Michigan State men’s basketball has risen to No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25, released Monday.
The Spartans made their move after top-ranked Villanova and No. 3 Arizona State, both previously undefeated, lost on Saturday. Per ESPN Stats & Info, every Division I team lost a game before January for the first time since 1948-49, when the first AP poll was released.
This is the first season in the AP Poll era (since the 1948-49 season) in which every team in Division I took a loss before January pic.twitter.com/XSuTOWVZgo
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 31, 2017
Michigan State improved to 14-1 with a 108-52 win over Savannah State on Sunday. The Spartans lost to Duke (which now ranks second) in the second game of the year but have since reeled off 13 straight wins.
All of Michigan State’s wins have come by double digits, and it has won the last four by an average of 48.3 points. Its four straight games scoring at least 100 points set a program record.
This marks the 10th poll in which Michigan State has ranked No. 1 under coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans also took the top spot for two weeks in 2000-01, three weeks in 2013-14 and four weeks in 2015-16. They never ranked No. 1 during their 1999-2000 national championship season.
Michigan State earned two top-10 wins in a row during November. The Spartans beat defending champions then-No. 9 North Carolina, 63-45, in the PK80 Invitational title game, then defeated previously No. 5 Notre Dame at home, 81-63.
Preseason national player of the year selection Miles Bridges leads the Spartans with 17.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, and Nick Ward has added 15.4 points and 7.5 rebounds. Cassius Winston ranks first in the Big Ten with 7.2 assists per game and second with 56.9 percent 3-point shooting. Bridges, Ward, Winston and Josh Langford rank in the top 20 of the league in scoring.
Freshman big man and potential NBA draft lottery pick Jaren Jackson Jr. has made his mark as well, averaging 10.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks.
Michigan State re-enters Big Ten play at 2-0 on Thursday when it hosts Maryland. The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.