John Beilein: UM will embrace NCAA or NIT bid

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Michigan head coach John Beilein reacts courtside in the second half.

Ann Arbor — Michigan coach John Beilein won't lobby.

But he still believes the Wolverines have done some things that should open some eyes on the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.

"We do have 10 wins in a very good league, we do have some wins over top-25 teams and we played a lot of top-25 teams," Beilein said after Saturday's 71-61 loss to No. 16 Iowa at Crisler Center. "I'm sure other people have similar arguments.

"I don't know enough about the other teams. I really trust the people in that room. They don't get too many of these things wrong."

Michigan has good wins over Texas, Purdue and Maryland, and three road wins in the Big Ten.

It also three losses at home and finished in eighth place in the Big Ten, and few can make the case the conference deserves an eighth bid. The Wolverines also lost to the team ahead of them, at seventh, Ohio State down in Columbus, Ohio.

Beilein acknowledged what most analysts have been saying — it'll now probably take a good showing at the Big Ten tournament to get Michigan into the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA bid likely pipe dream for UM after Iowa loss

Michigan will play either Penn State, Northwestern or Nebraska at noon Thursday in Indianapolis.

Beilein also said it's not "life or death" if the Wolverines miss the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan (20-11, 10-8) did, after all, play most of the season without its two seniors, Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht. It's a young team that has shown flashes at times, but its youth and inexperience far too often.

"Thank goodness we have another opportunity in the (Big Ten) tournament," Beilein said. "And if we don't do it, we don't do it.

"You know what, this is part of the process. We're gonna really be good, whether it's this year or next year or the year after.

"Teams that go through this are gonna be better the following year and the year after. You've gotta look at the holistic point of view."

Beilein did say Michigan would embrace any postseason tournament.

The Wolverines would be NIT-bound if they miss the NCAA Tournament.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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