Men's Basketball

Junior center Jon Teske exploited a size mismatch against Montana.

Thursday, the Wolverines were happy for the opportunity to overwhelm an opponent by simply walking onto the court.

Redshirt junior Charles Matthews will be key if Michigan is to make another deep tournament run

If everything had gone as planned, Matthews would be in the NBA right now. His expectation was to follow in the footsteps of John Wall, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns.

He didn’t.

More than five years after he committed to Kentucky with intentions of becoming the next great one-and-done lighting college basketball on fire, Matthews is the captain of a Michigan basketball team with national championship aspirations, finally ready for one last go-around.

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.

Presented by The Michigan Daily's sports section, a rotating cast of writers discusses Michigan sports.

From I-94, Michigan loses to Michigan State for a third time this season, this time costing a potential Big Ten Tournament Title. The Basketball Beat breaks down what it means, and Michigan's NCAA Tournament path ahead.

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.