The contrast could not be more startling.
Last night, Indiana looked like it had never even heard of a 2-3 zone before, and Syracuse simply demolished them. Just like that, the B1G's best team was gone.
Tonight, a team that was capable of abusing all of Michigan's weaknesses played solid basketball and got production from all of its key players. Withey was a force underneath the basket, and every time McGary was matched up against him one-on-one Withey got the better of him.
Yet somehow McGary produced 25 points, Burke had 10 assists, and Michigan won a basketball game they had no business even keeping close, against a team that was as bad of a matchup as Michigan could imagine.
And Beilein must receive the credit. Unlike Tom Crean, he did not shrink from the moment; he put Michigan in a position to succeed. In a game where Michigan had to score effectively and efficiently against a strong defense, Beilein devised a strategy that put them in the right place. McGary scored 25 points--but never when he was posting up Withey. Beilein moved Withey all over the court on screens and switches, and used movement to get McGary in position to score.
Somehow, Michigan's offense found all the right spots to keep scoring, even when Burke started cold. Somehow, Michigan was in all the right places to score. Somehow, Beilein was able to keep Michigan humming.
Beilein was masterful.