Michigan hoops becomes first team in over a decade to achieve impressive run vs AP ranked teams
Don’t look now, but Michigan basketball is undefeated on the season and 6-0 in B1G play heading into the middle of January.
Coming out of non-conference play, plenty of people were skeptical about the undefeated start for Juwan Howard’s squad, and with good reason. The Wolverines played five games outside of the B1G, all of which were won by strong margins against overmatched competition. Though it was out of their control, the Wolverines also missed out on playing NC State in the ACC/B1G Challenge due to COVID-19 issues with the Wolfpack.
After Tuesday’s performance, it’s safe to say no one is doubting the Wolverines any more with Howard and his team in the driver’s seat early on in the conference. Michigan absolutely blindsided No. 9 Wisconsin, pushing a second-half lead to 40 points before coasting to the finish line for a blowout win.
It was Michigan’s third straight game against a top-25 opponent. Remarkably, the Wolverines have won each one of those games by at least 15 points, becoming the first team to win three straight against ranked opponents by 15+ since 2008.
The last team to do that was Memphis, and the Tigers did it in the NCAA Tournament:
Last 3 games for @umichbball:
Beat #19 NW by 19
Beat #16 Minn by 25
Beat #9 Wisc by 23
They're the 1st team to play 3 straight AP Top 25 teams and beat all 3 by 15+ pts since Memphis did so in the 2008 NCAA tourney.
Last to do it in the regular season was Kentucky in Jan 2003.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) January 13, 2021
Michigan will get a chance to run that streak to four on Saturday with the rematch against Minnesota. Even with the loss, the Gophers checked in at No. 23 on the latest AP Poll.
If the Wolverines get past Minnesota, they will have a stretch of five straight against currently unranked teams before facing No. 14 Illinois. How long can Howard and company keep their record unblemished?