Big Ten

Big Ten poll update: Northwestern into top 25 for just second time since 1960s

Big Ten

For the first time this decade and just the second time since the end of the 1960s, Northwestern is ranked in the AP poll.

The surging Wildcats, who look to be on their way to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, entered the top-25 rankings at No. 25 when the latest poll was released Monday.

It's the team's first ranking since a brief one-week stint at No. 25 back in the 2009-10 season. You have to go all the way back to 1968-69 for the previous top-25 ranking in the AP poll, which lasted three weeks. The Cats got as high as No. 12 that season.

Chris Collins' team is on a six-game winning streak after Sunday night's victory over Indiana. It's the program's first six-game winning streak during Big Ten play since 1933 and the first time the Cats have had a 7-2 record in conference play since 1938.

At 18-4 overall and sitting alone in third place in the Big Ten standings, Northwestern figures to be on its way to receiving that elusive invite to the Big Dance. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has the Cats as a No. 7 seed in his latest bracket projection.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Wisconsin remained the conference's highest-ranked team, checking in at No. 10 after narrowly escaping Madison Square Garden with an overtime win over Rutgers on Saturday. Maryland moved up to No. 17 after beating Minnesota on Saturday. And Purdue checks in at No. 23 following an upset loss Sunday at Nebraska.