Beilein on NIT, Reflects on Michigan's Season

Michigan coach John Beilein held a conference call Sunday evening following news that the Wolverines were not included in the 2015 NIT. Despite a difficult .500 finish to the year, Beilein remains proud of his team and the adversity it faced.

And season officially over.

For the first time since the 2009-10 season the Michigan basketball program isn’t in the NCAA tournament field.

After being eliminated from the Big Ten tournament in a 71-60 loss to Wisconsin in Chicago Friday, Michigan and Coach John Beilein hoped to have postseason life by being included in the 2015 National Invitation Tournament.

That hope faded during the NIT selection show Sunday night as the Wolverines were not a part of the 32-team event.

We are obviously disappointed that we’re not going to the postseason,” Beilein said in a conference call afterward. “At the same time, I have tremendous faith in the committees that choose the NCAA, that choose the NIT.

“Those guys work around the clock for months and weeks to come up with this decision.”

The decision handed down is a tough blow for a young group of Wolverines seeming to hit its stride over the final few games of the season, continuing to come together and improve despite season ending injuries to both Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr.

The Wolverines finished 16-16 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten conference, with several losses coming right down to the wire with overtime losses to Wisconsin, Michigan State, Illinois and Northwestern.

Ultimately though, it was some of those defeats that did Michigan in.

“The real fact is, you don’t get into these things, and you don’t go to tournaments when you come close so many times,” Beilein said. “You have to win more games, and you have to do better than we did, and that’s a fact.

“Still proud of our team and how resilient they were all year long. Great growth in them, as we’ve talked about. But really, spots of what could be a brilliant future for the program, for them individually, and, of course, Michigan basketball overall.”

Beilein says he watched the NIT selection show at home with his wife Kathleen and son Patrick, adding he’s been through that situation a few times in previous stops at Richmond and West Virginia.

Although disappointing after a competitive showing in the conference tournament, Beilein was sure to encourage his team with a message following the announcement.

“I texted them all; I did a mass text to tell them the season was over and I was very proud of them,” Beilein said. “We’ll take tomorrow off and talk again Tuesday about the season going forward. We change from 20 hours a week to two hours a week. We want to make sure we’re on schedule.

“I’ve gotten a couple of texts from Spike Albrecht that said, ‘I wish next season was here tomorrow.’ Quite a few texts like that from our guys about they are all in and ready to go for Team 100.”


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