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Posted on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Statement made: Michigan basketball has highest national ranking since 1997

By Nick Baumgardner

The Michigan basketball team is on a roll.

After snapping a six-game losing skid against Ohio State on Saturday and moving to 15-0 at home, the Wolverines received more national respect Monday than they have in 15 years.

Michigan moved up six spots to No. 11 in The Associated Press Top 25, its highest national ranking since the 1996-97 squad sat at No. 8 in January of that season.


John Beilein and his Michigan basketball team are ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press poll. It's the highest ranking for the Wolverines since 1997.

Melanie Maxwell |

It marked the second consecutive week that Michigan has jumped six spots in the AP poll, and it's the 16th straight week the Wolverines have appeared in the poll.

Michigan (20-7, 10-4) also moved up six spots in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, coming in at No. 13.

After grabbing a fifth win over a ranked opponent Saturday, Michigan had an RPI of 14 on Monday, per In ESPN "Bracketologist" Joe Lunardi's latest NCAA Tournament projection, the Wolverines sat with a No. 3 seed, playing No. 14 Drexel in Nashville, Tenn.

Michigan and Ohio State are the only two Big Ten teams to hold national rankings every week this season.

And, with the Wolverines jump, the Big Ten once again has three top 15 squads in the AP poll.

Michigan State leads all conference members at No. 6, while Ohio State came in at No. 8. Wisconsin earned a No. 16 ranking, and Indiana dropped to No. 23.

Kentucky (26-1), Syracuse (27-1), Missouri (25-2), Kansas (22-5) and Duke (23-4) made up the top five, while North Carolina, Georgetown and Marquette joined the Spartans and Buckeyes in the top 10.

Ex-Michigan coach Steve Fisher saw his San Diego State squad drop to No. 24 in the AP poll, while falling out of the coaches poll completely.

Michigan returns to action Tuesday at Northwestern (8 p.m., BTN).

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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Joe Kidd

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

Don't care about the rankings, only the last one counts. Winning the Big Ten championship (both of them) is most important to me. That means beating NW is the biggest thing right now.


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 6:02 a.m.

Great job. Sparty still ahead though

George Yingling

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 3:26 a.m.

While it is good to see Michigan rated towards the top, polls don't determine championships. When it comes to the NCAA tournament, the polls frequently aren't correct. Michigan this season is now recognized as a good team. For them to win the Big 10, somebody has to beat Michigan State. They dominated Ohio State at Ohio State. Ohio State is not likely to beat Michigan State at the Breslin Center. Who will beat them? If someone does, it will be an upset. For Michigan to have a chance to win the Big 10 I think they have to win all their remaining games. Three of the remaining four are on the road, so the task is challenging. Even if they meet that challenge, they need help from one of State's opponents. The games matter. The polls don't -- not really. Go Blue!


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 1:09 a.m.

Statements are made with conference championships and deep NCAA tourney runs


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

Go blue!! Keep on trucking. Best to the entire team and coaching staff.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

It's nice to see Beilein have success. I still think we are vulnerable to power teams, and if we are not hitting our 3's. These are plain weaknesses of Beilein's system, but it seems that he is beginning to trust Morgan more, and with the senior leadership that Novak and Stu offer, the sky's the limit. They have already beaten the top 2 teams in the big ten, and show that they belong. I think in the next few years, we will miss these two seniors but the bigs that are coming in may make us a more formidable team with inside presence, and if Horford gets healthy. We might be seeing the beginning of something special. And wasn't Manny Harris supposed to be a senior on this team, also?


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 7:10 p.m.

Joe, I'm not sure I understand your points. They beat OSU, the #6 team in the country, by five points. What does that have to do with anything? They beat a good team without having to make threes. The fact that they missed easy layups only HELPS the point I was trying to make. They didn't make threes and also didn't have to be perfect around the rim, and STILL won.

Joe Kidd

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

I have to disagree Mook. They beat OSU by just five points. This team relies on three point shots. They missed at least five easy layups. Not sure what you mean Heartbreak about trusting Morgan more. All season I think he has been under rated. He gets open a lot and does not get the ball, especially after picks.


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 3:08 a.m.

Manny would have been a senior last year. Also, the common belief that this team can't win if they aren't hitting their 3s is simply not true anymore. It might have been the case last season but I think they're past that now. They were only 23% from beyond the arc against Ohio State. When they beat Michigan State in Ann Arbor they shot 28%. 27% in the win against Wisconsin. I hear the adage "live by the three, die by the three" in reference to this team way too often. It's just not true anymore. They find other ways to win.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Both football and basket ball programs are re-built, I believe. Clean, physical, characters than talent, and smart - Bo Legacy. Go Maize and Blue


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

Go Blue! I don't think Michigan trailed at all on Saturday against Ohio State. The players looked aggressive, and so did the student section. Michigan is pushing forward, both on the court and on the gridiron. Thanks to the players, the coaching staffs and Dave Brandon! Together, you're bringing Michigan back to the top!


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 11:41 p.m.

I will take Dave Brandon over his predecessor any day.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

Dave Brandon? i didn't see him writing on the chalkboard or boxing anyone out. Now if the new super special uniformZ that he keeps releasing had any impact on the game, then i could see including him.


Mon, Feb 20, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

This is a very special team. They have brought pride and integrity back to Michigan basketball. They are so much fun to watch!! I am proud of each and every member of the team. John Belein has done a wonderful job of coaching them. Go Blue!!!