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Winner of No. 13 Ohio State at No. 20 Wisconsin game on Sunday stays in thick of Big Ten race

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    Wisconsin's Traevon Jackson (12) reacts as Minnesota hits a free throw during overtime in an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 58-53. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross) (The Associated Press)

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    Ohio State's Sam Thompson dunks against Northwestern during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon) (The Associated Press)

Having just dispensed with their first losing streak — a meager two games — in the past three years, the 13th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes get little time to rest.

For that matter, neither does their next opponent.

After a closer-than-the-score-indicates 69-59 win over scrappy Northwestern on Thursday night, the Buckeyes hit the road this weekend to play at No. 20 Wisconsin. The Badgers were also busy the same time as Ohio State, losing 58-53 in overtime at Minnesota.

With the schedule dwindling, the game will be a way of winnowing the Big Ten field for the stretch run: The Buckeyes and Badgers are each 8-4 in conference play and tied for third with Michigan, two games back of co-leaders Indiana and Michigan State.