CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20: Tim Hardaway Jr. #10 of the Michigan Wolverines goes up for a dunk over Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Michigan finds themselves at No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll and are certainly trending upward. Michigan State also received votes, but failed to crack the top 25. For more on the Wolverines, check out Maize N Brew and for more on the Spartans, head over to The Only Colors.
The ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll for the 2011-2012 college basketball season came out on Thursday morning, and there's few surprises. North Carolina takes the top spot with a staggering 30-of-31 first-place votes, the clear favorite to win the National Title. Kentucky takes second place with one first-place vote (and no votes below sixth place) and the Ohio State Buckeyes have grabbed the number three spot.
On to what you care about: The Michigan Wolverines clock in at No. 18, just inside the top twenty. They've been trending upward since the middle of last season, and they're getting more respect now, as opposed to ending up at the bottom of experts' expectations, like they did before the 2010-2011 campaign. They put out the 19th youngest team in the country last year, and played the 16th toughest schedule, and still had a strong run through the conference after a bad 1-4 start.
Michigan State also received some votes in the poll, but didn't crack the top twenty-five. They finished 19-15 last season. For the full top 25, you can head to this link here.