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Posted on Mon, Feb 6, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

Despite MSU loss, Michigan basketball moves up to No. 22 in AP poll, has RPI of 15

By Nick Baumgardner

The Michigan basketball team was one up and one down last week.

But through it all, the Wolverines remain a nationally ranked club for the 14th consecutive week.

After a home win against Indiana and a road loss at Michigan State (both Top 25 opponents), Michigan moved up one spot to No. 22 in The Associated Press' Top 25 poll.

The Wolverines (17-7, 7-4 Big Ten) fell three spots to No. 25 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.

With seven games remaining in the regular season, Michigan's RPI (according to remains among the nation's best at No. 15.

According to CollegeRPI's Jerry Palm, the Wolverines have played the 12th-toughest schedule in the country. Additionally, the Wolverines boast seven wins against Top 50 RPI clubs (Memphis, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State and Indiana).

Elsewhere in the polls this week, the Big Ten continued to boast five teams inside the AP Top 25.

Ohio State (20-3) leads the way at No. 3 while No. 11 Michigan State, No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 23 Indiana round out the league's participation in the poll.

Kentucky (23-1) hung onto the top spot this week and Syracuse (23-1) sits at No. 2. Ohio State, Missouri and North Carolina round out the top five. Baylor, Kansas, Florida, Murray State and Duke make up the rest of the top 10.

In the coaches' poll, Michigan comes in at the bottom of the Top 25, with ex-Wolverine coach Tommy Amaker and Harvard sitting four spots higher at No. 21. Harvard is ranked below Michigan (No. 25) in the AP poll.

Steve Fisher's San Diego State squad moved up to No. 13 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the coaches poll.

Michigan returns to action Wednesday (8:30 p.m., BTN) when it visits Nebraska.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Mon, Feb 6, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

I agree with you, David, to a certain degree. When Michigan plays its best and most complete game as it did against Wisconsin and most recently in the first half of the Indiana game, then Michigan can play against anyone and have a fair chance of winning. However, when it plays poorly as it did at Iowa and again at MSU, Michigan is subject to losing. Hardaway has been a factor in recent Michigan losses, taking more shots than any other team member and yet having the poorest completion rate (1 of 10 yesterday). He does not seem injured so his problem must be mental. We know that he is capable of scoring twenty points in a game and when that has happened Michigan usually wins. I hope that Hardaway's shooting problem is not infecting Burke who hit only four out of eleven shots yesterday. With five of Michigan's last seven conference games away from home, Michigan may struggle for wins during the important final weeks of conference play. Michigan may also only win two of its three remaining home games since Ohio State will be difficult to beat even in Ann Arbor. However three of Michigan's four remaining away games are against bottom dwellers in the conference standings. Nevertheless, Michigan may need to win at least one BigTen Tournament game in order to be selected for the NCAA Tournament. Let's hope that Michigan exceeds my expectations and picks up at least four wins out of its last seven games and a couple more in the Bigten Tournament and, in so doing, guarantee participating in March Madness.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Feb 6, 2012 : 6:41 p.m.

Through 24 games this season: 17-7, 7-4 B1G. Through 24 games last season: 14-10, 4-7 B1G. Despite the loss to MSU, this year's basketball squad is 3 games better overall than they were a year ago at this time, and more importantly, has drastically improved it's B1G record, even in a conference that has 5 teams in the top 25. The fact that they have played the 12th toughest schedule in the NCAA bodes well for their mental preparedness in March. Depending on the draw, Michigan could find themselves in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8. They are good enough. Obviously, which bracket they land in and what seed they draw will probably go a long ways in determining how far they get, but they have the talent to upset a few teams. It's just nice not worrying about IF they are going to make the NCAA Tournament, but rather how far can they go in it...


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 7:03 a.m.

A 3 or 4 seed? Come on! Try a 1 or 2. Bline's your man. He can take you all the way.


Tue, Feb 7, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

Numbers hide a lot of facts, but statistically we are in the hunt. Realistically we win 3 or 4 of the last 7, and 1 or 2 in the btt. This should hold our rating in the mid 20's and get us a 5 or 6 seed. To get the to the sweet 16, a 3 or 4 seed would be better, but we would need the BCS selection committee to get involved for that to happen ;)