The Michigan men’s team is No. 1 in the Associated Press media poll for the first time since their Fab Five era 20 years ago, but Wolverines coach John Beilein sounds determined not to get carried away with the recognition.
Michigan took over the top spot after a 74-60 victory at Illinois on Sunday night. Next up on the schedule is Northwestern, and there is no reason for the Wolverines’ routine to change.
“Our goal at Michigan is to be number one in the Big Ten. When you achieve that honor, you will have a chance at the national championship,” Beilein said. “All through the year, polls will spark great interest among college-basketball fans everywhere and that is always good. Our coaches and players, however, will remain focused on our goals of improving daily and competing for the championship within our conference.”
Kansas was second in the AP poll, but led the USA Today-ESPN coaches poll.
Duke, a 90-63 loser at then-No. 25 Miami on Wednesday, dropped from first to fifth in both polls. The blowout was the third-worst loss by a No. 1 team.
Meanwhile, Gonzaga improved from 10th to No. 7 in both polls.
Michigan tied for the Big Ten title last year, and it is deadlocked atop the rugged conference with No. 3 Indiana. The Hoosiers host Michigan on Saturday.
Michigan is No. 1 in AP voting for the fourth time. The Wolverines were at the top for 10 weeks in the 1964-65 season, eight weeks in 1976-77 and three weeks at the start of 1992-93, the iconic Fab Five’s second and final season together.
Fourteen Top 25 teams, including half of the top 10, lost at least one game last week.