/College basketball rankings: Michigan secures Big Ten title, likely No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament
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College basketball rankings: Michigan secures Big Ten title, likely No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament

CBS Sports Graphic

Michigan turned in (arguably )this season’s most WTF performance earlier this week when it was run off the court by an Illinois team missing its best player. More than anything, I assumed it was just one of those weird/bad nights great NBA teams sometimes have during the grind of a long season. I never thought it was a reflection of anything more. I always assumed the Wolverines would bounce back strong.

And they did.

So now they’re Big Ten champions thanks to Thursday’s 69-50 victory over in-state rival Michigan State. It culminated with Juwan Howard’s team celebrating on the court inside Crisler Center. Confetti floated in the air, released from above.

“I put some of that confetti in my pocket,” Howard said. “I’m just going to keep it in a nice safe place because it’s hard winning championships, man. I’m going to always remember this moment.”

The 19-point victory means Michigan now owns 10 double-digit wins over Big Ten competition. The Wolverines are 19-2 overall, 14-2 in the league. They’re 13-2 in the first two quadrants with wins over Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Best I can tell, they’ve essentially locked up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens going forward, if only because it’s now impossible for the Wolverines, as outright champions of the nation’s best league, to have more than four losses on Selection Sunday.

Michigan remains No. 3 in Friday morning’s CBS Sports Top 25 And 1. The Wolverines will close the regular season Sunday at Michigan State. Tip is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

Friday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings

Biggest Movers

Rk

Teams

Chg

Rcrd

1

Gonzaga

Gonzaga’s perfect record includes double-digit victories over Virginia, Iowa and Kansas. The Zags have won their 15 WCC games by an average of 24.1 points.

24-0

2

Baylor

Baylor is 10-1 in the first two quadrants with wins over Illinois, West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The Bears are conference champions for the first time since 1950.

20-1

3

Michigan

Michigan is 13-2 in the first two quadrants with wins over Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The Wolverines are Big Ten champions for the first time since 2014.

19-2

4

Illinois

Illinois is 13-6 in the first two quadrants with wins over Michigan, Iowa and Purdue. Five of the Illini’s six losses are Quadrant 1 defeats.

19-6

5

Alabama

Alabama is 14-5 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Crimson Tide are SEC champions for the first time since 2002.

20-6

6

Iowa

Iowa is 11-7 in the first two quadrants with wins over Ohio State and Purdue. The Hawkeyes are 6-1 in their past seven games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Michigan.

19-7

7

W. Virginia

West Virginia is 11-7 in the first two quadrants with wins over Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The Mountaineers are 3-1 in their past four games with the lone loss in that stretch coming to Baylor in overtime.

18-7

8

Ohio St.

Ohio State dropped to 12-7 in the first two quadrants after Sunday’s loss to Iowa. The Buckeyes’ resume is highlighted by victories over Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

18-7

9

Houston

Houston is 6-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cougars are 5-1 in their past six games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Wichita State.

20-3

10

Arkansas

Arkansas is 11-5 in the first two quadrants with wins over Alabama and Missouri. The Razorbacks are 10-1 in their past 11 games with wins over Alabama and Missouri.

20-5

11

Florida St.

Florida State is 9-3 in the first two quadrants with wins over Virginia and Clemson. The Seminoles are one win away from securing back-to-back outright ACC titles.

15-4

12

Villanova

Villanova is 8-4 in the first two quadrants with wins over Texas and Creighton. The Wildcats have won the Big East in six of the past seven seasons.

16-4

13

Kansas

Kansas is 9-8 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Jayhawks are the only team that has beaten Baylor.

19-8

14

Oklahoma St.

Oklahoma State is 9-6 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cowboys are 5-1 in their past six games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Baylor.

17-7

15

Texas

Texas is 8-7 in the first two quadrants with wins over West Virginia, Kansas and Oklahoma State. Six of the Longhorns’ seven losses are Quadrant 1 defeats.

16-7

16

Loyola Chi.

Loyola Chicago is 5-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Ramblers are 13-1 in their past 14 games and MVC champions for the third time in the past four seasons.

21-4

17

Virginia

Virginia is 7-5 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Cavaliers have an ACC-best 12 league wins.

16-6

18

USC

USC is 8-6 in the first two quadrants with wins over BYU and Oregon. The Trojans close the regular season Saturday at UCLA.

20-6

19

Purdue

Purdue is 12-7 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss falling in Quadrant 3. The Boilermakers will take a four-game winning streak into Saturday’s game with Indiana.

17-8

20

Creighton

Creighton dropped to 11-4 in the first two quadrants after Wednesday’s loss at Villanova. The Bluejays also have three Quadrant 3 losses on their resume.

17-7

21

Go. Tech

Virginia Tech is 5-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Hokies’ resume is highlighted by wins over Villanova, Virginia and Clemson.

15-5

22

BYU

BYU is 8-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Cougars will take a four-game winning streak into the West Coast Conference Tournament.

19-5

23

Missouri

Missouri is 9-7 in the first two quadrants with wins over Illinois and Alabama. The Tigers’ resume features seven Quadrant 1 victories.

15-7

24

Texas Tech

Texas Tech is 5-8 in the first two quadrants with wins over Texas and Oklahoma. All eight of the Red Raiders’ losses are to teams ahead of them in the Top 25 And 1.

17-8

25

Clemson

Clemson dropped to 10-6 in the first two quadrants after Wednesday’s loss at Syracuse. The Tigers close the regular season Saturday against Pitt.

15-6

26

Wisconsin

Wisconsin dropped to 9-10 in the first two quadrants after Tuesday’s loss at Purdue. The Badgers close the regular season Sunday at Iowa.

16-10