A Big Ten tournament title only way for Michigan basketball team to reach its goals
Not much has changed for him this season. For Michigan to reach the NCAA tournament - or any postseason after Beilein’s announcement the Wolverines won’t play in the CBI this season - it needs to win the Big Ten tournament, which begins Thursday in Indianapolis. Michigan, the eighth seed, opens with a 2:30 p.m. game against Iowa (ESPN2).
Win and in or lose and go home for the year is nothing new for Beilein, although he’s not sure about his players.
“They’re not used to that,” Beilein said. “But the way I’ve been coaching for most of my time, there were two times, last year and at West Virginia maybe one year but that’s the way it’s always been.
“With a four-game tournament it’s harder to than a three-game tournament.”
It wasn’t supposed to be this way coming into the season. Coming off a second-round NCAA tournament appearance a year ago, Michigan was picked as a potential Final Four team by Len Elmore and was a consensus Top 25 squad.
Michigan then spent most of the season reeling, finishing the regular season with a 14-16 record, the second time in three years Beilein has finished under-.500 at Michigan.
This is the first time in Beilein’s career, though, he has been under-.500 twice at one school.
And it also means Michigan’s next loss this season will be its last.
“We still going to practice with the same attitude, positive, and going to the Big Ten tournament we’re going to go in with the same attitude,” junior guard Manny Harris said. “And whatever happens, happens and we hope we come out of there with a championship because that’s what we are going in there for.
“Whatever happens, happens, but I know we’re going to give it our all.”