Winners of six of their last seven games, No. 17 Wisconsin (20-8, 11-4) trails Indiana by just one game in the Big Ten standings with three games remaining, the first of which being a home contest against Purdue on Sunday.
But the Badgers saw a key cog in Bo Ryan’s attack go down with an injury in practice on Thursday, as senior forward Ryan Evans injured his right knee according to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The severity of Evans’ injury is unknown at this time, but with three games followed by the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments the Badgers can’t afford to be without their best rebounder (10.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg) for an extended period of time.
Evans went down two minutes before reporters were allowed into the practice gym but his scream could be heard in the adjacent hallway.
Trainer Henry Perez-Guerra escorted Evans out of the practice gym. Evans did not require assistance as he walked off the court but did not return during the remaining 40 minutes of practice.
According to a UW official, Evans is under evaluation and is day-to-day. UW is set to practice Friday and Saturday before hosting Purdue at noon Sunday.
According to Potrykus freshman Sam Dekker moved into the first unit in practice following Evans’ injury, which could be a clue as to who would start if Evans were unable to go on Sunday.
After their home finale the Badgers visit No. 9 Michigan State and Penn State, and with the top five teams in the Big Ten standings separated by just two games a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament is still up in the air.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas