John Beilein on No. 2 Michigan: 'I don't care what our record is, we have a lot to prove'
ANN ARBOR -- If anyone thinks the Michigan basketball team has accomplished something, John Beilein has a message for you.
"We're 3-0 in a league that plays 18 games," Beilein said Saturday. "We have a lot to prove.
"I don't care what our record is, we have a lot to prove every day."
No. 2 Michigan (16-0, 3-0 Big Ten) will encounter its first serious road test of the season Sunday when it travels to No. 15 Ohio State (12-3, 2-1).
For most of the season, Beilein has been relatively defensive of his team's non-conference schedule.
The Wolverines beat Pittsburgh, Kansas State and North Carolina State before the turn of year -- but none of that happened on the road.
Beilein's had to answer plenty of questions about his team's undefeated record as of late. And, at this point, he seems a tad sick of it.
"Everybody's got to understand, we've played (16) games and we haven't played a top 20 team on the road yet," Beilein said. "If we had played a top 20 team on the road, I don't think we'd be talking about the record right now.
"It's not about being undefeated. It's about who you've played, where you played them and when you played them. That's what it is. The schedule changes now."
The schedule changes, indeed. And it starts by sending Michigan to a place -- Ohio State's Value City Arena -- where Michigan has dropped eight straight games.
Beilein's Michigan teams have never won in Columbus, and the last time it happened (2003), Thad Matta was running the show at Xavier.
As far as playing on the road goes, Michigan dropped its first four road games of the year in 2011-12 before closing the year with five wins in its last seven trips away from Crisler Center.
"(Winning on the road) is indicative of who the really, really good teams are," Beilein said. "How many teams, and you could probably count them very quickly, all the teams that have played road games against top 20 teams this year.
"I would think most of those teams didn't fare very well. ... In this league, it's fair to say, if you have an above-.500 record, it's a tremendous road year."
Michigan can clinch the best start to a season in program history tomorrow with a victory. With 17 straight wins, it can also tie a school record for the longest winning streak ever.
But Beilein doesn't care about any of that. And, frankly, he's a bit tired of hearing about it.
He's more interested in seeing what his team's made of.
"You can't play all home games, you need to do this," Beilein said. "You need to go on the road, and find out how good you are."
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