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Published: Sunday, 3/23/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

MICHIGAN NOTEBOOK

Win over Texas is Beilein’s 700th

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

MILWAUKEE — If you’re keeping track at home, that’s 700 career coaching wins for John Beilein. And counting.

With a 79-65 win over Texas in a third-round NCAA tournament game Saturday at the Bradley Center, the Michigan men’s basketball team helped its seventh-year coach reach the statistical landmark.

A couple days after he got lost in downtown Milwaukee while walking back to the team hotel, Beilein let another minor fact slip his mind.

“He was actually surprised,” UM guard Derrick Walton, Jr., said. “He obviously didn’t know but when he learned, he was kind of ecstatic. So I was happy to see him smile.”

Beilein is 149-93 in seven seasons at Michigan, including two NCAA tournament wins in Milwaukee.

More than 35 years ago, Beilein began his career at Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y., where he went 75-43 in four seasons before moving to Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., for a season, then to LeMoyne from 1983 to 1992, followed by stops at Canisius, Richmond, and West Virginia from 1992 to 2007, when he took over the Wolverines.

“You can see our program is back on the rise with what we did today,” Beilein said.

“They were focused. These guys believed and they did a great job.”

A RETURN HOME: UM’s Glenn Robinson III isn’t the only player in the Midwest regional who’s familiar with the Bradley Center.

Robinson’s father, Glenn Robinson, Jr., played for the Bucks from 1994 to 2002; Oregon sophomore forward Elgin Cook is the son of former Milwaukee Bucks player Alvin Robertson.

“Milwaukee has been a great area for my teams, for our teams,” said Oregon coach Dana Altman, who also recruited Milwaukee-area players when he was at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

“[Elgin’s] had a lot of big games for us this year. It's his first year in Division I, and so his consistency hasn't been what we would like it to be, what he would like it to be. But I think he's got tremendous upside because of his athleticism."

Cook, a reserve for the Ducks, has averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds. He played played high school basketball in Milwaukee before transferring to a Houston private school in February of his senior year.

Also, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson is a Milwaukee native whose father was the first president of the Bucks.

UPSETS ABOUND: While the Milwaukee second-round Midwest and West games held to form as far as seeding, the NCAA tournament has seen its share of upsets so far. The most notable game came Friday, when No. 14 Mercer of the Atlantic Sun Conference beat No. 3 Duke 78-71.

For Wisconsin, the upset that stood out the most was No. 12 North Dakota State’s 80-75 win Thursday over No. 5 Oklahoma.

“We were saying, ‘you know, lot of these games during the season, there's no way these would all go to overtime,’ ” Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker said. “We said, ‘no way these all go down to the last possession,’ but it's just what happens in March."

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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