Speaking with TBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson minutes after the final buzzer, Beilein said Michigan’s trio of captains — Moe Wagner, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson — provided “incredible leadership” that led to a Big Ten Tournament title and five more wins in the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s remarkable what they were able to accomplish. It was the incredible leadership,” said a clearly emotional Beilein after the 79-62 loss. “It wasn’t the type that is out there that is just like screaming all the time. They had a presence about them that everybody just followed along. ‘Why are we doing this? Well, Moe and Muhammad and Duncan do that.’ It was like great examples of what winning basketball looks like, having substance. They’re not into the other things. They just want to be good student-athletes and see what life brings them afterwards. They did a tremendous job of representing our university.”
Beilein also explained what made Villanova so tough in the title game.
“We couldn’t get it going at either end. Credit Villanova in both respects; they really played very good defense. Everyone talks about their offense, but what’s really underrated is their how good they are defensively. We did get some open shots, we didn’t make them. … The way [Donte] DiVincenzo shot the ball, it was incredible for us to try to win that game with the roll he went on.”
Here’s the full interview:
John Beilein’s postgame interview after National Championship Game
"It's remarkable what they were able to accomplish." – John Beilein on @umichbball's memorable run
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) April 3, 2018