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Michigan coach John Beilein

Michigan’s John Beilein reaches another milestone, six wrestlers head to NCAA nationals, and more

Wake up, University of Michigan fans, and welcome to Breakfast of Victors, Land of 10’s daily morning briefing of Wolverines athletics. We’ll get your weekdays started with all the latest Michigan news, notes and insights. Our goal is to bring you closer to the Maize-and-Blue, your favorite school.

Today is Monday, March 6, 2017, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors…

John Beilein has been on the winning side of a lot of basketball games. Sunday night’s 93-57 victory at Nebraska marked the 209th time he’s guided Michigan to a win, tying him with Johnny Orr for the most in program history. It was the 800th time a team of his, no matter what level he was coaching, got a W.

That milestone was the last thing he was excited about, and for good reason. The win was Michigan’s sixth in its last eight games and gives the Wolverines a seventh 20-win campaign in Beilein’s 10 seasons. They are playing as well as anyone heading into this week’s Big Ten Tournament, which for the Wolverines begins Thursday against Illinois.

“We’ve been very fortunate, as you know. Tommy Amaker didn’t leave the cupboard dry,” Beilein said on the post-game radio show, referring to his predecessor. “We’ve had great kids come and go that made us much better (coaches). The staff that I’ve had has just been terrific and great support from the family.

“But it’s not important now. What’s important right now is that we got another road win, that we got 10 wins in a great conference. Right? And that we go into the Big Ten Tournament with the idea that we’re going to play the best that we can and try to win the championship.”

Michigan is seeded No. 8 in the tournament. It started the conference schedule 1-3, including an 85-69 loss at Illinois. Consecutive losses at Michigan State and at home to Ohio State left the Wolverines at 4-6 in the Big Ten and wondering just what kind of team they were.

They’ve discovered since then that they’re tough to beat when they decide to play defense and they put the ball in Derrick Walton Jr.’s hands. They shoot as well as anyone, which makes them a dangerous team this week and beyond.

“Anybody can win the Big Ten Tournament, let’s just say that,” Beilein said. “That will be the goal. We’re not going to just win a game, or two, or three. We’ve had some success with some of the top teams in the league. We weren’t able to beat a couple of them but we’ve been able to play really good basketball at times, so let’s go try and win it.”

Wrestling sending at least six to NCAA national meet

The Wolverines had five wrestlers place in the top four of their weight classes at this weekend’s Big Ten championships, led by freshman Logan Massa’s runner-up placing at 165 pounds. Six Michigan wrestlers earned podium finishes and trips to the NCAA meet in two weeks as the team placed seventh overall with 83 points.

Massa is ranked No. 2 nationally but lost 10-4 to Illinois junior and No. 1-ranked Isaiah Martinez in the 165-pound title bout. Martinez, a three-time Big Ten champion who will be seeking a third straight NCAA title, is the only wrestler to defeat Massa this season.

Michigan went 4-1 in the consolation semifinals early on Sunday. Sophomore Stevan Micic (133) took third place with an overtime pin against Zane Richards of Illinois, while freshman Myles Amine (174) beat Illinois’ Zac Brunson, 19-4, to also take third place.

Sophomore Zac Hall (149) and senior Brian Murphy (157) placed fourth. Fifth-year senior Conor Youtsey also earned a spot in the NCAA national meet by placing fifth at 125 pounds. The NCAA will announce additional at-large participants on Tuesday.

Breakfast links

  • The baseball team got great pitching performances over the weekend in winning two of three in the Dodgertown Classic, including a 3-1 win against San Diego at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. Michigan (9-3) lost 1-0 at UCLA Friday night on an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning, then beat USC, 4-1, on Saturday.
  • The softball team ended its 10-game West Coast spring break trip with a 13-5 win against Long Beach State. The Wolverines (12-6-1) went 3-2 in the Judi Garman Classic at Cal State Fullerton.
  • Pretty good line by Michigan defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow from the NFL scouting combine about his favorite Jim Harbaugh story.