Michigan coach John Beilein spoke with the media following the NCAA tournament selection show. The coach talked about his familiarity with Wofford, what it means to be a two seed instead of a one seed and much more. You can watch the full interview using the embedded media player below and read notes and quotes after the jump.
- On being a No. 2 seed and playing Wofford: “The seeding thing, as I’ve discussed a couple of times, people talk about 1, 2, 3 , 4 seeds — none of us coaches care about that, or at least this coach doesn’t. Just like the 13th, 14th, 15th seed, they just want to be in this tournament. We’re playing a good Wofford team. The Southern Conference has had Davidson in there like crazy, and we all know how good Davidson has been in the NCAA tournament. An additional thing is Darris Nichols, one of the assistant coaches, is one of the smartest, brightest point guards I have ever had. Now I wish he really didn’t understand our offense at all, but he knows everything about us, so we have a challenge with a guy on the other bench who knows a lot of what we do.”
- On the other teams in the bracket: “I did notice who we’d be playing next if we were fortunate enough to win, and I believe it was Texas and Arizona State. So, two good friends of mine, Rick (Barnes) and Herb (Sendeck). But we’ve got to beat Wofford first because they do a really good job with that team.
- On the mood coming off loss to Michigan State: “I think we snapped out of it like that, and we were really down after the game. And then all of a sudden, the media’s done, and then it’s, hey, let’s watch the selection show. It’s just like, okay, let’s go back. I’ve been in that room when you lost a championship and it meant you weren’t going anywhere or maybe the NIT. This is huge, to walk from that room and see us in the NCAA tournament, it’s terrific.”
- On playing close to home in the Midwest region: “That’s big. The NCAA has been so good at this in the last couple of years, finding teams and getting them close to home without putting them in a home arena. It’s really great. We have fans all through the footprint of the Big Ten. Particularly in that area and the Chicago area. Hopefully we’ll really draw well and get so many of our faithful up there.”
- On what he knows about Wofford: “I don’t know a lot about them right now, but I will by tomorrow. We’re going to spend a lot of days — the good news is playing in the championship, the bad news is playing on Sunday, you’ve got a short turnaround with a Thursday game. So we’ve got to give the team (a day) off. So tomorrow will be a super study day for our team. Our staff does a terrific job. I am sure that every game that goes up in the sky and the Southern Conference Championship Game and semifinals we have captured on video and will be on my computer by probably the time I land.
- On if the outcome of the championship game has any effect on how he feels about his team: “No, absolutely not. This Michigan State team we lost to is terrific. They have such experience, such athleticism, such a great coaching staff. For us to win two out of three this year, it was a great accomplishment. For us to win the conference was a great accomplishment. Yeah, we’d like to have it all but we just move on because we really feel good about what this team accomplished and the direction of our program.