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Tuesday Morning Brews: (B1G) Tournament Bound

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Basketball finishes the season in style, Michigan players test well at the Combine, and Women’s basketball bows out of the BTT.

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NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Minnesota Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, folks. The Men’s B1G Tournament starts tomorrow, with Michigan’s first game on Thursday, and Selection Sunday is just five short days away. Also in this morning’s Brews is a recapping of some highlight performances by Michigan players in this past weekend’s NFL Combine and a little bit of recruiting news.

Let’s hit the links:

Men’s basketball, after suffering a last-second defeat at Northwestern, went to Lincoln, Nebraska Sunday night and exercised some demons. The Wolverines shot 63% on their way to a 36 point victory over the hapless Huskers, 93-57. Derrick Walton continued his recent spate of top form and set a Michigan record with 16 assists. John Beilein also tied Johnny Orr’s mark for most wins as a head coach, with 209. Michigan will enter the B1G Tournament as an 8 seed and will play Illinois at Noon on Thursday. The game will be broadcast on BTN. Should Michigan top Illinois, they’ll play Purdue at Noon on Friday. If you’re in the Mid-Atlantic, you can get tickets for all BTT games through the conference’s ticket partner. Looking ahead to Selection Sunday, Michigan is still projected to be a 9 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology update.

The NFL Combine took place over this past weekend, and 14 Michigan players participated to varying extents. Some players like Jake Butt and Jeremy Clark forewent certain events due to them still being in recovery for injuries received during the season. Jabrill Peppers set the turf on fire with a 4.46 40-yard dash time, the fastest in the LB group by 0.12 seconds, which he later said he felt was “slow” for him. Despite testing with the LBs, Peppers still said he expected to play safety at the next level - telling the media that he’d be damn good at the position. Jeremy Clark, who suffered a knee injury early in the season before losing his bid for a sixth year of eligibility, impressed in the weight room. He did 20 reps of 225lbs, only two behind the best performer in the DB group. Ben Gedeon also showed off in the weight room, completing 27 reps of 225lbs to lead the LB group.

The 2019 recruiting cycle continues to heat up for football. Marvin Grant, a 2019 ATH from Detroit King HS, says he’ll be visiting the University on Tuesday according to Scout’s Brice Marich. Some recruiting services have Grant listed as a CB prospect. Another 2019 prospect from Detroit King, Tyrece Woods, may be accompanying him. Woods, currently 6’2” and 205lbs, plays LB.

Softball had a mixed weekend at the Judi Garman Classic out in Fullerton, CA. The Wolverines split their games on Friday and Saturday before dominating Long Beach State on Sunday. Michigan started off with a 2-0 victory over #20 Arizona State before falling to #7 UCLA 4-0. On Saturday, the Wolverines lost their first match of the day against #22 Baylor 4-0 before bouncing back to top the tournament hosts, Cal. State Fullerton, 2-0. Michigan’s 3-2 record on the weekend moves the Wolverines to 12-6-1 on the season. They’ll be back in action this coming weekend with four games at the Kentucky Invitational.

Women’s basketball, plagued by a poor shooting performance, dropped their opening game in the B1G Tournament this past Saturday. Double-digit point totals from the Wolverines three offensive leaders wasn’t enough to overcome a lean second quarter, as Michigan lost to the Michigan State Spartans 74-64. Kysre Gondrezick led all scorers with 23 points. Katelynn Flaherty (18 pts.) and Hallie Thome (16 pts, 9 rebs.) also paced the Wolverines. Flaherty scored all nine of Michigan’s second quarter points. Kim Barnes Arico’s squad now waits to learn their seeding fate on Selection Monday. Seeding announcements will be made March 13th at 7 PM on ESPN.

Here’s your bi-weekly reminder to keep voting for John Beilein in the Coaches for Charity Challenge. Beilein held a lead of several percentage points last week but Purdue coach Matt Painter has pulled even to start this week. Keep voting folks. If Beilein finishes in first place, the ChadTough Foundation will receive a $100,000 donation. If he doesn’t finish first, they’ll only receive a $15,000 donation. Let’s make sure $100k goes toward child cancer research. Click the link in the tweet above to vote for Coach Beilein. You can do so once per day. Go Blue.