Michigan players, coach talk top ranking

ANN ARBOR (WXYZ) - The Michigan Wolverines come into tonight's game against Northwestern ranked number one in the nation for the first time since their Fab Five days 20 years ago.

The biggest challenge for Michigan (19-1, 6-1 Big Ten) tonight against Northwestern (12-9, 3-5) may not necessarily be defending the Wildcats' play, but rather learning how to deal with college basketball's biggest target squarely on their back.

Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III says he's ready for the test.

"We have that target on our back and we're going to get everybody's best shot, but I love that feeling, and I love playing for a team like this," said Robinson III.

The top ranking isn't fazing junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. either. The veteran says, "We're just going to be the same team like usual. We're not changing anything."

Hardaway Jr. added, "We are excited about the top ranking, don't get me wrong. It's great for our fan base and it's great for the University of Michigan."

Head coach John Beilein isn't getting too jazzed up about being ranked number one in January, but he knows his players won't be able to escape the hype.

Beilein comments, "They live in Times Square... everything is just on everyone. You can't say don't read the newspapers, because it's not even about the newspapers. It's on them. It's Twitter. It's everything."

The Wolverines opened conference play in Evanston on Jan. 3 and cruised to a 94-66 win.

 

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