Michigan coach John Beilein talks about his team's upcoming road game against the Nittany Lions on Wednesday, and the challenge they present. James Hawkins, Detroit News
Ann Arbor — Don’t expect Michigan coach John Beilein to hang a new championship banner in Crisler Center anytime soon.
When news broke Tuesday afternoon that the NCAA upheld the sanctions levied against Louisville following its sex-scandal case, Beilein first heard word of it during a radio interview with CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome.
Louisville will vacate all its wins from 2011-15, including its 15 NCAA Tournament wins and, most importantly, its 2013 national championship-game victory over Michigan
Michigan won’t be awarded the title, and Beilein said he’s not going to start claiming it for his program.
“All I know is we got every inch out of everything we could from that team that year,” Beilein told Rome. “We lost a tough one to Louisville and they had a tremendous team as well. But we certainly really represented our university and college basketball the right way that year. I’m very pleased we were able to go as far as we did and wish we could’ve won that last game.”
Michigan fell to Louisville, 82-76, in Atlanta in an epic national final that’s remembered for Spike Albrecht’s improbable 17-point first half and the controversial foul called on Trey Burke’s block attempt on Peyton Siva late in the second half.
While that end result will ultimately be vacated in the record books, Beilein noted earlier this season that it doesn’t change the outcome and the fact that his team was beat fair and square.
Beilein added he didn’t know enough about Louisville’s situation — one that included violations involving recruits and escorts — but said he’s content that his players can look themselves in the mirror and say they did everything they could during one of the most storied seasons in program history.
“One of the reasons I coach is can I go through a year, can we go through as a staff getting everything we can out of our team? And that’s really the ultimate goal,” Beilein said. “If you win the championship because of it, OK.
“We didn’t win it all. We lost to a great team, but we didn’t win it all. Now if some other people are going to come and say, ‘Hey, you won it all. You’re the champion.’ We’ll take it. I’m not going to declare that. I’m declaring that we played our tail off the entire year and we get every bit out of a really young team — freshmen and sophomores all over the place. That was a great basketball team.”
When Rome asked Beilein point-blank if, deep down, he considers his team to be the real 2013 national champs, Beilein said he’ll leave that for others to decide.
“All I know is we were one of the four best teams in the country then got down to the two best teams in the country,” Beilein said. “I’ll let everybody else answer that question.”