Michigan lost its top three scorers and head coach after last season, which resulted in the Wolverines being unranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll. In fact, they only appeared on one of the 65 preseason ballots. But Juwan Howard's team should be on every ballot when the AP poll updates Monday thanks to an undefeated record that now features a 73-64 win over North Carolina and an 82-64 win over Gonzaga.
"I'm sure we're on the map now," Howard said Friday.
I'd say so.
The Wolverines are 7-0 with victories over three top-40 KenPom teams. They're shooting 60.0% from 2-point range and 42.4% from 3-point range. At one point on Thursday, they led North Carolina by 24 points. At one point on Friday, they led Gonzaga by 21 points. And, yes, they're up to No. 5 in Saturday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.
Will AP voters follow suit Monday?
But any voter having reservations about launching a team from unranked to the top five simply because it's unusual wouldn't make much sense to me. This early in the season, when a team does what Michigan has done, I've long insisted you have to respect the impressive body of work. So that's what I'm doing. Michigan looks like, and has the resume of, a top-five team.
Moving on ...
Utah State lost 81-73 on Friday to an unranked Saint Mary's team that had previously lost to unranked Winthrop. So the Aggies have been removed from the Top 25 And 1. Meantime, VCU lost 59-56 on Friday to an unranked Purdue team that had previously lost to unranked Texas and unranked Marquette. So the Rams have also been removed from the Top 25 And 1. And those developments led me to drop LSU out as well even though the Tigers beat Missouri State 73-58 on Friday because LSU is now 5-2 with losses to Utah State and VCU -- and I just can't justify having a sub-30 KenPom team with multiple losses to teams no longer in the Top 25 And 1, and zero top-90 KenPom wins, ranked when VCU and Utah State are not.
|Jordan Nwora scored 25 points in Friday's 71-54 victory over Western Kentucky. The Cardinals' 7-0 record features six double-digit wins.||--||13-5|
|Udoka Azubuike scored 29 points and blocked four shots in Wednesday's 90-84 overtime win over Dayton. The Jayhawks have won six straight since their season-opening loss to Duke.||--||18-8|
|Anthony Cowan scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half of Friday's 80-73 win over Harvard. Jalen Smith added 15 points and 10 rebounds.||--||14-10|
|The Cavaliers only allowed Maine to make eight field goals in Wednesday's 46-26 win over the Black Bears. Mamadi Diakite led Virginia with 15 points and seven rebounds.||--||15-6|
|The Wolverines' perfect record features wins over Gonzaga and North Carolina. Next up for Michigan is a trip to Louisville to play Chris Mack's Cardinals.||2||18-1|
|Andre Wesson made four 3-pointers and finished with 21 points in Friday's 90-57 victory over Morgan State. The Buckeyes' perfect record features wins over Villanova and Cincinnati.||--||18-6|
|Armando Bacot finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks in Friday's 78-74 win over Oregon. UNC's lone loss is a single-digit loss to Michigan.||6||15-8|
|The Zags only got 11 points from their bench in Friday's 82-64 loss to Michigan. Gonzaga allowed the Wolverines to shoot 54.0% from the field.||3||24-0|
|The Flyers lost 90-84 in overtime to Kansas on Wednesday despite making 16 3-pointers. Dayton has the highest effective field goal percentage in the nation.||--||12-8|
|Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery combined for 32 points and 17 rebounds in Friday's 69-58 victory over UAB. The Wildcats played for the first time without Nate Sestina, who is expected to miss four weeks with a wrist injury.||--||8-14|
|Matthew Hurt scored a career-high 20 points in Friday's 83-70 win over Winthrop. Fellow freshman Vernon Carey added 17 points and 10 rebounds.||--||11-9|
|Cassius Winston finished with 20 points and four assists in Wednesday's 75-62 victory over UCLA. Michigan State outscored the Bruins 18-2 in transition points.||--||13-9|
|The Ducks shot 35.7% from the field in Friday's 78-74 loss to North Carolina. Oregon finished fourth in the Battle 4 Atlantis with a 1-2 record.||5||16-5|
|Myles Powell scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half of Friday's 84-76 win over Iowa State. The Pirates' two losses are to Michigan State and Oregon.||--||13-10|
|Boogie Ellis had 17 first-half points and finished with 21 in Thursday's 83-78 win over NC State. The Tigers won despite the absence of two starters - James Wiseman and Lester Quinones.||--||13-6|
|Samir Doughty scored 22 points in Tuesday's 79-65 win over Richmond. Austin Wiley added 18 points and was named MVP of the Legends Classic.||--||12-13|
|Nico Mannion made a game-winning layup in the final seconds of Thursday's 93-91 victory over Pepperdine. The freshman point guard finished with 16 points and 11 assists in 31 minutes.||2||17-8|
|The Seminoles opened with a 14-2 run and never trailed in Friday's 60-57 win over Tennessee. Devin Vassell led Florida State with 13 points and five rebounds.||NR||14-4|
|The Vols missed 17 of the 22 3-pointers they attempted in Friday's 60-57 loss to Florida State. Tennessee only got two points from its bench in the game.||1||16-7|
|Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels combined for 45 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday's 88-69 victory over San Diego. The Huskies' lone loss came to Tennessee on a neutral court.||2||5-20|
|Jared Butler scored 10 points in the final six minutes and finished with 22 in Sunday's 87-78 victory over Villanova. The Bears were 11-of-19 from 3-point range. in the win.||2||18-1|
|Villanova lost 87-78 to Baylor on Sunday despite shooting 51.9% from the field. Both of the Wildcats' losses are to teams ranked ahead of them in the Top 25 And 1.||2||15-3|
|Tyler Bey finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's 71-67 win over Clemson. The Buffaloes will likely be 7-0 when they visit Kansas next Wednesday.||2||19-7|
|Kamar Baldwin finished with 22 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 68-67 win over Stanford. Butler's undefeated record features wins over three top-75 KenPom teams.||2||8-13|
|Yor Anei finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in Friday's 78-37 victory over Ole Miss. The Cowboys' perfect record features three wins over top-100 KenPom teams.||NR||16-6|
|Oscar Tshiebwe finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds in Wednesday's 75-63 victory over Wichita State. Four of the Mountaineers' wins are over top-100 KenPom teams.||NR||17-6|
IN: Florida State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia
OUT: Utah State, VCU, LSU