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Posted on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Moving on up: Perfect week pushes Michigan basketball to No. 17 in AP poll

By Nick Baumgardner

What are two straight victories worth for the Michigan basketball team?

Apparently as many as six spots in the national rankings.

After scoring a 16-point road win at Nebraska on Wednedsay and a nine-point home victory over Illinois on Sunday, the Wolverines moved up five spots to No. 17 in The Associated Press' most recent Top 25 poll, released Monday, and six spots to No. 19 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.

Michigan remains one of just two Big Ten teams (Ohio State being the other) to hold a national ranking for all 15 weeks this season.

The last time the Wolverines held a national ranking for 15 consecutive weeks was 1996-97.


Michigan guard Trey Burke drives to the basket during a 70-61 win over Illinois on Sunday that helped move the Wolverines up to No. 17 in the Associated Press top 25 poll.

Chris Asadian |

With five regular-season games remaining, Michigan (19-7, 9-4 Big Ten) is a half game out of first place in the league standings with an RPI of No. 14 nationally, per

As far as NCAA Tournament projections are concerned, "Bracketologist" Joe Lunardi pegged the Wolverines as a No. 4 seed in the West Regional. Lunardi currently projects Michigan to face Oral Roberts in a second-round game in Nashville, Tenn.

Lunardi has a total of eight Big Ten teams currently making the NCAA Tournament field.

As of Friday, slotted the Wolverines as a No. 5 seed in the South Regional, opening against Long Beach State in Columbus, Ohio.

Michigan is one of five Big Ten teams to be ranked inside the AP's top 18.

Ohio State (21-4) leads the way at No. 6, with No. 7 Michigan State (20-5), No. 15 Wisconsin (19-6) and No. 18 Indiana (19-6) following.

Kentucky (25-1) and Syracuse (25-1) remain the top two teams in the country, with Missouri, Kansas and Duke rounding out the top five.

Former Michigan coach Steve Fisher has San Diego State ranked at No. 13 in the AP poll, while ex-Wolverine coach Tommy Amaker saw his Harvard team fall out of the rankings this week after losing to Princeton.

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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Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

This team will have an opportunity to catch a wave by winning their next game! If they can do that, I think the confidence will carry over, and they will make a nice run.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Feb 13, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

Don't care what they are rated. Polls are more or less meaningless. They are going to win the games they are going to win, and they are going to lose the games they are going to lose, regardless of if the little number next to their name is a 1, 4, 16, 22, or no number at all. The polls don't matter. The number of Ws and Ls on the schedule do.

Jeff Gaynor

Mon, Feb 13, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.

Up and down we go, and where we land ... uh, why should anyone care? Play hard, play fair, play as a true team, and enjoy the competition; win if you can, certainly. But after that - what's the big fuss?