Michigan basketball team up in both major polls on eve of Big Ten play
For just the second time in 14 years, the Michigan basketball team will enter Big Ten play with a national ranking.
Now all the Wolverines have to do is hang onto it.
The Wolverines open Big Ten play Thursday at home against Penn State (7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network).
Jeff Sainlar | AnnArbor.com
That season, the 23rd-ranked Wolverines dropped their Big Ten opener, 72-61, at home against Wisconsin. Michigan fell out of the polls for good three weeks later, though it did manage to advance to the NCAA tournament.
Prior to the '08-'09 campaign, the last time Michigan entered Big Ten play with a national ranking was the 1997-98 season.
The Wolverines, ranked 18th, beat Wisconsin 76-63 in Madison. Michigan climbed to as high as No. 16 during the regular season that year before winning the inaugural Big Ten Tournament, eventually falling in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The university would later vacate all victories, including the Big Ten Tournament crown, due to NCAA sanctions.
Five Big Ten teams are ranked in both major polls.
Ohio State (No. 2 AP, No. 2 coaches), Wisconsin (No. 11 AP, No. 11 coaches), Indiana (No. 13 AP, No. 15 coaches), Michigan State (No. 16 AP, No. 17 coaches) and Michigan (No. 18 AP, No. 16 coaches).
Illinois fell from the rankings this week.
The top five in the AP poll remained the same, with Syracuse holding down the No. 1 spot, followed by Ohio State, Kentucky, Louisville and North Carolina. Baylor, Duke, Missouri, Connecticut and Florida rounded out the top 10.
Syracuse, Ohio State, Kentucky, Louisville and Duke made up the top five in the coaches poll. North Carolina, Baylor, Missouri, Connecticut and Florida rounded out the top 10.
Ex-Michigan coach Tommy Amaker saw his Harvard squad return to both polls this week, re-entering at No. 24 in the AP poll, and moving up to No. 23 in the coaches poll.
Another former Michigan coach also made a Top 25 season debut this week, as San Diego State (coached by ex-Wolverine boss Steve Fisher) entered the AP poll at No. 25.
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