The Michigan men’s basketball team is reaping the rewards from a historic Thanksgiving week.
The previously unranked Wolverines dispatched two top-10 teams to win the Battle 4 Atlantis title in the Bahamas and entered the Associated Press top 25 poll at No. 4 this week. It matches the largest jump in the 70 years of the AP poll, dating back to 1949, and tying the Kansas team of 1989.
Michigan (7-0) opened the season with wins of eight and 10 points, receptively, over Appalachian State and Creighton in November. They cranked it up in the mainland bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, defeating Elon, 70-50, and Houston Baptist, 111-68.
Dominant wins, but nothing to earn them looks from the voters. Then came a ranked schedule at the championship and Michigan knocked off Iowa State (83-76), No. 7 North Carolina (73-64) and No. 9 Gonzaga (82-64).
''I'm sure we're on the map now,'' head coach and former star Juwan Howard said, via the Associated Press. ''A lot of teams are looking and seeing Michigan as a name that's out there. When you beat teams like Creighton and Iowa State as well as North Carolina and Gonzaga, you're no longer under the radar.''
New No. 1 Louisville vs No. 4 Michigan
Louisville (7-0) is the AP poll’s new No. 1 after Stephen F. Austin defeated top-ranked Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It’s the Cardinals, who were ranked second last week, first No. 1 ranking in six years.
It’s the fourth team in five weeks to take the top spot. The record for a season is seven, set in 1983. There’s a chance the record comes even closer to falling when the poll comes out next week. Louisville will host Michigan on Tuesday in Kentucky.
Both Louisville and Michigan are each ranked in the women’s poll as well. Louisville moved into second after defeating No. 1 Oregon, and Michigan moved into the rankings this week at No. 24.
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