Xtra Points

Local sports talk with the Gazette sports staff

Xtra Points: How long can Badgers keep streak alive?

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Eric Schmoldt
January 8, 2014

Thanks to Tuesday night's result in East Lansing, Mich., where Michigan State outlasted Ohio State in overtime, we're down to just five undefeated men's basketball teams in the Division I college ranks.

Arizona, Syracuse, Iowa State, Wichita State and--most importantly around here--the Wisconsin Badgers are those left standing.

Now how long can they keep that up?

Sports On Earth's Matt Norlander posed that question yesterday about each of the remaining unbeaten teams. Not shockingly, he picked Ohio State to go down on Tuesday night, so he's 1-0. Predicting the others seems a bit trickier.

The Badgers have already exceeded expectations and have matched the program record by starting 15-0, thanks in part to Iowa coach Fran McCaffery's outburst on Sunday night at the Kohl Center.

UW has played one of the tougher schedules in the country up to this point, as well, but as we know, it's going to get tougher in the Big Ten. So how long can Bucky keep this thing going?

The Badgers have Illinois at home tonight. The Illini are ranked, but this is a game UW should win.

Next, it's off to Indiana. Playing at Assembly Hall is hardly easy, but in a coaching matchup of Bo Ryan and Tom Crean, I'll take Bo without a moment's thought. Still, that's where Norlander sees the Badgers suffering their first loss of the season.

Me, I'm looking a week or so later. Minnesota and Purdue don't have a little number next to their names signifying a national ranking, but UW would be 5-0 in league play and feeling good--too good?--while venturing out  back-to-back road games.

It's a bit early yet, it feels like, to talk about a team going undefeated, but perhaps you think Bucky can run the table. If not, which game on the upcoming schedule worries you the most?

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