If you ask most national observers about John Beilein’s coaching style, you’ll hear phrases like “live and die by the three” or “offensive-minded.” In Maui, Michigan used none of the above to get an impressive win over Memphis. The Wolverines took their threes, sure, but they weren’t particularly good from there. Instead, they dominated the Tigers in the paint, making those national observers’ collective heads explode.
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The turnaround has been remarkable. Last year, Michigan finished last in the Big Ten in passing defense (261.9 ypg) and scoring defense (35.2 ppg) and 10th in rushing defense (188.9 ypg). This year, the Wolverine defense is No. 5 (316.0) in the Big Ten overall, vs. the run (131.6) and vs. the pass (184.4). And one of the reasons for the turnaround is end Ryan Van Bergen.
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At 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Chris Martin and Teddy Greenstein bring you Big Ten Football & Beyond. On tonight’s show, our crew debates whether Michigan State, which wrapped up the Legends Division last week, should have a different approach for this weekend’s game. The guys also will answer which game they’d watch if both were on at same time they couldn’t flip channels: Ohio State-Michigan or Penn State-Wisconsin. See what else we’ll be talking about in this post.
We’re in the third week of the college basketball season, and it’s time to point out the Big Ten’s best new faces thus far. You know, the first-year players who are off to fast starts, the ones Big Ten fans probably don’t know very well at this point in the young season. These are the guys who may become household names this season and who may be the Big Ten’s top players in coming years.
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The best player in the Big Ten? It has been a moving target for much of the season. Several players have occupied the top spot. In what has been the Year of the Running Back, it’s no surprise that a ball carrier tops this week’s edition of the Top 25 Players in the Big Ten.
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The Michigan-Ohio State game is the annual exclamation mark on the Big Ten season. This year’s storyline: Can the Wolverines end the Buckeyes’ seven-season run of dominance? A Wolverine victory not only would ease the pain for Michigan fans, but it also will enhance the team’s resume in its bid to earn a BCS at-large bowl slot.