Monday, January 28, 2013
How long can Michigan hold on to No. 1?
By Luke Lapinski
The only thing that's been consistent about the top spot in the polls recently is that a new No. 1 seems to emerge each week. Three weeks ago, it was Duke. Then it became Louisville. Duke took over again last week, and now the honor goes to Michigan.
It's tough to argue with the body of work the Wolverines have put together up to this point. At 18-1, they've knocked off a number of quality opponents (Kansas State, North Carolina State, Minnesota and Illinois are the biggest wins) and have done a number on the other programs they've faced. In fact, they were poised to take the reins at No. 1 two weeks ago before suffering their lone loss on the road against Ohio State.
John Beilein's group is on top now though, receiving 51 first place votes in the latest AP Top 25. And while strong cases can certainly be made for Kansas and Florida (and maybe even a couple others), it's likely Michigan's spot to lose. The Wolverines will be tested repeatedly in the next few weeks, with trips to No. 3 Indiana, Wisconsin and No. 13 Michigan State and a rematch against the Buckeyes all on tap before Feb. 12. That means there's a number of opportunities for them to suffer that second loss. But it also means their strength of schedule will help them stay at No. 1 as long as they keep winning.