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Posted on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 1:50 p.m.

A Big Ten tournament title only way for Michigan basketball team to reach its goals

By Michael Rothstein


Michigan basketball coach John Beilein and the Wolverines carry a 14-16 record into their first-round Big Ten game against Iowa. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

EAST LANSING - For most of his career, Michigan basketball coach John Beilein has entered March needing to win or make the final of a conference tournament to reach the postseason.

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.”

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein.


peg dash fab

Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 8:37 p.m.

If Beilein has another losing season next year, will that be the end of his coaching career at Michigan?


Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 11:39 a.m.

If Beilein can't recruit big men he should make a bee-line back to Morgantown.


Tue, Mar 9, 2010 : 8:27 a.m.

"same attitude"? No Manny, NEW attitude! winning attitude...beat iowa! Go Blue! v


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 7:30 p.m.

beilein is a trainwreck and needs to be replaced with a coach that can motivate and recruit.what he is doing is not working. i think beilein is a nice guy but nice only gets you so far time for a change as for rich rod this fall will be the tale tale of the future of michigan football