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March 17, 2016

John Beilein

Brooklyn, New York

JOHN BEILEIN: We're really pleased to be in this situation. Not even 12 hours ago or so, or 24 hours ago, we were getting ready to play a game not knowing if we were going back to Ann Arbor or making this trip to Brooklyn.

So get in at 4:00 this morning and got some rest. We had the latest wakeup call ever at noon for our players, and just ate and walked through a few things that Notre Dame does. Look forward to getting a little shootaround and getting the kids sweating a little bit today and get prepared for Notre Dame.

Q. It's a short amount of time for you to turn around and prepare your team. Does it help at all that you spent a bunch of time coaching in the Big East against Mike Brey's teams?
JOHN BEILEIN: Yeah, I guess it helps him as well that we know each other pretty well. I've got a lot of respect for Mike. Yeah, I know a little bit when I watched him play. I see a lot of similarities the way they played, but it was nine years ago when we did play.

We recruited many of their players. They recruited many of ours. There's a lot of similarities between the programs. So in a short prep, whether it's one or two days, you've just got to go play this time of year.

Q. Coach, you've been at this a long time. Just wondering, how has the tournament changed over the years, and how has your preparation for the tournament changed over the years?
JOHN BEILEIN: This has certainly been unique being in the first four and now moving forward. That was something brand new. But I don't see a lot of differences right now. I think that you're still going to have, as you saw with Yale and Baylor today, you're going to have great games where people that Baylor was going to beat Yale, never watched Yale play. They don't know how good they are. All us coaches see that. Chattanooga gave Duke a great run. That was still happening back when I was at Richmond and we upset South Carolina, or Valpo beat Mississippi that day on a miracle shot.

We just continue to have challenges in college athletics, but the end product is still very high quality as we continue to adapt. So the tournament is as good as ever, and thrilled to be in it again.

Q. Obviously, a lot of history between Michigan and Notre Dame. Not so much in the basketball arena, though. Does that rivalry aspect, especially given the football hiatus and the ten years it's been since you played Notre Dame cross your mind at all?
JOHN BEILEIN: No, I think our guys, we have a lot of respect -- I know I have a lot of respect for Notre Dame and the institution itself and the athletic teams that they have. So football's been a great rivalry for years. Maybe it will be again. But I think if Mike and I, if we didn't have schedules that were so fixed right now, it would be a great game in basketball as well. It probably will be in the ACC Big Ten challenge at some point.

So it's two great schools. Our young men, they have a lot of Midwest kids. We have a lot of Midwest kids. They've all played against each other. I think those rivalries probably were formed way before anybody thought it would be a Notre Dame-Michigan game. It might have been eighth grade they played against each other. So it's a great basketball game. I know that there will be a lot of people tuned in.

Q. More of a general question. One of the big themes recently in college basketball are the graduate senior transfers, kind of almost like a free agent type of deal. I was wondering your thoughts on that. Do you think it's good for the game, bad for the game?
JOHN BEILEIN: I think we're in a dangerous area there where you have the graduate transfer, and then where he can go afterwards and things like that, like we actually have one in our league. Those are difficult things, I think, that we have to look at in the future, and what is the real purpose that have? Is that young man going there just to play basketball? Is he going there to get his Masters degree? How many are getting their Masters degrees? There's got to be some legitimacy to that rather than just another year of eligibility?

So the mid-majors that are getting to having their best players taken from them -- you remember, a guy -- there's a reason a guy has a fifth year, that somewhere during that year he was injured, he had doctors, he had trainers, he had people looking after him at his home school. And now he's going to take everything they did to another school, right? That's not necessarily fair to anybody. Or fair to the home school that did all that work, the coaches that worked with them.

So we've got to be very careful of this area. I trust the NCAA is looking at it closely and hopefully will continue to make the right strides to make it a situation that really fits everyone much better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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