It’s been a tough few years for Michigan basketball. After reaching the pinnacle of college basketball with a national championship in 2013, the Wolverines have been in a steady decline. They’ve missed the NCAA tournament three times in the last five years, and this year they’re on the bubble again.
But it wasn’t always like this. Just a few years ago, Michigan was one of the elite programs in the country. They were a perennial NCAA tournament team, and they had one
The Early Years
Michigan basketball had humble beginnings. The team was formed in 1898 and played its first game against neighboring Albion College. Michigan won that game by a score of eight to six. The Wolverines would go on to lose their next four games before finally securing their first victory against Ossineke, a team from northern Michigan.
Despite their early struggles, the Wolverines managed to put together a winning season in their second year of existence. That year, Michigan posted a record of eight wins and four losses. This was the beginning of a successful stretch for the Wolverines that would see them win at least eight games in every season for the next decade.
The Wolverines really began to make noise on the national stage in 1910 when they defeated Penn State by a score of 36-0. This victory helped put Michigan basketball on the map and set the stage for future success.
Michigan basketball is not good right now
Michigan basketball was once one of the best programs in the nation. They were led by a group of talented young players known as the Fab Five. The Fab Five helped put Michigan basketball back on the map. They made it to the NCAA tournament three times, winning it all in 1989.
However, things quickly went downhill after that. The program was hit with sanctions in the late 1990s. This led to a decline in success on the court. The team has not been to the NCAA tournament since 2014. The program is currently in a state of flux. They are trying to rebuild under new head coach Juwan Howard. Only time will tell if they can return to their former glory.
The Return to Prominence
Since the program’s inception in 1898, the University of Michigan’s basketball team has been one of the most successful in NCAA history. The Wolverines have won 27 conference championships and have made 28 NCAA tournament appearances, including 16 Sweet Sixteen appearances, 8 Elite Eight appearances, 7 Final Four appearances, and 2 National Championship game appearances. In recent years, however, the team has struggled to maintain its place among the nation’s elite. After reaching the National Championship game in 2013, the Wolverines have failed to make it back to the NCAA tournament, missing the cut each of the last three seasons. The 2017-2018 season was particularly disappointing, as the team finished with a record of 14-18 and failed to make either the NCAA tournament or NIT.
This past season, though, Michigan made a return to prominence. Led by head coach John Beilein and aided by star players Charles Matthews and Ignas Brazdeikis, the Wolverines finished with a record of 30-7 and won both the Big Ten regular season championship and Big Ten tournament championship. They also made it back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in four years, eventually falling to Texas Tech in the Elite Eight. Despite this loss, Michigan’s return to form this past season was one of college basketball’s feel-good stories and has given hope to fans that the team can once again compete for a national championship.
The Current Era
Since the departure of head coach John Beilein in 2019, the Michigan basketball team has been in a bit of a slump. The team has not made it to the NCAA tournament since 2018, and they have not made it past the first round since 2014. This is a far cry from the glory days of Michigan basketball, when the team was one of the top programs in the country.
In short, the current era of Michigan basketball has been defined by poor recruiting and coaching. Under Beilein, the team failed to bring in enough top-level talent to compete with other powerhouses like Duke and Kentucky. And since his departure, the team has been unable to find a replacement who can match his success. As a result, Michigan fans have been left wondering if their basketball program will ever return to its former glory.
The Off-Court Issues
The off-court issues that have plagued the Michigan basketball program are well documented. From the Ed Martin scandal to the recent allegations against former head coach John Beilein, the Wolverines have had their share of problems. Despite all of these issues, Michigan has still managed to be one of the most successful programs in the country. The Wolverines have won five national championships and have made 28 NCAA Tournament appearances.
However, these off-court problems have taken their toll on the program. Michigan has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2014, and they have not won a postseason game since 2013.The Wolverines are hoping that new head coach Juwan Howard can help turn things around, but it will be an uphill battle. Michigan has a long way to go before they are back to being one of the elite programs in college basketball.
The Pros and Cons of Michigan Basketball
It’s no secret that Michigan basketball is not good right now. The team is currently 13-9 and just lost to Penn State for the second time this season. They’re also 0-6 in the Big Ten, which is good for dead last in the conference. Needless to say, it’s been a rough few years for the Wolverines.However, it wasn’t always this way. Not too long ago, Michigan was one of the best basketball programs in the country. They made the Final Four in 2013 and were a regular fixture in the NCAA Tournament. What went wrong?
There are a number of factors that have contributed to Michigan’s decline. First and foremost, the team has struggled to recruit top talent in recent years. This is due in part to the coaching staff’s inability to sell the program to potential recruits. Second, the team has been plagued by injuries, most notably to star players like Mitch McGary and Caris LeVert. Finally, there has been a general lack of effort and focus from both the players and coaching staff.
So what does the future hold for Michigan basketball? It’s hard to say for sure, but things certainly don’t look good at the moment. If the team can’t turn things around soon, they could be in for another long and frustrating season.
The Bottom Line
It’s official, Michigan basketball is not good right now. The writing has been on the wall for a while, but it became abundantly clear in their 20 point loss to rivals Michigan State on Sunday. This was a Sparty team that was missing their two best players, and yet they still made the Wolverines look like a JV squad.
This has been a long time coming. John Beilein’s teams have always had trouble with physicality and athleticism, and that was on full display against the Spartans. State was able to bully their way to the basket and get easy putback baskets time and time again. The Wolverines had no answer for it.
This is not a one-off loss. Michigan has now lost four of their last five games, and seven of their last ten. They are clearly not the same team that started the season 16-1 with impressive wins over ranked teams like North Carolina and Purdue.
So what’s the bottom line? Michigan basketball is not good right now, and there is no easy fix in sight. Beilein is a great coach, but he might not be able to turn this ship around. It’s going to be a long off-season in Ann Arbor.