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Wisconsin basketball returns to top 25 of USA TODAY Coaches Poll

Wisconsin basketball rode a stellar week at the Big Ten Tournament to a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Badgers open play with No. 12 seed James Madison, a tough opening draw. The winner gets the No. 4 Duke-No. 13 Vermont winner. The path may seem daunting, but it also represents a terrific opportunity for Greg Gard’s team to put together a memorable March.

Related: Wisconsin Badgers vs. James Madison Dukes: TV channel, betting line, game notes for NCAA Tournament Round of 64

Wisconsin’s resurgence since this time last week has its NCAA Tournament outlook on the rise. The 3-1 week — wins against Maryland, Northwestern and Purdue and a narrow loss to Illinois — also returned the team to the top 25 of the USA TODAY Sports Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll.

The Badgers are No. 24,  a big jump from not even receiving votes last week. Other Big Ten teams in the top 25 are Purdue at No. 3 and Illinois at No. 10.

Wisconsin tips off its NCAA Tournament Friday night in Brooklyn, New York, as Gard’s squad looks to make its first Sweet 16 since 2016-17.

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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire