John Beilein acknowledged Monday afternoon that he had quite a few text messages on his phone.
The Michigan coach just hadn’t checked them yet.
“I’ve been absorbed in Northwestern tape,” Beilein said.
The Wolverines are No. 1 in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll for the first time since their Fab Five days 20 years ago, but Beilein is determined not to get carried away with all this recognition.
Michigan took over the top spot after a 74-60 victory at Illinois on Sunday night. Next up on the schedule is Northwestern, and there’s no reason for the routine to change.
“Our goal at Michigan is to be No. 1 in the Big Ten. When you achieve that honor, you will have a chance at the national championship,” Beilein said. “All through the year polls will spark great interest among college basketball fans everywhere and that is always good. Our coaches and players, however, will remain focused on our goals of improving daily and competing for the championship within our conference.”
Michigan is doing pretty well in that regard, too. The Wolverines tied for the Big Ten title last year, and they’re deadlocked atop the league right now with No. 3 Indiana. The Hoosiers host Michigan on Saturday night.