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Posted on Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Michigan basketball team atop Big Ten standings, but John Beilein not discussing it

By Nick Baumgardner

The Michigan basketball team sits by itself atop the Big Ten standings, but it's not a topic of discussion within the program.

With a victory against Michigan State on Tuesday, the Wolverines became the first Big Ten team to reach five league wins. And, with an Illinois loss to Penn State on Thursday, Michigan (15-4, 5-2) moved into the league's top spot.

But does Michigan coach John Beilein care?

"No, I never (get into any) of that," he said Friday. "We never even touch on it."


Michigan basketball coach John Beilein isn't interested in talking about the Big Ten standings in January.

Melanie Maxwell |

Whether or not Beilein wishes to discuss his team's first-place standing, the Wolverines will be at least tied for the league lead until Tuesday.

Michigan plays its final non-conference game of the season Saturday at Arkansas (2 p.m., CBS) before returning to league action Tuesday on the road at Purdue.

As of now, Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue and Illinois are in a tie for second place at 4-2.

The last time Michigan began a Big Ten season this strong was 2005-06, when the Wolverines — then coached by Tommy Amaker — started league portion of the schedule 6-2.

Michigan dropped six of its final eight regular-season league games before bowing to Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan ended up losing to South Carolina in the championship game of the postseason NIT.

Eleven Big Ten games remain on Michigan's schedule.

"Road victories are going to be really hard to come by (in the Big Ten)," Beilein said. "Teams are getting to where they want to be.

"Like the Big East was last year with 10 or 11 very good teams, we only have 12 teams, but probably nine or 10 of them are going to be vying for an NCAA bid all the way."

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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Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

John is right to not talk about it.He hasn't won a game on the road.And has alot of Roads games the rest of the year,


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

I'm looking for a story here . . .