First half of the article is posted here. Click the link for the second half. Glad Beilein is finally getting national recognition for what he has accomplished here at Michigan.
This tournament, this game, needs John Beilein.
Oh sure, there are other good guys who are likeable and have clean reputations. But their numbers are shrinking faster than the tuna population.
In both cases, there are too many sharks. Michigan's coach has walked the walk again. In a sport of charlatans and blowhards, in a sport of millennial power brokers and unrepentant millionaires, John Beilein literally rolls up his sleeves each night.
This time, he fooled us again. "Plodding Michigan" might as well had been a registered trademark. Then against Texas A&M in a West Regional semifinal he unleashed his sprinters.
Michigan took the Aggies' celebrated front line and ran it into a puddle of maroon. In short, these Wolverines can do anything. Or it seemed like it in a 99-72 win that catapulted No. 3 seed Michigan to the Elite Eight for the third time in six years.
The 99 points were the most by Michigan in an NCAA Tournament game since the Fab Five in 1992. Their efficiency was perhaps the best all season -- 62 percent shooting, 21 assists on 39 baskets.
With 5:39 left in the half, Michigan had as many 3s (eight) as it had in 16 games this season. It ended with 14.
"This felt like Madison Square Garden to us," Beilein said of the Staples Center that was 90-10 Michigan fans.
Some might even say the bracket is opening up for a team that tied for fourth in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are the highest-seeded remaining team on the entire left side of the 68-team bracket -- thanks to first-weekend exits for Virginia, Xavier, Cincinnati, North Carolina and Tennessee. Beilein is in his 11th season at Michigan. If he wins the national championship, he'll be one of six active coaches with 800 games.
But it may it's what didn't happen this season that defined him.
Senior forward Duncan Robinson remembers getting calls from friends when news broke in September of the now-infamous FBI investigation.
"To be honest with you, it was a cool moment to be part of this program," Robinson said, "because I had some friends playing at other programs. I'll talk to them and people [were] reaching out to them. Asking questions and stuff."
One of those players was from Louisville, Robinson said, which eventually had its 2013 championship banner taken down due to NCAA sanctions. Four other schools were implicated in the FBI investigation -- Oklahoma State, USC, Auburn and Arizona.
"Nobody even reached out to me, 'cause everyone just kind of knows," Robinson continued. "It's kind of an expectation at Michigan that [Beilein] has established."