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Tuesday Morning Brews: Pro Blue

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A 2018 guard prospect visits, the regents approve a new football training center, and Women’s Swim & Dive are B1G Champions

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, folks. Hopefully President’s Day provided you all with a day off yesterday. If not, don’t worry. There’s only four more days to the weekend. In this morning’s Brews: Men’s and Women’s basketball both dropped games over the weekend, but remain in good position to make their respective NCAA Tournaments; Michigan football received a visit from a 2018 offensive guard prospect and the regents approved a new $21 million training facility for the team; and, Women’s Swim & Dive emerged from the weekend with their 16th B1G Championship.

Let’s hit the links:

Men’s basketball lost a close game in overtime to the Minnesota Gophers on Sunday night. Despite double-digit contributions from Walton, Wilson, Wagner, MAAR, and Irvin, the Wolverines were unable to overcome a combination of foul trouble and Minnesota free throw shooting - which proved to be the difference in this one. Despite the loss, John Beilein’s crew find themselves as a 9 seed in the latest ESPN Bracketology. Of course, that is just a projection and may not accurately represent where the NCAA Tournament Committee would seed the Wolverines if today were Selection Sunday. With four games left in the season (@Rutgers, Purdue, @NW, @Nebraska), I think that Michigan needs to win at least two and their first round B1G Tournament game to be sitting comfortably when Selection Sunday does come around.

The NFL Combine starts in Indianapolis one week from today. Michigan will be represented by 14 players, the most from any team this year and tied for most from any team ever in a single year. The Michigan players participating are: Ben Braden, Jake Butt, Taco Charlton, Jehu Chesson, Jeremy Clark, Amara Darboh, Ben Gedeon, Ryan Glasgow, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, Jabrill Peppers, De’Veon Smith, Channing Stribling, and Chris Wormley. At least two Michigan players (Charlton and Peppers) are projected to be taken in the first round. It’s possible that the combine performance of one or two more could push them up into the first round as well. The NFL Draft begins on April 27th.

Women’s basketball set an attendance record with a sell-out of the Crisler Center on Sunday afternoon. Despite the strong showing from students and fans, the Wolverines fell to Michigan State - their first home loss of the year. Michigan also lost at Indiana last Thursday, meaning that they’ve dropped two in a row for the first time this season. Despite the losses, Michigan is still well positioned for the B1G Tournament and the NCAA Tournament with a 21-7 (10-4) record on the year. Kim Barnes Arico’s team will be back in action on Thursday with a home tilt against Nebraska. The game is scheduled to start at 7 PM.

Jalil Irvin, a 2018 3* offensive guard prospect, visited Michigan over this past weekend. The one-time Michigan commit was “blown away” by the visit, reports Brice Marich of Scout ($). The visit allowed Irvin to see campus and interact with the coaches, including new OL coach Greg Fry. The visit also set the tone for Irvin’s recruitment now that we’ve entered the 2018 cycle. The 6’3” 280lbs prospect from Georgia says that Michigan is high on his list.

The arms races of collegiate athletic facilities marches on, as the Michigan Regents approved the spending of funds on a new performance center inside Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. The new project is projected to cost $21 million and will result in a 32,000 sq. ft. space within the fieldhouse. In addition to the new performance center, the funds will go toward infrastructure and safety improvements throughout the building, such as improvements to the existing fire suppression, air conditioning, heating, and lighting systems. The funding is expected to come from a combination of existing athletic department funding and specific gifts by donors.

The Women’s swim & dive team went into the Boilermaker Aquatic Center over the weekend and emerged as B1G Champions. This is the 16th conference championship won by the Women’s S&D team, and their second in a row. The last time Women’s S&D won back-to-back conference championship was 1997-1998. The #6 Wolverines finished with 1,287 points, 162 points clear of conference runners-up Indiana. The last chance meet for individual swimmers to improve their NCAA qualifying times is this coming weekend. The B1G Championships for the Men’s S&D team begins tomorrow.

Michigan softball won three of four over the weekend in the B1G/ACC Challenge. The Wolverines began the weekend with a run-rule shortened victory over NC State (12-0) on Friday. On Saturday, the Wolverines dropped a hard-fought game to ND (6-4) before rebounding with a second victory over NC State (11-0). On Sunday, Michigan avenged its earlier loss against ND with a convincing 9-2 victory over the Irish. Through the first two weekends of the season, the softball team finds themselves 6-3. They’ll be back in action this coming weekend with five games at the Mary Nutter Classic in California.

I’m going to close this morning’s Brews with a reminder to vote for John Beilein in the Coaches 4 Charity Challenge. As of the time I wrote this on Monday afternoon, Beilein held a narrow lead over Purdue’s Matt Painter. Beilein is competing for the ChadTough Foundation. All you need to do to vote is have an ESPN account and click the link in the tweet above. You can vote once per day. Go Blue.