U-M Makes Another Leap In This Week’s AP Poll, Inches Closer To The Top 5

The Michigan Wolverines’ basketball team destroyed No. 16 Minnesota this past week, 82-57, and as a result made another three-spot leap in this week’s Associated Press top 25, rising from No. 10 nationally to No. 7.

The three teams the Maize and Blue jumped were Tennessee, Wisconsin and Creighton. Despite the blowout loss to the Wolverines and a defeat at Iowa yesterday, Minnesota remained in the rankings at No. 23.

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Michigan Wolverines basketball G Chaundee Brown
Michigan Wolverines basketball guard Chaundee Brown is shooting 39.5 percent from three on the year. (Lon Horwedel)

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The Big Ten has six of its 14 teams inside the top 25, with No. 5 Iowa, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 14 Illinois, No. 21 Ohio State and No. 23 Minnesota being the other inclusions in addition to the Maize and Blue.

Michigan State and Rutgers, meanwhile, fell out of the top 25 after having been members last week. The Spartans beat the Scarlet Knights Tuesday, but proceeded to drop a home contest to a subpar Purdue team Friday night, a game in which head coach Tom Izzo’s crew only scored 54 points in the 55-54 loss.

Rutgers, on the other hand, followed up its loss to MSU with a disheartening home setback to Ohio State on Saturday. Michigan will face its third consecutive ranked opponent tomorrow night when No. 9 Wisconsin comes to town.

If the Wolverines pick up the victory, it will mark the first time they’ve defeated three straight top 25 teams in the regular season since the 2013-14 campaign, when John Beilein’s crew took down No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 10 Iowa and No. 3 Michigan State in a three-game span from Jan. 18-25.

The rest of the nation’s top six this week remained unchanged, with No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Texas, No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Kansas making up the country’s top group once again.

U-M’s schedule won’t get much easier following tomorrow’s showdown with the Badgers, with a trip to Minneapolis slated for Saturday afternoon. Michigan and Baylor are the lone two remaining undefeated Power Conference teams in the country.

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