John Beilein says Michigan isn't carrying weight of Big Ten on its back as league seeks first title since 2000 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / November 20.
  • John Beilein says Michigan isn’t carrying weight of Big Ten on its back as league seeks first title since 2000

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    SAN ANTONIO — The Big Ten Conference hasn’t won a national championship since Michigan State cut down the nets in 2000.

    Since 2000, the Big Ten is 1-6 in NCAA titles games, with Indiana (2002), Illinois (2005), Ohio State (2007), Michigan State (2009),  Michigan (2013) and Wisconsin (2015) all coming up short in the final game of the season.

    By contrast, the Big East is 5-0 during that span in NCAA title games, winning crowns with Syracuse (2003), UConn twice (2004, ’11), Louisville (2013) and Villanova (2016).

    Jay Wright and the Wildcats will look to win their second title in three years here on Monday night, and give the Big East a perfect 6-0 record in finals since 2003.

    So, is John Beilein feeling pressure to deliver for the Big Ten?

    “The Big Ten is as strong a league as any league out there, but the breaks haven’t gone our way,” Beilein said. “I’m not carrying that weight on our back.”

    Michigan lost the 2013 title game to Louisville, which subsequently had its banner vacated by the NCAA. Does Beilein feel that his team deserves that title?

    Not even a little bit.

    “No, we didn’t win that one,” Beilein said. “It was fair and square. They didn’t have six guys on the court. They didn’t have Rick’s brother-in-law reffing or something like that. There was nothing going on in that game. We lost the game. They won it. I’m going to leave it like that and that’s the way it should be.”

    He added: “We didn’t win and we’ll never say we’re national champs.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.