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March 23, 2014

Notebook: Beilein's 700th sweet for Wolverines

Michigan head coach John Beilein insisted he didn't realize U-M's 79-65 victory Texas in the NCAA Tournament was his 700th career victory as a collegiate coach. Somebody in the postgame locker room did, though, and made everyone else aware.

At that point it became a formality who would lead "The Victors" in celebration of another Sweet 16.

"I didn't even know it until I was presented the ball today," Beilein said. "It's a lot of games, counting junior college wins, which I think are harder to get than some of these wins at the same time. But it means, as most coaches will say, we've had a lot of good players and great staff and support."

And it means he's been coaching a long time as well, he added. He's had 37 teams, and each one has meant something to him.

This one, though, is closing in on becoming his most accomplished, if it's not there already.

"It is tough to ever make comparisons between teams - 37 teams that I cherish," he said. "It's tough to do that.

"What I do like about this team is they've never lost two in a row. They've been resilient. They get better both in victory and defeat and they have - it depends on a lot of draws and lot of luck and a lot of things, but this team has an attitude that is similar to last year's team about just picking themselves up when things don't go well. Like Glenn Robinson, Jordan Morgan, they've been making big plays all year long. Spike Albrecht had a huge shot. There's another guy ready to step up all the time. That's where the similarities are."

It doesn't matter whether one guy scores 27 and nobody else reaches double figures or if the scoring is more balanced like it was Saturday night, Beilein said, as long as they win. There were at least three NBA players on the floor Saturday night, but none of them played like they needed to be "the man."

That's one of the characteristics with which Beilein was most proud. Another - two Sweet 16s in a row and the hope to advance even deeper this year.

"I'm really proud of it," he said. "We've had a lot of help. It's not just our coaching staff and the team. We've had great help from the university, from the president all the way down. We've had great support from our athletic administration, Dave Brandon, et cetera.

"When we came to Michigan, this is what I envisioned it could be. To compete for the Big Ten Championship, you do that, the Big Ten is going to be really strong. You compete for the Big Ten Championship, you can compete at this level like we did today."

Division I Win Leaders

Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: 983

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: 948

Bob Huggins, West Virginia: 740

Roy Williams, North Carolina: 723

Bo Ryan, Wisconsin: 701

Rick Pitino, Louisville: 693

Beilein's career coaching record

1978-82 Erie C.C. -- 75-43, 4 seasons

1982-83 Nazareth -- 20-6, 1 season

1983-92 LeMoyne -- 163-94, 9 seasons

1992-97 Canisius -- 89-62, 44-26, 5 seasons

1997-2002 Richmond -- 100-53, 5 seasons

2002-07 West Virginia -- 104-60, 5 seasons

2007-pres. Michigan -- 149-93, 7 seasons


Robinson's father, Glenn Jr., was in the stands and shown on the scoreboard big screen with regularity.

"It's an honor to be able to play in the same arena he has," Robinson III said. "He had a great career here. For me to be able to come out and have a big game is important, you know, and reminds people a lot of my dad. But, at the same time, I wanted to come out and play and do what I had to do to help my teammates out and win."


Jordan Morgan on a perceived lack of national respect: "At this point, I think people like to kind of say that we can't accomplish things. We embrace that."

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