Beilein and Wright — two of the most highly regarded coaches in college basketball — used to face each other annually in the Big East when Beilein was at West Virginia and the Mountaineers were still part of Villanova’s conference.
They’ve squared off once since Beilein took the Michigan job in 2007: A 60-55 win for the Wildcats early in the 2014-15 season. But Beilein still holds an edge in head-to-head matchups against Wright.
Beilein enters Monday night’s national title game with a 5-3 record against Wright, who has been at Villanova since the 2001-02 season. West Virginia won five of its seven games against Villanova under Beilein’s watch. That includes a win in the Big East Tournament in 2005, the same year the Wildcats beat the Mountaineers by 38 points in January.
Below is a full rundown of the eight previous meetings between Wright and Beilein.
John Beilein’s head-to-head history vs. Jay Wright
West Virginia 91, Villanova 83 – Feb. 1, 2003
Villanova 73, West Virginia 58 – Jan. 31, 2004
West Virginia 67, Villanova 60 – Feb. 14, 2004
Villanova 84, West Virginia 46 – Jan. 5, 2005
West Virginia 78, Villanova 76 – March 11, 2005 (Big East Tournament)
West Virginia 91, Villanova 87 – Jan. 8, 2006
West Virginia 67, Villanova 56 – Jan. 3, 2007
Villanova 60, Michigan 55 – Nov. 25, 2014
Beilein spoke about his “great relationship” with Wright on Sunday, and Michigan’s coach also gave an idea of who could play the duo in a movie about them.
“[Wright] came in to bring Villanova back. And we followed at West Virginia one year later. So I think we were both in the bottom of the, just the first couple of times we played they were great games, that we were both just trying to win a game. And the NCAA Tournament was a dream at that point for both of us, Beilein said at a press conference.
“And I made one move after that but we’ve known each other for a long time. Patty and Kathleen are friends. We have a great relationship. And tomorrow, at the end of tomorrow’s — to answer that question, at the end of the game tomorrow, he’ll still look like George Clooney and I will look like Columbo by Peter Falk at the end of that thing. So there’s your comparison. I’d like to say Kevin Costner, but I can’t go there.”