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Posted on Wed, May 23, 2012 : 10:21 a.m.

Michigan basketball ranked No. 6 in Sporting News' preseason Top 25 poll

By Nick Baumgardner

UMBB_Wisconsin_Hardaway_Close.jpg

Add Sporting News writer Mike DeCourcy to the growing list of national pundits who have Tim Hardaway Jr. and Michigan as a top 10 squad in 2012-13.

Chris Asadian | AnnArbor.com

Add another national publication to the Michigan basketball 2012-13 bandwagon.

The Sporting News released its 2012-13 preseason Top 25 poll on Tuesday, and gave high marks to the Wolverines, ranking them No. 6 overall.

But for Michigan to keep its spot, Sporting News writer Mike DeCourcy says plenty rests on the shoulders of Tim Hardaway Jr.

"Small forward Tim Hardaway Jr. had a nice sophomore season, but he must be more mature and efficient -- he attempted 187 3-pointers, though he made just 28.3 percent -- for the Wolverines to sustain a top-10 ranking," DeCourcy wrote.

Michigan is one of three clubs from the Big Ten ranked in DeCourcy's top 10. Indiana leads the way at No. 1, while Ohio State is close behind at No. 4.

Wisconsin is rated No. 17 and Michigan State sits at No. 22.

As far as the Wolverines go, DeCourcy isn't the only national writer to heap high early praise on next season's squad.

ESPN's Dick Vitale, ESPN's Andy Katz and CBS' Jeff Goodman all put Michigan at No. 5 on their early ranking lists.

Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn slots Michigan at No. 9, while Yahoo!'s Mike Huguenin has the Wolverines at No. 6.

One national pundit, CBS' Jon Rothstein, disagrees with Michigan's top 10 ranking for next season, ranking the Wolverines at No. 16.

Though it seems he's just slightly confused about one crucial detail.

"John Beilein was the happiest coach in America when he got the word that point guard Trey Burke opted to return to East Lansing for his sophomore season," Rothstein wrote. "Burke’s return makes the Wolverines a contender for the Big Ten title but I’m not ready to anoint them a national contender just yet."

Obviously, Burke will be returning to Ann Arbor next season -- not East Lansing.

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

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Comments

mookienation

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

Pessimist City in here. Michigan might or might not deserve the #6 spot in this poll. Doesn't matter. But I like seeing them ranked this high because it means they're showing a lot of promise. There's absolutely no reason they shouldn't be much improved from last season. I'm not ready to crown them a Final Four team but stranger things have happened to teams with lower expectations.

Halter

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

Hey, I loves me my Wolverines...but all this means is we are overrated to start the season in a meaningless poll...

Brent

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

Either way I'm excited to watch them play next year. Never thought 5 years ago I would ever see another Michigan team contend for a National Championship!

mookienation

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

I don't think "delusional' is the right word. There have been teams ranked MUCH lower in the pre-season polls who have went on to win the national title. Brent would be delusional if, for example, he stated that Colorado State would be a national title contender next year.

Cliff

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

You are delusional if you think that Michigan will compete for a National Championship.

JDed

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

The commentors have it right. Remember a couple years ago when MSU was a consensus #2, Or when UConn was unranked and done the NCAA Championship? (i think it may have been the same season.)

David Vande Bunte

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Whether they are ranked #6, #16 or #56, Michigan has the same teams on the schedule for next year. Preseason polls are meaningless. The only poll that matters is the final poll, where you stand AFTER the season has been completed, not the one before the season ever begins.

michboy40

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

Agree, rankings in college basketball are pretty much worthless until the last weekend on the NCAA Tourney.

fjord

Wed, May 23, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

This means exactly nothing, except that they now have a huge target on their backs.