Michigan basketball enjoying national exposure, John Beilein expects home sellouts the rest of the season
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
The Michigan basketball team has had some impressive streaks this season.
To date, the Wolverines have spent 13 straight weeks as a nationally ranked club. And Wednesday against Indiana, Michigan will look to remain unbeaten at home this season, as it goes for its 14th straight home win dating back to last season.
But what streak is most impressive in the mind of coach John Beilein?
The fact that, as of Feb. 12, his team will have played on national television for four consecutive weekends.
"It'll be four consecutive weekends," Beilein said Monday during his weekly radio show. "There's so many schools that would kill to be on CBS, and we're so fortunate to be rewarded that opportunity on so many consecutive weekends."
The Wolverines have played a nationally televised game on CBS three times already this season. Michigan beat Wisconsin at home on Jan. 8, lost at Arkansas on Jan. 21 and fell at Ohio State on Sunday.
This coming Sunday, Michigan will travel to East Lansing for its third consecutive weekend CBS game. And on Feb. 12, the Wolverines will welcome Illinois to the Crisler Center for a fourth straight CBS contest.
From there, Michigan basketball will also receive a national spotlight when it hosts Ohio State and ESPN's College GameDay on Feb. 18.
"It's a great quality Michigan has, because people like watching Michigan sports," Beilein said. "We realize it's a great opportunity, and it's a great opportunity to continue to grow our brand."
With the growing number of national television opportunities, Beilein says he's noticed some serious growth in fan popularity this season for his program.
He said he's noticed "more autograph (seekers) in the lobbies" than he saw during the early part of his Michigan tenure.
And, on top of that, he says he expects Michigan's remaining four home games to feature sellout crowds.
"I think (Michigan Chief Marketing Officer) Hunter Lochmann and everyone have done an incredible job," Beilein said. "I think we're sold out for the rest of the year, or close to it.
"They believe every game will be sold out the rest of the year. If that's the case, then we're doing the right thing."
Wearing out game tape
Beilein said Michigan spent an extraordinary amount of time Monday watching game film from its Ohio State loss.
Most of the focus during the film study was fixing controllable problems, Beilein said.
"We watched a lot of film (Monday), we might have set a record," he said. "We approached two hours, overall.
"(We focused on) areas that we can control. Areas that the worst basketball player in college basketball can do -- it doesn't take skill to run up the floor, it doesn't take skill to box out and it doesn't take skill to say 'I've got him, you've got him.' Pretty simple stuff, and the kids did a great job of responding."
Despite going 1-1 last week, Michigan saw a steady improvement in its season RPI.
According to the NCAA's official RPI rankings, Michigan went from No. 28 to No. 19 after a win at Purdue and a loss at Ohio State.
To date, the Wolverines have six wins against top 50 RPI teams (Michigan State, Wisconsin, Memphis, Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa State).
"I don't remember any of my teams having a 19 RPI at any time," Beilein said. "It doesn't mean anything at this point, you've got to keep winning, obviously, but it's a good position (to be in).
"Last year, I don't think we had a top 50 win until we beat Michigan State. So, we had one at this time last year. Clemson got in later on, but still. We've got to keep on going."
Beilein in the Coaches Charity Challenge
Beilein is currently second to Ohio State's Thad Matta in the Midwest Region of the Infinity Coaches' Charity Challenge.
The challenge features 48 college basketball coaches competing for votes and an opportunity to earn money for a charity of their choosing.
Presently, Beilein -- who is playing for the St. Louis Center in Chelsea -- is one percentage point behind Matta.
The winner of the event receives $100,000 for the charity of his choice.
To vote for Beilein, visit www.espn.com/infiniti.
Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.
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Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.
Caption this: "So Greg, what does it take to win a national championship?" "Well John, it always helps to have a guy like Magic Johnson on your team".
Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.
Helps to have Glen Rice or Charles Woodson too!!!
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.
The last two games I watched on tv Michigan lost.
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.
You watching on television Wednesday, Tim?
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.
Michigan is now in year 5 of Ole Johnny. Under him they are still under .500 in Big Ten play and no BT championship in sight. Their has been improvement but I thought Michigan was all about championships. It has been 25 years since UM won one in basketball. By the way it has been 7 years for the football team.
Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.
Yeah...and your point is...what????
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.
I keep hearing sellouts, but I was still amazed to see a few strips of mostly empty rows in the upper tier of the north end at the MSU game (12th home game). Who's buying those seats and not going? Also, It wasn't until the MSU game that the two seats to the right of me were occupied. I sit in row 8.
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.
Never say never, cutty. If Hardaway, Morgan and Burke stay for 2 more years each, watch out.
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.
Morgan will be here two more years. Hardaway and Burke? That's a big "IF".
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.
What people forget about Beilein is,he is a VERY CLASSY COACH.Will he win you any NC no he won't.But he will always put a Good team on the floor,and be exciting to watch at the same time.He will never win The Big Ten in Basketball either.But it will be fun to watch.