesota.

“Sixty days ago, this wouldn’t have been possible,” Gard told reporters after his team shot 53.7% percent from the field against Michigan. “[Sixty days ago], we weren’t ready to come into this environment, against a good team, and be able to finish out a game on the road. It just shows the maturity, and shows the leadership, in the locker room that we have with our older guys.”

Wisconsin is No. 26 in Friday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Badgers are one of seven Big Ten teams in the Top 25 And 1. The others are No. 8 Maryland, No. 15 Penn State, No. 19 Michigan State, No. 21 Iowa, No. 22 Michigan and No. 23 Ohio State.

Top 25 And 1 rankings

IN: Ohio State, Wisconsin
OUT: Colorado, Arizona State

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