The Michigan Wolverines are building momentum heading into their conference tournament. You cannot say the same for the Baylor Bears, who suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday night.
Juwan Howard is having a magical season at Michigan after an underwhelming start to his tenure as the Head Coach. The third-ranked Wolverines improved to 18-1 on the season after beating Indiana on Saturday 73-57.
Hours later, No. 2 Baylor fell to No. 17 Kansas on the road 71-58 for their first loss, so it begs the question of if they still deserve to be the second-ranked team in the country behind Gonzaga. No. 3 Michigan will definitely be getting some votes in the next AP poll.
The Bears did not look like the same team that dominated their first 18 games of the season. They had a three-week layoff prior to their loss on Saturday night and it showed. The team combined to shoot just 34% from the field compared to the Jayhawks’ 51 percent shooting.
Meanwhile, Michigan is looking as strong as ever and is now 7-0 since their upset loss to Minnesota (who was a ranked team earlier this season). In their last three games, the Wolverines have bested No. 4 Ohio State on the road and No. 9 Iowa by 22 points before embarrassing Indiana at home.
The Top 25 is About Who’s the Best Right Now
Baylor might be the better team overall this year because it took them nearly the entire season to lose their first game, but the whole reason why there is an updated Top 25 that comes out every week. It rewards the teams who are playing well right now.
Baylor is not playing well right now, and Michigan is.
The Bears may have dealt with a layoff recently but the Wolverines also had to deal with time off in the middle of their conference schedule. There was a two-week gap between their win over Purdue on January 22 and their win over No. 23 Wisconsin on February 14.
Michigan did not miss a beat during that period, but Baylor does not look like the same team as before their stoppage. In their first game since February 2, they only beat Iowa State (currently a 2-17 team) by five points. It is safe to say that Michigan would beat Iowa State by double digits right now.
Even if Michigan does not see themselves as a top-two team in the next AP Poll, they will be No. 2 if they beat No. 5 Illinois on Tuesday.
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