No students in the crowd, Christmas carols during pre-game warm-ups, travel plans arranged to return home and the allure of Big Ten play on the horizon. Holiday games are a recurring nightmare for college basketball coaches. It’s impossible to deny that Michigan was in at last a bit of a holiday funk to open this game. The Wolverines got off on the wrong foot and never really seemed comfortable, battling back and forth with Bradley, until a Tim Hardaway Jr. alley-oop catalyzed a Michigan run and stretched a five point lead to 15 midway through the second half. The end result was a 77-66 Michigan win, securing a 10-2 pre-conference record for Michigan heading into Big Ten play. [click to continue…]
It certainly wasn’t easy but Michigan eventually pulled away from visiting Bradley 77-66 tonight to head into Big Ten play with a 10-2 record. After the game, John Beilein was pleased with his team’s effort and even snuck in a couple of light-hearted jokes at the press conference. Here’s video of what the coach had to say, along with notes and quotes after the jump.