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January 29, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-29

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8 - Tuesday, January 29, 2013T

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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The Michigan men's basketball team is the top-ranked
team in the nation for the first time in two decades. The
Michigan Daily takes a look at how much has changed.

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u~vxrxo MICHIGAN W A D
WHAT DO
qHODES/MARSHALL/MITC
SCHOLARS
DO AFTER THEIR STUDIES
Well, this woman got her own
prime-time TV show.

Sophomore guard Trey Burke and the Michigan basketball team are the No. 1 team for the first time since the Fab Fire.
Fab again

By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Editor
Nov. 30,1992.
Trey Burke was only 18 days
old, and Glenn Robinson III's
father was just a sophomore at
Purdue the last time the Michigan
men's basketball team was ranked
No. t in the Associated Press poll.
These were the days of the Fab
Five, when the Wolverines were
expected to win multiple national
championships with the talents of
Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Chris
Webber, Ray Jackson and Jimmy
King. Whitney Houston was on
the top of the charts with her hit
"IWill Always Love You."
And now, more than 20 years
later, Michigan is back on top. The
Jan. 28 edition of the AP's Top 25
was released Monday with the
Wolverines earning a whopping
51 of the 65 total first-place votes.
Kansas finished at No. 2 with just
13 votes, and No. 4 Florida got the
final first-place vote.
Michigan had the chance to
assume the No. 1 ranking two
weeks ago when it visited Ohio
State, but it opened the game flat
and couldn't come back in the
loss. And in a similar situation
two weeks later, the Wolverines
headed to Champaign to face Illi-
nois on Sunday with the chance to
actually take over the top spot.
So the Wolverines redeemed
themselves in a 74-60 win over the
Fighting Illini and made a case to

earn what has probably inthe back
of their heads for the past couple
weeks.
Michigan coach John Beilein
and the rest of the team have been
mum about the rankings after the
Wolverines hinted that the No. 1
spot may have been a distraction
in the game against the Buckeyes,
but after Sunday's game, sopho-
more guard Trey Burke finally
admitted he thinks Michigan is
the best team in the country.
"I think (we deserve the No.
1 ranking)," Burke said. "I don't
think that was our goal, obviously
we want to be No. 1, but I think as
of right now we (deserve to be)."
So do the voters. Well, one
group of them, at least. With
Sunday's win, Michigan is off to
its best start in program history
at 19-1, but there's a bit of a com-
plication. The ESPN/USA Today
Coaches poll also has some weight
in the discussion of which team is
the nation's best.
Kansas, which is riding a
18-game winning streak, was
ranked ahead of Michigan at No.
2 in last week's ESPN/USA Today
Coaches Poll and squeaked into
the No. 1 spot in that poll on Mon-
day. The Jayhawks finished just
three points ahead of the Wolver-
ines for the top spot and started an
argument as to which team actu-
ally should have the No.l ranking.
On Monday, Michigan gained
an unlikely ally. Michigan State
coach Tom Izzo thinks the best

team in the country is obvious.
"I'll probably gain some ene-
mies and probably gain some
friends," Izzo said in a teleconfer-
ence. "Michigan deserves to be
No. 1. If you look at their body of
work, if you look atthe consistency
they have played with and look at
those two guards, Hardaway and
Burke, they can control a game.
They've been solid.
"If I had a vote, I'd have to vote
them No. 1, even though it's your
rival. Who wants to do that? But I
also have respect for what they've
accomplished."
But even after the rankings
were released, like before, Beilein
is still focused on the Wolverines'
goal of raising another Big Ten
championship banner. Beilein
mentioned Sunday that nobody
really remembers who was No.1in
January of past seasons, and he is
trying to keep his players focused
on each game ahead of them,
ignoring the hype surrounding the
ranking.
Redshirt sophomore forward
Jon Horford agreed with his
coach, saying that at this point in
the season, wins are more impor-
tant than the team's ranking.
"(Being No. 1) means a lot for
the program and for the fans, I
know that," Horford said. "I can't
speak for the team, but I feel (they)
vaguely feel the same way I do.
Being No. 1 in the nation means
nothing - it's all about who's
number one in the end."

What will you do?
Anything you want.
You've written your own game
plan so far in life. Why not take
it one step further and become
a Rhodes, Marshall, or Mitchell
Scholar?

0

Rachel Maddow, Rhodes Scholar 1995

Come to a Rhodes/Marshall/Mitchell Orientation Session:
Monday, January 28, 2013 * 5:00-6:00pm
Vandenberg Room, Michigan League
Wednesday, January 30, 20130 5:00-6:00pm
Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union
Tuesday, February 5, 2013.* 5:00-6:00pm
Boulevard Room, Pierpont Commons
To learn more, please contact the Provost's Council on Student Honors at
734-763-8123 or visit the website at
provost.umich.edu/scholars/

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