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Michigan on verge of return to No. 1

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Possible No. 1 ranking? Yeah, that's nice, Michigan's Trey Burke said Sunday outside the locker room at Illinois' Assembly Hall.

But after the win that should give the No. 2 Wolverines their first top ranking since the 1992-93 season, the sophomore guard wanted to talk defense and what a team does when one of its big defensive rocks goes down.

If you're Michigan (19-1, 6-1 Big Ten), you plug in a couple of other big guys. And you win — in this case 74-60 over the Illini, most of it without 6-foot-8, 250-pound Jordan Morgan. The starting forward limped to the locker room less than two minutes into the game with a sprained right ankle and didn't come back.

"Coach (John Beilein) calls him the minister of defense," Burke said, crediting Mitch McGary, John Horford and Max Bielfeldt, the big men who picked up the slack.

"I say this every game," Burke added, "but it just starts with defense. I think that started in the first half."

And that No.  1 ranking, which likely will be Michigan's today after Duke's lopsided loss to Miami last week opened the door, doesn't mean much yet, Beilein was quick to say.

"You compete for a Big Ten championship, then you go on you compete for a national championship," he said. "That's the No. 1 you want down the line."

Illinois and first-year coach John Groce, whose team has been doomed by cold shooting since mid December and shot 37.1 percent Sunday, could do little but marvel at the Wolverines.

"I give Michigan a lot of credit," Groce said. "You make one mistake and they exploit it like that."

Burke scored 19 and Nick Stauskas 14 to lead Michigan.

NO. 7 INDIANA 75, NO. 13 MICH. ST. 70: Victor Oladipo had 21 points, seven rebounds and six steals for the host Hoosiers (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten), who have won three straight. Oladipo "was a tremendous difference from the start of the game. He had a knowledge base that he put into his game as to how he was going to defend," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "If you're not cerebral like that and at the same time, quick, it's hard to defend like that. But he's been good." The Spartans (17-4, 6-2) were led by Gary Harris, Indiana's 2012 Mr. Basketball, who had 21 points and made five 3-pointers.

NO. 17 CREIGHTON 81, SIU 51: Doug McDermott had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the visiting Bluejays (18-3, 7-2 MVC) shot 63 percent against Southern Illinois to bounce back from a pair of road losses.

Women

NO. 11 UNC 64, MIAMI 62: Danielle Butts hit a winning jumper at the buzzer for the Tar Heels (19-2, 7-1 ACC), who snapped an 11-game home winning streak for the Hurricanes (14-6, 5-4).

NO. 14 GEORGIA 69, UF 52: Jasmine Hassell had 13 points, and 10 players scored for the host Bulldogs (17-3, 5-2 SEC). Kayla Lewis led the Gators (13-8, 2-5) with eight points and 10 rebounds.

NO. 22 FSU 70, VA. TECH 56: Chelsea Davis had 19 points to lead the host Seminoles (17-3, 7-2 ACC), who have won eight straight in the rivalry, the past four by an average of 27 points.

NO. 4 DUKE 80, BC 56: Haley Peters had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils (18-1, 8-0 ACC), who won their 34th straight home game against league competition.

NO. 5 KENTUCKY 73, LSU 60: Azia Bishop, who went in averaging 3.2 points, scored 17 and had several key baskets to lift the host Wildcats (19-2, 7-1 SEC).

NO. 6 STANFORD 69, NO. 20 COLORADO 56: Chiney Ogwumike had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the host Cardinal (18-2, 7-1 Pac-12), which swept the two-game series with the Buffaloes (15-4, 4-4).

NO. 7 CAL 71, UTAH 54: Reshanda Gray had 19 points, including 11 during a 17-4 second-half run, before leaving with a leg injury as the host Bears (17-2, 7-1 Pac-12) beat the Utes for the seventh straight time.

NO. 8 PENN ST. 71, OHIO ST. 56: Maggie Lucas scored 14 of her 18 in the second half for the visiting Lions (17-2, 7-0 Big Ten), who won their school-record 14th straight conference game.

NO. 10 MD. 80, CLEMSON 40: Tianna Hawkins had 17 points for the visiting Terps (17-3, 8-1 ACC), who beat the Tigers for the 12th straight time.

NO. 13 L'VILLE 57, ST. JOHN'S 54: Antonita Slaughter had 22 points for the host Cardinals (17-4, 5-2 Big East), who finished the game with an 8-0 run.

NO. 15 PURDUE 67, NO. 25 MICH. ST. 62, OT: Drey Mingo had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Boilermakers (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten), who held the Spartans (16-4, 4-3) to 1-of-11 shooting in the extra period and conference play.

NO. 16 TEXAS A&M 77, MISSOURI 58: Adrienne Pratcher had 18 points, all on 3-pointers, to lead the host Aggies (16-5, 6-1 SEC), who have won four in a row and eight of nine.

NO. 17 DAYTON 83, UMASS 44: Amber Deane and Andrea Hoover had 18 points each for the host Flyers (17-1, 5-0 Atlantic 10), who forced a season-high 31 turnovers, leading to 40 points.

NO. 18 S.C. 43, ARKANSAS 40: Ashley Bruner had 11 points for the visiting Gamecocks (18-3, 6-2 SEC), who won their fourth in a row despite not scoring over the final 3:44 of the game.

NO. 19 UCLA 54, ARIZ. ST. 50: Nirra Fields had 13 points, and Thea Lemberger hit a go-ahead 3-pointer midway through the second half for the host Bruins (15-4, 6-2 Pac-12).

IOWA 63, NO. 23 MICH. 57: Bethany Doolittle had 19 points as the visiting Hawkeyes avenged a Jan. 6 loss to the Wolverines (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten).

Michigan on verge of return to No. 1 01/27/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 27, 2013 10:42pm]

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