Everything about Michigan’s 64-54 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday was not fun if you’re a Michigan fan. The game was slow and frustrating, the broadcast was horrible and Michigan’s offense couldn’t find a spark.
For the first time this season, the Wolverines were not the best team on the court.
Beilein mentioned in his postgame press conference it was weirdly quiet in the locker room after the game because they were not partaking in the singing of their fight song, a tradition after every win.
His focus in the presser was growing from the loss and moving on to Minnesota on Tuesday.
The Wolverines cannot linger on this loss. The team cannot overcompensate for how poorly they played against Wisconsin. This was not a representation of who this team is and what they have become under John Beilein.
Beilein has built a winning culture in Ann Arbor. Going from making the National Championship to losing three of the most influential players on the roster, and still starting the season off on a 17-game winning streak is an extremely impressive feat. Many national analysts didn’t even consider Michigan a top-20 team to start this season because of those losses.
So far, they have proved the doubters wrong. They made a statement to their fans and to the nation that they are still a force to be reckoned with. The team has blown out four top-25 opponents, broke a school record by starting the season 17-0, and is arguably the best team Beilein has put together.
Now after suffering their first loss, they must return to their winning ways. Their performance against Wisconsin has to become an outlier if the team still has hopes of a Big Ten title and more.
The Big Ten is too good this year for a team like Michigan to have repeat performances like this. Mentally, they cannot let this loss get stuck in their head. They probably shouldn’t look at the new polls on Monday either.
No matter how much talk there is, this was still just one game in what will hopefully be a long and successful season for the Wolverines. Michigan needs to have a short memory and move on from this loss. If they don’t, there could be trouble since Michigan’s next four opponents are a combined 52-17. Two of them, Iowa and Indiana, are top-25 opponents the Wolverines will face on the road.
In the long run, this loss to Wisconsin could be insignificant, but the team needs to have a similar mindset. Michigan has too talented of a roster and too good a coach to allow a loss like this to halt an amazing run of basketball.
Beilein summed it up best saying, “Hats off to Wisconsin, but watch us grow from it. That’s our only plan.”
Yes, this loss stung, but moving on as quickly as possible will be key for the Wolverines to return to their winning ways and to grow into a better team as the season progresses.