Nirvana. Bill Clinton. My birth. The Fab Five. All of these things were relevant pop culture phenomenons the last time the Michigan Wolverines were the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 Poll, but 20 years later the Wolverines have made it back to the top and are — for now — the best team in college basketball.
But while it’s a pretty momentous and nostalgic occasion, head coach John Beilein is trying not get carried away.
“Our goal at Michigan is to be No. 1 in the Big Ten. When you achieve that honor, you will have a chance at the national championship,” Beilein said. “All through the year polls will spark great interest among college basketball fans everywhere and that is always good. Our coaches and players, however, will remain focused on our goals of improving daily and competing for the championship within our conference.”
Michigan is once again riding high, as they’re coming off a season where they finished tied for the Big Ten title, and are currently in a position to take control of the conference if No. 3 Indiana loses another game. As it stands right now, two of the top three teams in the country are from the Big Ten an both are deadlocked atop the conference.
Ever since the ‘Fab Five’ days of Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, the Wolverines have primarily been a football college as their basketball program has consistently been second best to in-state rival Michigan State. But after taking over in 2007, Beilein has helped Michigan regain it’s glory and has them back at the top of the college basketball world.
We’re still a month away from March, but if Michigan can keep this up, they’re going to ride this momentum into a high seed in a few months and might do some damage during all the Madness.