ANN ARBOR, Mich. – John Beilein isn’t making any excuses for Michigan making the NCAA Tournament.
And he shouldn’t be. They made it. And there is no going back. Because he knows they deserved it.
“I feel that way, but you have to remember I am really biased,” Beilein said. “Because I only know what we can accomplish.”
Michigan (22-10, 10-8 Big Ten) has notable wins against Maryland, Indiana, Texas and Purdue, who were all selected to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday as well. Which is further proof that Michigan can play with anybody, Beilein says.
“And we can do that when we are all playing together,” Beilein said. “And we are all playing as one, and everyone is doing what they have to do. So I know who we can be at times. Sometime we can’t pull it all together. A lot of reasons for that, but this is one time that we have to or I’ll season will be over.”
Selected as an at-large No. 11 seed, Michigan will play No. 11 Tulsa (20-11) this Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio in the play in game. Tip-off is scheduled at 9:10 p.m., a late start that an un-pleased Beilein was informed about during his press conference Sunday night.
“Oh, God,” Beilein said when he heard the news. “Those are long days for me.”
“We’ll have a good shoot around there, that’s for sure,” Beilein said. “So I don’t know if we’ll go practice there now if that’s the situation. Just relay on a two o’clock shoot around that day. But we have had several nine o’clock type of games, I don’t know if we played well in all of them. And I don’t know if it matters. But we’ll just do what we have to do.”
As far as the Golden Hurricanes are concerned, Beilein admits he knows little, if anything about their playing style.
“I know Frank Haith from years ago,” Beilen said. “I’m trying to think where he was when I was coaching. I’ve known him for many, many years. But I don’t know one thing about their team. But I will by midnight tonight.”
Now, Beilein and Michigan must prepare for a quick turnaround this week in Dayton.
“Traditionally it has never been two day turn around like this,” Beilein said. “But for me it won’t be. I value getting a good night sleep and getting up early in the morning. I do my best work very early in the morning.”