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Despite pause, Michigan basketball rises to No. 3 in latest AP rankings

Detroit News staff and wires

Michigan men's basketball hasn't played a game since Jan. 22, but the Wolverines continue to rise in the national rankings.

Michigan (13-1) is ranked third in the latest Associated Press poll, released Monday, behind No. 1 Gonzaga (18-0) and No. 2 Baylor (17-0). Michigan was ranked fourth last week.

It's the highest ranking for Michigan since the 2018-19 season, when the Wolverines got up to No. 2 for four weeks after starting the season 17-0.

Michigan head coach Juwan Howard directs his team in the second half of the loss at Minnesota.

The Michigan athletic department remains in a pause amid concern for the variant strain of COVID-19, which has been seen in Washtenaw County. Michigan's next scheduled game is Sunday at Wisconsin, after five postponements.

The Big Ten has three top-six teams, with Ohio State at No. 4 and Illinois at No. 6.

In other poll news, Kansas dropped out of the top 25 for the first time in 231 weeks, a record run in the Associated Press poll era. Kansas was last unranked in 2009.

AP Top 25

1. Gonzaga (last week: 1), 18-0

2. Baylor (2), 17-0

3. Michigan (4), 13-1

4. Ohio State (7), 15-4

5. Villanova (3), 12-2

6. Illinois (12), 13-5

7. Texas Tech (13), 14-5

8. Houston (5), 16-2

9. Virginia (14), 13-3

10. Missouri (18), 13-3

11. Alabama (10), 15-5

12. Oklahoma (9), 12-5

13. Texas (6), 11-5

14. West Virginia (17), 13-5

15. Iowa (8), 13-6

16. Tennessee (11), 13-4

17. Florida State (20), 10-3

18. Virginia Tech (16), 14-4

19. Creighton (15), 14-5

20. Southern Cal (NR), 15-3

21. Wisconsin (19), 14-6

22. Loyola-Chicago (NR), 18-3

23. Oklahoma State (NR), 12-5

24. Purdue (24), 13-7

25. Rutgers (NR), 11-6

Others receiving votes: Colorado 41, San Diego State 38, Xavier 37, UCLA 35, Florida 29, Louisville 28, Belmont 25, Kansas 18, Drake 16, Minnesota 12, North Carolina 8, St. John's 7, Toledo 6, Clemson 6, Arkansas 3, Boise State 3, Saint Louis 2, UAB 1, Virginia Commonwealth 1, BYU 1