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March 15, 2019

John Beilein

United Center - Chicago, Illinois

Michigan - 74, Iowa - 53

JOHN BEILEIN: We beat a really good team today. That was our February and our March. The way the season trended and the way the schedule was, we played some terrific -- we played a bunch of NCAA teams. Nebraska was probably the only team of our last half dozen of six or seven games that isn't a team that's going to be in the tournament. We weren't able to win them all, but this is a real quality win for us. We needed it after our disappointing loss in really our regular season championship game Saturday at Michigan State, and now we advance and move on and play a really good Minnesota team. We were fortunate enough to win at the buzzer and win by just a few at Minnesota.

Quickest turnaround I've probably ever had as a coach to be sitting here right now at 11:00 with a 2:30 game, but we'll do our best.

Q. Being back-to-back champions in this tournament, what is it that makes you guys so calm and confident coming into this tournament and performing the way that you do?
JOHN BEILEIN: You know, you asked me that question before, how have we been able to win. I can't really tell you. The only thing I can say, it must be something we're doing all year long. It might be that mid-major mentality I had way before that -- how you play in the season doesn't mean anything. You've got to win your tournament.

There's nothing intentional here. There's nothing -- we're just trying to get better every day, right, and then I think if you go into tournaments and you're usually a team that doesn't beat itself during the season, maybe you have some success then.

It's not intentional. It just happens sometimes.

Q. What did you see in Charles tonight? He seemed --
JOHN BEILEIN: Well, he was gassed, I'll tell you that, but he played great defense. He's such a big difference, not only if he's guarding on the ball, but off the ball he's our best -- I guess he would be a center fielder in baseball, a safety in football. He directs the whole thing. And a couple of other games when he was out, that was an obvious issue that we had, that we didn't have that voice in the background telling everybody who to take, guarding his own man without help.

Q. How great is it to have him back at this juncture?
JOHN BEILEIN: Yeah, one thing because I love the young man, and to have him just back as part of this team is huge. But that rotation, that when we have a follower -- like today, when he and J.P. both got their third foul early, right, we had somebody else there, right, but then he could come back in and finish the game. Big difference maker for us. Just look at his record, right, as a starter at Michigan, 33 wins, 27 wins now, is that 60 wins in two years? Who does that? That's a pretty good time as a starter.

Q. How good was Simpson tonight, and how big is he for you guys when he's playing like that?
JOHN BEILEIN: I think the biggest thing is that we've seen him, it's a bit of an anomaly, where he'll go 2-for-2 from three, like he did today, because five or six days he's hit 4-for-5, and then he's had days where it looked like the ball was going in and it didn't.

I just love that he's still confident. The biggest thing is 11 assists and one turnover, against changing defense all the time, and then Bohannon does not score, and that's his match-up. That's a heck of a day against a heck of a player.

Q. How much is Iggy reminding you of Mo right now with stepping up offensively, kind of being your horse offensively coming down the stretch? Can you make any comparisons?
JOHN BEILEIN: Yeah, I think that that's a fair comparison, just that there's -- he is emotional. He loves to celebrate on the court, right, it's almost like you're watching a European soccer game and somebody scores a goal. There's usually something going on there, and he loves that part. You've got to embrace that.

I know Mo, both of those guys if they were soccer players, right, they'd have a heck of a celebration every time they scored. So just they like winning, they like making plays. They enjoy basketball. That's the biggest thing. They enjoy basketball.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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