2019-20 Season

Michigan jumps to No. 4 in latest AP Top 25

In the span of a week, Michigan has gone from off the radar to No. 4 in the country.

The Wolverines are off to a 7-0 start under Juwan Howard with wins over Gonzaga, North Carolina, Iowa State and Creighton and the college basketball world has taken notice.

Michigan was unranked in last week’s AP Top 25 poll but now finds itself ranked 4th in the country before Tuesday’s matchup at No. 1 Louisville. The Wolverines received 9 first-place votes and are one of three Big Ten teams ranked in the top six (Maryland 3, Ohio State 6).

Michigan’s jump from unranked to 4th in the country matches the largest-ever jump in the poll’s 70-year history.

More on Michigan’s fast start:

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Notable Replies

  1. adamsmit86

    Not that I really care, but why is Maryland ranked ahead of Michigan and OSU? What exactly have they proven so far with their weak schedule?

  2. kturnup

    They’re barely ahead. The only reason they are ahead is because there are people that had Michigan in the 12-8 range (which is incredibly illogical), whereas Maryland was probably 3-5 on about every ballot

  3. umhoops

    Yes, preseason metrics are still involved. They hold the whole thing together early in the season so that you know beating UNC and Gonzaga means something, for example.

  4. silverblue

    About the only thing I really care about is that we’re 7-0, champions of The Battle for Atlantis, the victors over two top ten teams and a couple of other pretty good ones, and we’re playing very well with, I think, still more upside! The ranking is great, but let’s just keep playing…and winning! Hail to the Victors!

  5. silverblue

    It’s 9:10 on the day after, on Wednesday morning. I haven’t read the game thread or any analysis of the game. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, I don’t know. I will say I did sort of listen to Chris Mack’s press conference between helping get my “special” needs grand daughter get ready for school and then interrupted my listening to his comments two thirds of the way through to take her to school. So, before reading anything, let me talk about why I don’t care about the rankings.

    Michigan was unranked prior to The Battle for Atlantis and we went down there and beat three good teams including two ranked teams in Gonzaga and UNC. Did it matter that we were unranked? Not unless it provided a little extra motivation to play well and to win. But we played well and we did win. We ran our offense efficiently. We got good shots, and we shot the lights out. And we played good defense, too. It didn’t matter that we weren’t ranked.

    Last night we showed up in Louisville ranked number four in the country and we played another good team, really a VERY good team, also a ranked team, number one ranked Louisville. And Louisville dominated on the defensive end. Louisville literally “cut off the head of the snake” by dominating Zavier Simpson defensively. They defended our shooters exceptionally well, and despite now being ranked number four we didn’t play like a number four team would be expected to play. I will say this, to our credit we never quit, and we continued to play hard the entire game. And the fact that we didn’t play like a number four team had a LOT to do with Louisville, and the environment, and perhaps tired legs and extensive travel. But being “ranked” number four had nothing to do with it.

    So, what do rankings mean? They mean nothing, really. It’s fun for the fans. But I ask you, is anyone walking around saying, “Well, we’re number four in the country,” today?
    I’m not. That’s not what I’M saying. But I’m not hanging my head, either.

    I’m saying, “Louisville is REALLY good. They probably deserve to be ranked number one after the way they dominated a good Michigan team last night, and based on what I’ve seen from other teams so far this year.”

    And, what am I saying about that “good” Michigan team? I’m still saying they have one of the best point guards in the nation, an incredibly crafty and skilled point guard who struggled last night against tremendous and relentless pressure all night long. I’m saying, I guarantee you that X feels worse about last night than I do. I’m saying Michigan has one of the best big men in the country, who has proven he can score at all three levels, and he can rebound and defend, and despite everything he played well last night. I’m saying our shooters on the wing were defended very well, very closely, and got a little rattled, and struggled mightily to find the basket. But they have shot it well against good teams, and they will again. Zavier Simpson, that crafty point guard, well, he won’t ALLOW any of our players to hang their heads! Nor will Juwan, nor will his staff.

    But again I say, just as it didn’t matter that we were unranked going to the Bahamas and we won, it also didn’t matter that we walked into the Yum Center ranked number four last night and lost. It didn’t matter. It really had nothing to do with the outcome. Last night we were dominated by a superior team that probably, right now, is the best college basketball team in America. They are solid at every spot, they have great depth, and they have a superstar.

    So, you know what else didn’t matter? It didn’t matter that Isaiah worked hard defensively all night on Jordan Nwara. It didn’t matter 'cause Jordan Nwara is that good. He sure was last night. It also didn’t matter that Enoch, Louisville’s big man, hadn’t shot the ball well from three before last night, 'cause he sure did shoot it well last night. And I’m sure there will be those who will make a big deal about Isaiah and Eli struggling to find the basket last night, but that doesn’t matter, either. Oh, yes, it mattered last night, but that was one game out of 30+ games. They have shot it well, and they will again. Last night we lost to a superior team, not because some rankings say they are superior, but because, last night, they WERE superior, on the floor, where it counts.

    Here’s what matters, in my humble opinion. Learn. Watch the film, go to work. Get better. Rinse and repeat. There is so much to learn from this game, for the staff and for the kids. There is work to do. There is confidence to rebuild. I believe Juwan and staff, and X, JT, Isaiah will do what they need to do to learn all they can from this loss, and to help their teammates, and to get better. That’s what matters.

    While I live in Grand Rapids and the sun didn’t seem to come up today, it’s hiding behind the clouds, THE SUN CAME UP TODAY! It may be hiding behind the clouds right now, but our staff and our kids will do everything they can to make that sun shine brightly again…on Michigan basketball. Go Blue!!!

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