Men's Basketball

Zavier Simpson is in the mindset of taking the NCAA tournament one game at a time, an attitude that is spreading to the rest of the team.

For 24 hours after the loss to the Spartans, Michigan stewed — and its coaching staff let it. But Monday afternoon, with just three days until its NCAA Tournament journey would get underway against 15th-seeded Montana, Wolverines coach John Beilein knew it was time to turn the corner.

Sophomore forward Isaiah Livers is shooting 45 percent from three this season, best on the team

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you Livers is trending up going into the NCAA Tournament, due in large part to an uptick in confidence. Developing that has been a process, but now — after two years where he gained a starting role, then lost it, then got it back and lost it again — Livers is hitting a crescendo at just the right time.

Freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis has shot 42 percent from 3-point range this season, attracting attention for both his impressive play and confident attitude.

For Brazdeikis, everything flows from confidence. For the rest of the country, that’s a euphemism for arrogance. He’s that guy — the one who gets chants and boos at opposing arenas, then smiles, hits a shot and blows a kiss. Starting with tomorrow’s game against Montana, Brazdeikis will be a focus for each of Michigan’s NCAA Tournament opponents, in more ways than one.

The Michigan men's basketball team will open the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night against Montana.

The Daily men’s basketball beat writers offer their predictions of Michigan’s postseason fate:

Michigan coach John Beilein is using Sunday's loss to Michigan State as a motivator heading into the NCAA Tournament.

The title game made clear that those issues aren’t totally resolved. But there were some improvements, tweaks that came out against lesser competition. And perhaps the road to another March run is taking those tweaks a step further — something the Wolverines have no shortage of motivation to do.

Senior Guard Charles Matthews could be the leader the Wolverines need going forward.

Well, it happened again.

For the third time in the last month or so, the Michigan men’s basketball team took on Michigan State, and for the third time, the Wolverines started strong, got out to a lead and fell apart at the end.

Michigan coach John Beilein emphasized good shot selection after the Wolverines' loss to Michigan State.

For the third time in three weeks, the Wolverines lost a high-stakes battle with their in-state rivals.

Senior Matt McQuaid scored 27 points including a crucial 3-pointer to lead the Spartans to victory.

CHICAGO — Isaiah Livers sat barefoot in front of his locker.

Sophomore guard Jordan Poole finished 2-for-9 from three in Michigan's loss to Michigan State on Sunday.

One shot doesn’t lose a game. Neither does one player. That was the refrain echoed in Michigan’s locker room afterwards, and it’s true. But Poole did himself no favors, taking nine threes and making just two of them as Beilein stewed on the bench.

The Michigan men's basketball team will take on Montana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

Michigan will have a rematch of last season's first-round matchup, as it will face Montana on Thursday.