ESPN's Jay Bilas still a Michigan believer, has the Wolverines ranked ahead of Michigan State
Deservedly so, as the Wolverines went 1-3 during a stretch featuring games at Indiana, vs. Ohio State, at Wisconsin and at Michigan State.
Michigan (22-4, 9-4) rebounded with a surprisingly narrow win over Penn State, and is currently in the midst of a bye week before hosting Illinois on Sunday (1 p.m., ESPN).
The Wolverines don't appear as powerful as they once did, but ESPN's Jay Bilas says perspective is in order -- and those selling Michigan as a national contender should think again.
"Those selling the Wolverines are making a mistake," Bilas wrote earlier this week. "Michigan just completed perhaps the toughest stretch of games that any team has played this season.
"No team has played a four-game slate against such powerful teams, all four ranked in the KenPom.com top 13. Michigan has not been quite as proficient on the offensive end over that period, but the opposition has something to do with that."
On Monday, prior to Michigan State's narrow home loss against Indiana, Bilas actually rated the Wolverines higher than Michigan State in his top 68 list.
Bilas put Michigan at No. 6, Michigan State at No. 7.
The Wolverines were No. 2 on his list prior to suffering a 23-point blasting at Michigan State earlier this month.
"One must remember that this is still a young basketball team that is still learning," he added. "By the end of the season, Professor (John) Beilein will have the youngsters playing older, and playing in easier four-game stretches.
"We should not overreact to this particular tough stretch."
We'll see if Michigan can prove Bilas right.
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