Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 1:43am
Assistant coach Saddi Washington had the scout against Michigan State.

When I walked over, all lowered their laptops in unison. This is not a public operation. Washington and assistant coach Luke Yaklich will take me through their scouting process, but neither dares to divulge a single detail about Michigan State.

Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 5:16pm
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Saturday afternoon against 7th-seeded Minnesota, 3rd-seeded Michigan (28-5 overall, 15-5 Big Ten) displayed those championship habits and then some, storming out to a 76-49 demolition of the Golden Gophers (21-13, 9-11). Just as the Big Ten regular-season title did last weekend in East Lansing, the tournament crown will come down to Michigan and Michigan State.

Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 12:19am
Junior guard Zavier Simpson helped lead the Wolverines past Iowa with 11 assists.

That leadership, though, manifests itself best when he’s taking the ball up the court, springing teammates into open looks before returning to the other end and making sure Michigan’s opponent can’t do the same.

And for the next 30 minutes, Simpson did exactly that, leading the Wolverines to a 74-53 win.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 11:41pm
Michigan coach John Beilein's 2013 team also did not win the Big Ten regular season title, but then went on to make the Final Four that year.

As much as those reporters may have inadvertently learned about Beilein’s childhood agricultural findings, no group knows this as well as his 2013 team.

Sunday, March 3, 2019 - 5:48pm
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For all the achievements No. 9 Michigan (26-4 overall, 15-4 Big Ten) earned in its 25-4 start, that’s not something that its head coach has often been able to say away from the Crisler Center. But Saturday afternoon the Wolverines beat No. 17 Maryland (21-9, 12-7), 69-62, to notch the signature road win that had eluded them since beating Villanova in mid-November.

Sunday, March 3, 2019 - 3:36am
Freshman center Colin Castleton scored 11 points and broke into the rotation against Nebraska on Thursday.

Last Thursday in Minneapolis, freshman forward Colin Castleton stood in a cramped hallway outside the visiting locker room as reporters attempted to swarm Jordan Poole. Only Poole wouldn’t let them, forcing each reporter to ask Castleton a question before they could talk to him.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 11:28pm
Charles Matthews and the Michigan men's basketball team is looking to find their early-season dominance.

The evidence disagrees. Michigan’s offense averaged 73.2 points per game before the new year. In January, that figure dropped to 68.5. With one game to play in February, it sits at 67.1. On the other side of the ball, the Wolverines have gone from allowing just 57.9 points per game in January — the first month of Big Ten play — to 65.0 this month.

“We didn’t have that fat L that a November loss is, cause we were 19-0,” Livers said. “So we kinda had to learn the harder way, in our conference, which kinda sucks.”

Sunday, February 24, 2019 - 7:02pm
Michigan State guard Cassius Winston scored 27 points against Michigan — more than his 22 total points in 2 games last season — as he and the Spartans handed Michigan its first home loss.

Even while remembering the celebratory final moments, he didn’t crack a smile. His comments alternated deflected praise with a focus on Indiana, Michigan State’s next opponent. When asked where this ranks among the biggest wins of his career, he merely said, “It’s up there” and re-emphasized the importance of winning a conference title.

But beneath it all, there was an air of relaxed satisfaction that can only come after dumping a proverbial monkey off one’s back.

Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 3:34am
John Beilein and Tom Izzo have cultivated a relationship beyond their rivalry.

The coaches knew of each other, but had never actually met. So Izzo, after spotting the Mountaineers’ coach across the gym, made his way over to Beilein and made his introductions.

“I just had (my son) out there at an AAU event,” Izzo told The Daily in November. “And John was there and he just sat with us and that’s where I learned he was just a regular guy.”

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 10:01pm
Junior guard Zavier Simpson had 12 assists and 6 rebounds in the Wolverines' 69-60 win at Minnesota.

“We just gotta be extremely locked in and come out to play every night,” said sophomore Jordan Poole, relaying their message. “Take the exact same approach. It can be hard if you go and play a team that doesn't have that many wins in the league or you beat a team already earlier in the year.”

Thursday night, faced with an opponent who checked both those boxes, the Wolverines did exactly that, beating Minnesota, 69-60.