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Saturday, July 11, 2015


(originally published on 3-4-15)

Sometimes the magnificence of John Beilein is stunning to behold. He is truly a basketball genius. People thought his career was fabulous already, but his past accomplishments pale by comparison to the series of masterpieces that he has dealt from the bench this year.

Consider last night's game against Northwestern. Beilein was faced with the daunting task of playing a team with a losing record on only three days rest, at that challenging 9:00 p.m. tip-time that has been so vexing to Spike Albrecht. An opponent that your team has defeated seven times in a row. The same Northwestern team that manhandled Michigan State last month, losing to the Spartans by only 24 points on the same court they would play Michigan. The same Wildcat group that lost 10 consecutive games earlier in the season and sported a gaudy 10-7 season record at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

How to approach such a formidable assignment? Like a true master.

Beilein accomplished the improbable, using his unparalleled coaching acumen to actually force the game into overtime! (True, the Wolverines seemed to blow the lead to get to OT, but let's not mess up a good story here.) Then Beilein took things to a whole new level, actually finding a way, digging down deep into his bag of coaching tricks, and forced a second overtime. It's unbelievable what this man has done in this season of adversity.

Registration forms for the John Beilein Hall of Fame nomination process are no longer necessary, as his spot has now been reserved in perpetuity for the old apple-picker, just as soon as he wants to join up. In the meantime, we are all left to marvel at the tremendous work he has done with Michigan men's basketball, especially this season.

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