ANN ARBOR -- Trey Burke had 18 points and eight assists, and No. 1 Michigan was nearly flawless at the start Wednesday night en route to a 68-46 victory over Northwestern. The Wolverines made 10 of their first 11 shots and went the entire first half without a turnover. They didn't commit a foul, either, until the final minute of the half. Michigan took over the top spot in the AP poll this week for the first time since the 1992-93 season. The Wolverines can now prepare for Saturday night's showdown at No. 3 Indiana. Michigan played without forward Jordan Morgan, who sprained his right ankle last weekend.
(AREA) -- A former Croswell-Lexington cross country and track star has been named Big 10 Track Athlete of the Week. Leah O'Connor, a sophomore on the Michigan State University women's track and field team, won the honor following a stellar performance last Saturday at Grand Valley University. The Spartans competed in a dual meet against Michigan, the first time the two schools competed head-to-head since 1976. This past weekend, O'Connor broke the facility, school, and her personal record as she took home an individual win in the one-mile run with a time of 4:40:41. Her record-breaking time puts her at first in the Big-Ten and 10th in the NCAA this season. She also placed second in the 800-meter run, posting a time of 2:09:61. The last Michigan State track athlete of the week was Charelise Davis on February 23, 2009.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Former players are sending support from afar, and even Tom Izzo has offered his grudging respect. Michigan is ranked No. 1 in basketball for the first time in two decades, and no matter how much the players downplay it, the spotlight will be shining on Ann Arbor for at least the next few days. Michigan hosts Northwestern on Wednesday night before going on the road for a weekend showdown at No. 3 Indiana. The Big Ten will offer few chances for a breather. The Wolverines are not even halfway through a conference schedule that still includes two games with Michigan State and a trip to Wisconsin. Michigan's only loss of the season came at Ohio State. The Wolverines host the Buckeyes next Tuesday night.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Brandon Jennings scored 20 of his 30 points in the third quarter, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 117-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night. Mike Dunleavy had 17 points and Monta Ellis added 14 for the Bucks, who led by as much as 29 points. Rookie Andre Drummond had 18 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit, while Greg Monroe scored 14 points. Drummond became just the second teenager to have an 18-18 game since 1985-86, joining Dwight Howard. The Pistons led by 15 points late in the first quarter, were outscored 78-40 over the next 25 minutes. Wednesday the Pistons are in INdiana to face the Pacers at 7 p.m.
DETROIT (AP) - Valtteri Filppula scored two goals - both off nifty passes from Pavel Datsyuk - and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Tuesday night. Henrik Zetterberg scored on a two-man advantage in the final minute of the second period to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead, and Damien Brunner and Filppula scored 23 seconds apart in the third. The Red Wings rallied after Loui Eriksson opened the scoring in the second period for Dallas. All six of Dallas' previous games this season were decided by one goal, but the Stars couldn't keep this one close in the third. Jimmy Howard made 25 saves for Detroit. Friday the Red Wings host the St. Louis Blues at 7:30 p.m.
(PORT HURON) -- Doug Borgman has pedaled his way to a personal milestone. The elementary school art teacher who lives in Port Huron cycled his 5,000th mile for 2012. That's more than twice the distance the Tour de France's 2,172 miles. He completed the last 10 miles of his 5,000-mile personal best with members of his bike club, Chain Gang Bicycle and Adventure. More than 5,000 miles in less than a year is a personal best for the 55-year-old Borgman, who has been cycling for about 30 years. His past personal best was 3,850 miles in a year. Borgman says his goal is to "enjoy every moment rather than go for distance, and it seems like the numbers just took care of themselves."
DETROIT -- From the moment the Detroit Tigers re-signed right-hander Anibal Sanchez to an $80 million, five-year contract this offseason, Rick Porcello has had a lot to prove. The top four spots in Detroit's rotation are now set, with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Sanchez locked in. That leaves Porcello and Drew Smyly as candidates for the last opening. Porcello is a seasoned veteran with a $5.1 million contract - but he just turned 24 last month. That puts the right-hander in an unusual position with spring training coming up. There's a sense he could be traded at any moment. Porcello went 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA last year, and he was not in the postseason rotation.
ANN ARBOR -- Trey Burke scored 19 points and No. 2 Michigan never trailed after the opening minutes of a 74-60 win Sunday over Illinois that could push the Wolverines to No. 1 in the nation for the first time since the 1992-93 season. Duke's lopsided loss to Miami earlier in the week opened the door for a new No. 1 when the AP poll comes out Monday - and Michigan put itself in position to take the top spot. Michigan's Jordan Morgan did not return after leaving early with an apparent ankle injury.
No. 7 Indiana had a 75-70 victory over No. 13 Michigan State on Sunday. The Hoosiers (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten) have won three straight overall and two in a row in this series. Michigan State (17-4, 6-2) was led by Gary Harris with 21 points and Adreian Payne who had 18 points and doubled his season total by making three 3-pointers. The Spartans and Hoosiers were among the league's three-team bunch that started the day with only one loss in conference play, and the game was as good as advertised.
DETROIT -- Brandon Knight had a career-high 31 points, including five 3-pointers, and Greg Monroe scored 17 points and the Detroit Pistons ended a two-game losing streak with a 104-102 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The Magic had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds after a missed free throw, but missed three putback attempts as the final horn sounded. Tuesday the Pistons host the Milwaukee Bucks at The Palace with tip off at 7:30 p.m.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks improved to 6-0 - the best start in franchise history - with a 2-1 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night. Detroit's Johan Franzen connected early in the third to tie the game at 1 and set up overtime. Howard, who has started all of Detroit's games so far, made 25 saves. The Blackhawks started 5-0 in 1971-72 - Hall of Famer Bobby Hull's final season in Chicago - and matched it on Saturday night with a 3-2 win in Columbus. Tuesday the Wings host the Dallas Stars at 7:30 p.m.