Michigan Basketball: No. 4 in AP poll is just about right for Wolverines

After cruising to the Battle 4 Atlantis championship last week, Michigan basketball made the AP Top 25 this week, all the way up at No. 4.

After everything that Michigan basketball has done early in the season: beating North Carolina, Gonzaga, Iowa State and Creighton, an easy case can be made that the Wolverines have the best resume in college basketball.

The only thing is that polls aren’t about who has the best resume, it’s about who pollsters think is the best team, along with judging what teams have done on the floor.

That’s why the No. 4 ranking jives pretty well for Michigan basketball following its 7-0 start. Louisville is No. 1 and with their talent, it’s easy to see why along with Maryland at No. 2 and Kansas at No. 3.

The good news is also that if Michigan really is the best team in the country, it will beat Louisville Tuesday in their matchup as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, which will give the Wolverines a chance to prove they should be ranked higher.

A loss could also show that maybe they don’t deserve it, but if U-M gives Louisville in a game, even in a loss, especially on the road, it shouldn’t drop much in the poll, particularly if Michigan can beat Iowa in the Big Ten opener Friday.

Of course, none of the teams ranked ahead of the Wolverines have their kind of resume. Michigan basketball has already beaten four top-100 teams this season according to the Kenpom rankings and three of them came on a neutral floor which is even more impressive.

In fact, the three best wins all came at the Battle 4 Atlantis, which is always a very stacked field. This year was no different as it featured four ranked teams and six teams that went to the NCAA tournament last season.

Michigan basketball beat two of the ranked teams in No. 6 North Carolina and No. 8 Gonzaga. The Wolverines also beat Iowa State, which another team that seems good enough to be back in the NCAA tournament this March.

Either way, it won’t take long for Michigan to show its worthy of its ranking or maybe even worthy of being ranked higher. What we do know is that with Juwan Howard and his excellent staff on the sidelines, as well as a roster led by Zavier Simpson, Jon Teske, Isaiah Livers and a bunch of blossoming young guys, the Wolverines are much better than expected.

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And as a Michigan fan, that’s very exciting.

 

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