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Greg Gard, State Journal generic file photo

Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball coach Greg Gard.

The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team was picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten in a poll of 28 media members who cover the conference.

Defending champion Michigan State was picked to win the league, receiving 22 first-place votes. Michigan was picked to finish second, followed by Indiana, Nebraska, Purdue, UW and Maryland.

Ohio State was picked to finish eighth, ahead of Minnesota, Iowa, Penn State, Northwestern, Illinois and Rutgers.

The Badgers finished ninth in the Big Ten last season with a 7-11 record. They finished 15-18 overall, missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.

UW returns its top nine scorers from a year ago, a group led by Ethan Happ. The senior center was a unanimous preseason All-Big Ten selection, joining Purdue junior guard Carsen Edwards, Nebraska senior guard James Palmer Jr., Michigan State junior guard Cassius Winston and Indiana senior forward Juwan Morgan.

Edwards was selected as preseason player of the year, receiving 23 of 28 votes. Happ received four votes for player of the year.

Indiana’s Romeo Langford was a unanimous pick for preseason Freshman of the Year.

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Jim Polzin covers Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball for the Wisconsin State Journal.