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Posted on Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Michigan basketball now a consensus top 15 team

By Nick Baumgardner


Tim Hardaway Jr., right, had 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 59-41 win over No. 18 Wisconsin on Sunday that helped boost Michigan up three spots in the Associated Press poll.

Chris Asadian |

The Michigan basketball team split a pair of games last week, but still found itself on the rise in the national rankings.

And now, the Wolverines find themselves as a consensus top 15 team.

After a two-point loss at Indiana and an 18-point home win over Wisconsin, Michigan (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) moved up three spots to No. 13 in The Associated Press' most recent poll.

The Wolverines are at No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll for a second straight week.

If Michigan beats Northwestern at home Wednesday (6:30 p.m., BTN), the Wolverines will be off to their best Big Ten start of the John Beilein era -- and best overall start since Tommy Amaker's final squad started 4-1 during the 2006-07 campaign.

The Wolverines' loss at Indiana wasn't seen as overly damaging, as the Hoosiers are now the No. 7 team in the country, according to the AP. Michigan's other losses have come against No. 8 Duke in the Maui Invitational and at No. 16 Virginia in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game. The combined record of those teams is 42-4.

Ohio State (15-2, 3-1) remains the highest-ranked Big Ten team, holding a No. 5 ranking in both polls.

Michigan State (14-2, 3-0) moved up to No. 6 in the AP poll and No. 7 in the coaches poll, while the Hoosiers (15-1, 3-1) sit at No. 7 in the AP poll and No. 8 in the coaches poll.

Michigan is the lone remaining Big Ten team in either poll, as Wisconsin (12-5, 1-3) fell from both lists.

Syracuse (17-0) remains the country's consensus top-ranked team, while Kentucky, North Carolina, Baylor and Ohio State rounded out the top five in both polls.

Amaker's Harvard team remains in the coaches poll at No. 25, while Steve Fisher's San Diego State squad sits at No. 22 in both polls.

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, Jan 9, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

I get the idea that the B10 of old is back. (No, not weak football teams except for Ohio and Michigan), but outstanding basketball teams top to bottom. Even Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa are playing good bball and Wisconsin who is tough is only 1-3. It's exciting to see Michigan playing such good team basketball. And imagine if Manny Harris had stayed and Darius Morris had stayed.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Don't think Manny would be eligible this year. Darius would have made a difference but probably take away playing time from Burke. I think the constant the past two season is number 0 - Novak, the heart and soul of the team. As a former college coach, I believe it is easier to recruit an above average star player than an above average leader.