Michigan was picked sixth in the Big Ten preseason poll — behind Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Rutgers. The Wolverines received zero first-place votes. But now here we are, eight weeks into this unusual season, and Juwan Howard’s program has established itself as a legitimate national title contender.
The latest impressive performance came Tuesday night, when the Wolverines pounded Wisconsin, 77-54, thanks in part to a great performance from Franz Wagner, who finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. Michigan is now 11-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are destroying basically everybody.
“They’ve done that to a lot of teams,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard told reporters after the 23-point loss.
Gard is right, by the way.
Ten of the Wolverines’ 11 wins have come by double digits. In addition to beating Wisconsin by 23, they’ve beaten Minnesota by 25, UCF by 22, Toledo by 20, Northwestern by 19 and Maryland by 11. That’s six double-digit victories over schools in the top 75 of the NET. Michigan is 2-0 in Quadrant 1 opportunities, 5-0 in Quadrant 2, 3-0 in Quadrant 3 and 1-0 in Quadrant 4. KenPom now projects the Wolverines to finish as outright Big Ten regular season champions. So, at worst, they’re the best undefeated team not named Gonzaga and Baylor. And that’s why I’ve moved them to No. 3 — just behind No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor — in Wednesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.
Michigan moving up to No. 3 resulted in Villanova and Texas getting pushed down one spot each, no fault of their own. The Wolverines’ next scheduled game is Saturday at Minnesota.
Wednesday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Gonzaga’s perfect record is highlighted by wins over Iowa, Kansas, West Virginia and Virginia. The Zags are the first team to score at least 85 points in each of their first 12 games since Loyola Marymount in the 1990-91 season.||—||12-0|
|Baylor has won every game it has played by double-digits. The Bears’ perfect record is highlighted by a 13-point neutral-court victory over Illinois.||—||11-0|
|Michigan’s perfect record is highlighted by double-digit wins over Wisconsin, Minnesota and Maryland. Eight of the Wolverines’ 11 victories are in the first two quadrants.||4||11-0|
|Villanova’s resume features wins over Texas, Marquette and Arizona State. The Wildcats have not played since Dec. 23 because of COVID-19 issues inside the program.||1||8-1|
|Texas owns victories over Kansas, West Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina. The Longhorns will take a six-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game with Texas Tech.||1||10-1|
|Creighton’s resume features four wins over teams ranked in the top 80 of the NET. The Bluejays will take a six-game winning streak into Saturday’s game at Butler.||—||10-2|
|Iowa’s resume features wins over seven top-100 KenPom teams – among them Minnesota, Rutgers and North Carolina. The Hawkeyes will take a four-game winning streak into Thursday’s game with Michigan State.||1||11-2|
|Tennessee’s resume features four wins over teams ranked in the top 80 of the NET. The Vols will take a two-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game at South Carolina.||1||9-1|
|Kansas’ resume includes four wins over teams in the top 40 of the NET – most notably Creighton, West Virginia and Texas Tech. All three of the Jayhawks’ losses have come to schools in the top 40 of the NET.||4||10-3|
|Six of West Virginia’s nine wins have come against top-100 KenPom teams. All four of the Mountaineers’ losses are considered Quadrant 1 losses.||—||9-4|
|Houston’s resume features wins over Texas Tech, SMU and South Carolina. The Cougars will take a three-game winning streak into Thursday’s game at South Florida.||—||10-1|
|Texas Tech is 4-1 with three double-digit wins since losing to Kansas. The Red Raiders will take a two-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game at Texas.||—||10-3|
|Maryland snapped Illinois’ four-game winning streak on Sunday. The Illini still own six wins over top-100 KenPom teams – among them victories over Duke, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue.||1||9-4|
|Wisconsin’s resume is highlighted by wins over Minnesota, Louisville and Indiana. Two of the Badgers’ three losses are to teams in the top 40 of the NET.||1||10-3|
|Minnesota’s resume includes victories over Iowa, Ohio State and Saint Louis. All four of the Golden Gophers’ losses are to teams ranked in the top 10 at KenPom.||—||10-4|
|Ohio State’s resume is highlighted by wins over Rutgers and UCLA. All three of the Buckeyes’ losses are considered Quadrant 1 losses.||1||9-3|
|David Johnson finished with 17 points and five rebounds in Wednesday’s 73-71 victory over Virginia Tech. The Cardinals’ lone loss is a shorthanded loss at Wisconsin.||1||8-1|
|Saint Louis’ resume features wins over NC State and LSU. The Billikens have not played since Dec. 23 because of COVID-19 issues inside the program.||1||7-1|
|Nick Honor made five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points in Tuesday’s 74-70 overtime victory over NC State. The Tigers have seven victories over teams ranked in the top 100 at KenPom.||1||9-1|
|Oregon improved to 4-1 in the Pac-12 via Saturday’s 79-73 victory at Utah. The Ducks’ resume also includes wins over Stanford and Seton Hall.||1||9-2|
|UConn’s resume is highlighted by wins over USC and Marquette. The Huskies will take a four-game winning streak into Monday’s game with St. John’s.||1||7-1|
|UCLA’s resume features wins over Colorado, Arizona and Marquette. The Bruins will take a four-game winning streak into Thursday’s game with Washington State.||1||9-2|
|Rutgers has gone from 6-0 to 7-4 by losing four of its past five games, three of them by double-digits. The Scarlet Knights are 4-4 in Quadrant 1/Quadrant 2 opportunities with zero losses outside of the first two quadrants.||1||7-4|
|Colorado’s resume features wins over Oregon and USC. All three of the Buffaloes’ losses are considered Quadrant-1 defeats.||1||9-3|
|USC’s resume features a win over Arizona and zero losses to teams outside of the top 25 of the NET. The Trojans will take a four-game winning streak into Thursday’s game with Washington.||1||9-2|
|Virginia Tech’s resume features wins over Villanova, Clemson and Duke. Both of the Hokies’ losses are to teams in the top 50 of the NET.||NR||10-2|
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