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Friday, January 10, 2020

CBB AP Poll: Wolverines, Spartans both fall out of Top 25

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Alex Mullerhttps://lxandrthegr8.wordpress.com/
MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

Coming into the 2016/17 season, the Michigan Wolverines were unranked in the AP poll, while the Michigan State Spartans were preseason No. 12. Both were largely unproven with potentially high ceilings, despite key departures from the teams a year ago.

The former got off to a hot start, winning rather handily in their games, enough to get them a spot in the polls last week. The latter meanwhile, with a depleted front court and struggles with cohesion, have been unable to hold their ranking and slipped each week.

Now, both Michigan and MSU are out of the polls after two very poor showings resulting in losses last week.

For Michigan State (4-3), it’s the first time they are out of the polls since March of 2015, just before they made a run at the Final Four. They are coming off a 2-1 performance in the Bahamas as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis, with wins over St. John’s and Wichita State. The loss came to a red-hot Baylor club, where MSU held a 3-point lead at halftime and was outscored by 18 points in the second half.

Michigan (5-1) meanwhile averaged 77 points per game with a balanced offense in their first four games, winning by an average of better than 17 points. That all came to a dead stop when they scored less than 50 at South Carolina and shot less than 20 percent from the field (less than 10 percent from 3PT).

It’s first time the AP poll comes out and both schools are outside the Top 25, since March 9 of the 2014/15 season.

Both Michigan and Michigan State now prepare for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge during the week. The Wolverines host Virginia Tech (5-1) on Wednesday and then welcome in Kennesaw State (2-4) on Saturday. The Spartans face yet another tall task, traveling to Durham and play No. 5 Duke (6-1), before returning home and beginning a five-game homestand on Saturday, when Oral Roberts (1-4) comes calling.

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