Michigan's Beilein, Wisconsin's Ryan: Two coaches with one goal

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2014 - 2:41 PM

John Beilein and Bo Ryan are at the top of their games but still crave an NCAA title.

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Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III blocked a shot by Wofford forward Justin Gordon during the second half of the Wolverines’ 57-40 victory Thursday in Milwaukee.

Photo: Morry Gash • Associated Press,

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– There is nothing under-the-radar about these two teams.

In fact, when Wisconsin and Michigan took the Bradley Center court at separate times Thursday, the accolades already ran deep. Both are No. 2 seeds in this year’s NCAA tournament. Both have long, banner-heavy histories and tradition.

But as both get started in yet another postseason, the two find themselves sharing a certain drought.

The programs each boast a coach that is considered among the nation’s best.

They are also probably the two best active coaches still waiting for their first championship.

John Beilein came to Michigan eight years ago from West Virginia and including this season, Beilein has twice directed Michigan to at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. He’s come pretty darn close to cutting down a more meaningful net as well. Last year, the New York native — who was named league Coach of the Year by the media this season — brought his team all the way to the title game before the Wolverines fell to Rick Pitino and Louisville, 82-76.

Bo Ryan has taken Wisconsin to the Big Dance each of the 13 years he’s headed the Badgers, and he’s been league Coach of the Year three of those seasons. The fact that he hasn’t advanced past the Elite Eight any of those years almost defies logic for a coach that has had so much regular-season success.

Still, plenty to keep the arenas packed and the fan bases smiling in both cases. Both schools dominated the incredibly balanced Big Ten this season, and if anything exceeded expectations — a tough task at schools with such perpetually lofty anticipations.

“Just the way he prepares for everything and gets his players ready for games — I don’t see it with other teams,” Frank Kaminsky said of Ryan. “He has us so ready and knows everything about the game. Hopefully we can get one for him this year.”

There is no disputing that Beilein and Ryan have their programs in tip-top shape. But in one of the most high-spending, bottom-line driven industries, nothing matters more than the hardware that comes in April. And there, both have come up empty.

At least so far.

Both teams took care of business in the round of 64 on Thursday against opponents that never seemed like very real threats on paper.

This is the part that’s supposed to be easy.

Wisconsin dispensed American without problem after completely dominating the second half. The Badgers looked vulnerable at the start of its first-round matchup, sitting in a 20-20 tie with the Eagles just over four minutes before halftime, but once the Badgers — who will get hot-streaking Oregon on Saturday, figured out the Eagle’s Princeton offense — it was over. Wisconsin held American to just three field goals in a brutal second half, toppling their 15-seed punching bag, 75-35.

In the West, one of the bracket’s weaker regionals, the Badgers will get plenty of opportunities to make this year The Year.

Michigan is in a different boat.

The Wolverines, who failed to reach 60 for just the third time this season, overcame a sluggish and sometimes sloppy offensive performance to down Wofford, 57-40. But their path gets a lot rockier moving forward in the stacked Midwest.

Next, the Wolverines, get either 7-seed Texas and 10-seed Arizona State (who completed their game after this edition of the Star Tribune went to press), squads with two of the top-30 defenses in the nation. Both would target Michigan’s perimeter-heavy attack, and the Wolverines would likely have to play better than they did on Thursday to advance.

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Seattle
Detroit 8 1st Qtr 2:39
Philadelphia 28
Portland 17 1st Qtr 2:57
Cleveland 20
Sacramento 6:30 PM
Toronto
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 7:00 PM
Houston
Denver 7:00 PM
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Washington
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Los Angeles
Temple 20 1st Half 7:52
UCF 14
Winthrop 21 1st Half 8:13
Coastal Carolina 22
Lafayette 16 1st Half 7:58
Colgate 19
Northeastern 10 1st Half 9:59
Drexel 7
Wake Forest 19 1st Half 9:52
Florida State 8
Rhode Island 17 1st Half 8:47
Fordham 18
Delaware 24 1st Half 8:14
James Madison 19
South Carolina 15 1st Half 8:27
LSU 20
New Hampshire 19 1st Half 8:24
Maine 3
Seton Hall 20 1st Half 7:43
Marquette 20
Binghamton 17 1st Half 9:41
UMBC 10
American Univ 21 1st Half 8:26
Navy 20
Elon 8 1st Half 8:56
UNC-Wilmington 25
Wright State 24 1st Half 7:45
Oakland 15
Minnesota 18 1st Half 7:53
Penn State 22
Duquesne 15 1st Half 8:50
Richmond 33
SMU 13 1st Half 7:51
South Florida 16
Hartford 18 1st Half 7:51
Stony Brook 14
Albany 9 1st Half 7:30
Vermont 17
Hofstra 13 1st Half 8:09
William & Mary 32
UNC-Asheville 20 1st Half 7:45
Longwood 13
Radford 6:30 PM
Char Southern
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 6:30 PM
Notre Dame
Texas Tech 6:30 PM
Oklahoma
Oregon State 7:00 PM
Arizona State
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Drake 7:00 PM
Bradley
Lehigh 7:00 PM
Bucknell
Rice 7:00 PM
Houston
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
Creighton
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Memphis
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Purdue
Kansas 8:00 PM
TCU
Oregon 9:00 PM
Arizona
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Washington
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 26 1st Half 9:21
Binghamton 10
Akron 16 1st Half 7:42
Ohio U 28
Ball State 21 1st Half 7:28
Miami-Ohio 11
Memphis 12 1st Half 9:23
Cincinnati 14
East Carolina 6 1st Half 12:31
(2) Connecticut 26
Murray State 19 1st Half 6:38
Eastern Illinois 21
Kent State 22 1st Half 7:52
Central Michigan 22
UT Martin 28 1st Half 6:29
Tennessee St 21
Eastern Michigan 18 1st Half 9:58
Western Mich 23
Bucknell 18 1st Half 7:21
Lehigh 20
Indiana 12 1st Half 7:39
Michigan State 21
Colgate 22 1st Half 9:08
Lafayette 12
Fordham 21 1st Half 5:53
Davidson 17
Duquesne 19 1st Half 6:39
St Bonaventure 15
George Mason 19 1st Half 8:08
VA Commonwealth 25
Detroit 11 1st Half 7:54
Youngstown St 20
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Oklahoma St 7:00 PM
Kansas State
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Denver 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
Central Arkansas
Austin Peay 7:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Kansas 7:00 PM
Iowa State
Bowling Green 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Penn State 7:00 PM
Minnesota
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
San Diego State 9:00 PM
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