No one is talking about Michigan.
Well, that’s not true, people are talking about how Michigan put Donald Trump in the White House and Michigan Wolverine football, but no one is talking about the University of Michigan basketball team.
That should change shortly because they’re pretty good.
It’s somewhat understandable that John Beilein’s team has flown under the radar in the preseason and very early season because of the strength of this year’s Big Ten, with the likes of Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State and even Maryland looking extremely formidable. But if last night’s performance versus a solid Marquette team is any indication, the Wolverine basketball team will surely be in the Big Ten and national mix.
Michigan dispatched of the Golden Eagles rather easily, 79-61, in a 2K Championship semifinal at Madison Square Garden. Senior guard Zak Irvin led the Wolverines with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Michigan will face SMU, who beat Pittsburgh last night, in tonight’s Final.
For the record, neither the players, nor Beilein are as intrigued by Michigan’s apparent lack of hype as yours truly.
“Everyday we come out with a chip on our shoulder, whether it’s practice or a game,” Irvin said. “We really don’t try to pay attention to what the media or what any other teams think about us. We know if we get better and better each day, we’ll just let our game do the talking.”
Beilein didn’t want to get into who was rating them where either, “but, I don’t care,” he said.
“I don’t care when we had predictions that we were supposed to be really, really good or whether we were off the radar. I just love coaching this team and we’re just gonna keep getting better every day and get to March and see if we’re playing.”
Chances are, come March, they’ll be on everyone’s radar, particularly the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee’s.
Follow Jamal Murphy on Twitter: @Blacketologist