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College basketball rankings: Why undefeated Michigan is No. 7 in the Top 25 And 1

Michigan is 8-0 with wins over three top-20 KenPom teams — namely North Carolina (No. 7), Purdue (No. 14) and Villanova (No. 18). The Wolverines have the nation’s best defensive-efficiency rating. They almost never put their opponent on the free-throw line. They rarely turn the ball over. So if you want to argue John Beilein’s team should be ranked No. 1 right now, it’s totally fine with me.

That said, I have Michigan No. 7 in the Top 25 And 1.

Here’s my explanation: I don’t have any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to ranking teams because hard-and-fast rules are stupid. But one thing I prefer is to not punish teams I ranked high in the preseason that have done nothing to be punished, and all six teams ahead of Michigan in Tuesday morning’s updated Top 25 And 1 are teams I ranked higher than Michigan in the preseason that have done nothing to be punished. No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Gonzaga, No. 5 Nevada and No. 6 Virginia are undefeated. No. 3 Duke’s lone loss is a two-point loss to No. 2 Gonzaga. No. 4 Tennessee’s lone loss is an overtime loss to No. 1 Kansas. So all six of those schools remain ahead of Michigan, more or less, because they started ahead of Michigan.

Perhaps you don’t agree with that approach. If so, again, that’s fine. But, hopefully, my explanation will cut down on the questions in my Twitter mentions. Either way, Michigan’s next game is Tuesday at Northwestern — where a victory would give the Wolverines a fourth top-50 KenPom win.

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