College basketball rankings: Why undefeated Michigan is No. 7 in the Top 25 And 1
The Wolverines put their 8-0 record on the line when they play at Northwestern on Tuesday night
Michigan is 8-0 with wins over three top-20 KenPom teams -- namely North Carolina (No. 7), Purdue (No. 14) and Villanova (No. 18). The Wolverines have the nation's best defensive-efficiency rating. They almost never put their opponent on the free-throw line. They rarely turn the ball over. So if you want to argue John Beilein's team should be ranked No. 1 right now, it's totally fine with me.
That said, I have Michigan No. 7 in the Top 25 And 1.
Here's my explanation: I don't have any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to ranking teams because hard-and-fast rules are stupid. But one thing I prefer is to not punish teams I ranked high in the preseason that have done nothing to be punished, and all six teams ahead of Michigan in Tuesday morning's updated Top 25 And 1 are teams I ranked higher than Michigan in the preseason that have done nothing to be punished. No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Gonzaga, No. 5 Nevada and No. 6 Virginia are undefeated. No. 3 Duke's lone loss is a two-point loss to No. 2 Gonzaga. No. 4 Tennessee's lone loss is an overtime loss to No. 1 Kansas. So all six of those schools remain ahead of Michigan, more or less, because they started ahead of Michigan.
Perhaps you don't agree with that approach. If so, again, that's fine. But, hopefully, my explanation will cut down on the questions in my Twitter mentions. Either way, Michigan's next game is Tuesday at Northwestern -- where a victory would give the Wolverines a fourth top-50 KenPom win.
|1||Kansas||Dedric Lawson finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds in Saturday's OT win over Stanford. The Jayhawks own victories over Tennessee, Michigan State and Marquette.||--||8-0|
|2||Gonzaga||Gonzaga's resume features three wins over top-50 KenPom teams. Mark Few's team is 8-0 for the second time in a three-year span.||--||9-1|
|3||Duke||RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson combined for 66 points in Saturday's win over Stetson. The Blue Devils' lone loss is a two-point loss to Gonzaga on a neutral court.||--||9-1|
|4||Tennessee||The Vols' lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Kansas in overtime. Grant Williams is averaging a team-high 20.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the reigning SEC champs.||--||7-1|
|5||Nevada||Nevada's win at USC on Saturday provides the Wolf Pack with two double-digit road victories over top-75 KenPom teams. Caleb Martin is averaging a team-high 19.9 points and shooting 38.8 percent from 3-point range.||--||10-0|
|6||Virginia||The Cavaliers held Morgan State to just two field goals in the first 18 minutes of the second half of Monday's eventual 38-point win. Kyle Guy and De'Andre Hunter each scored 15 points.||--||9-0|
|7||Michigan||The Wolverines made 13 of 26 3-point attempts in Saturday's blowout of Purdue. Jordan Poole took five, made five and finished with a game-high 21 points.||--||10-0|
|8||Kentucky||The Wildcats trailed at the break Saturday before rallying to beat UNC Greensboro. Reid Travis finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds.||--||7-2|
|9||Auburn||Anfernee McLemore and Bryce Brown combined for 38 points in Wednesday's win over Saint Peter's. The Tigers' lone loss is a single-digit loss to Duke.||--||8-1|
|10||Michigan St.||Nick Ward took 10 shots, made all 10 and finished with 26 points and nine rebounds in Monday's win over Iowa. Kenny Goins added 19 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.||--||8-2|
|11||N. Carolina||The Tar Heels are 1-2 in their past three games. Two of their next three games are against Gonzaga and Kentucky.||--||7-2|
|12||Texas Tech||The Red Raiders rallied Saturday to overcome a double-digit deficit and beat Memphis. Chris Beard is now 31-2 all-time at Texas Tech against sub-75 KenPom teams.||--||9-0|
|13||Florida St.||PJ Savoy finished with a game-high 16 points in Monday's win over Troy. The Seminoles' resume features three wins over top-50 KenPom teams.||--||8-1|
|14||Va. Tech||The Hokies shot 57.1 percent from the field in Saturday's win over Central Connecticut State. Ahmed Hill had a game-high 24 points.||--||8-1|
|15||Kansas St.||The Wildcats missed 16 of 22 3-point attempts in Saturday's loss at Marquette. Their next three games are against sub-100 KenPom teams.||--||6-2|
|16||Maryland||Bruno Fernando finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday's win over Penn State. Maryland's lone loss is a single-digit loss to Virginia.||--||9-2|
|17||Wisconsin||Ethan Happ scored a game-high 20 points in Monday's win over Rutgers. Wisconsin's lone loss is a neutral-court loss by single-digits to Virginia.||--||9-2|
|18||Ohio St.||OSU shot 41.2 percent from 3-point range in Sunday's win over Minnesota. Kaleb Wesson scored 15 points and is now averaging 14.5 points and 6.1 rebounds.||--||8-1|
|19||Purdue||The Boilermakers' three losses have all come to teams ranked ahead of them in the Top 25 And 1 - specifically Michigan, Florida State and Virginia Tech. Carsen Edwards is averaging 24.4 points.||--||6-4|
|20||Creighton||The Bluejays led Gonzaga through 29 minutes Saturday before ultimately losing by double-digits. Creighton made 14 3-pointers in the loss.||--||6-3|
|21||Nebraska||The Huskers' lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Texas Tech. This week's games are against Minnesota and Creighton.||1||8-2|
|22||Arizona St.||The Sun Devils have won 20 consecutive non-league games. They'll play Nevada on Friday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.||1||7-1|
|23||Miss. State||The Bulldogs overcame a double-digit deficit Friday to win at Dayton. Their lone loss is a neutral-court loss by single-digits to Arizona State.||1||8-1|
|24||Iowa||Iowa missed 16 of its 22 3-point attempts in Monday's loss at Michigan State. The Hawkeyes' two losses are both to teams ranked ahead of them in the Top 25 And 1.||3||7-2|
|25||Texas||The Longhorns missed 22 of 27 3-point attempts in Friday's loss to Radford. Texas will take a two-game losing streak into Wednesday's game with VCU.||--||6-3|
|26||Buffalo||Nick Perkins finished with 22 points and five rebounds off the bench in Saturday's win over San Francisco. The Bulls are 7-0 for the first time since the 1930-31 season.||--||9-0|
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