ANN ARBOR – A player from North Carolina drove and Michigan's Isaiah Livers probably had a shot from his shot, which hit the side of the back panel. Another Tar Heel corralled the ball and Jon Teske sent his shot to the Carolina bench. A third opportunity, a third, Tar Heel, attempted to score, but his shot fell within 10 feet of Charles Matthews.
Playing the offensive against Michigan this season has been an unpleasant experience for those who have tried.
"(I am) the most frustrated of my life," said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams after Michigan's 84-67 win on Wednesday night. Williams envisioned his 31 years as head coach.
North Carolina was close to 30 points below the season average. Michigan is 7-0, and no opponent managed to shoot at 40%.
"We are a group of pit bulls on the field," said Ignas Brazdeikis of Michigan. "We are hungry for defense, the defense inspires us somehow, if our attack does not go well, we still have our defense no matter the problem."
Brazdeikis, a freshman, has no choice but to have this mentality given the leadership of the captains of Michigan.
John Beilein has been coaching for 44 years. He called Matthews and Zavier Simpson and "the most motivated defensive players I've ever coached". Jon Teske is a rim protector as Michigan has not done in a long time. He blocked five shots on Wednesday against a talented Tar Heel front-runner.
"They have a sense of urgency on the defensive," Williams said. "They are difficult to filter because they are fighting through the screens – they change, they communicate and do it."
Michigan forced 10 turnovers and turned them into 18 points. But when North Carolina attempted a shot, the goal was still the same according to Beilein, who quoted his assistant coach.
"As Luke Yaklich says," we are going to challenge the shots of all the fibers of our being. "In fact, he says that, and we do it."
For good measure, the Wolverines shot 57% of the field Wednesday and tied 11 points at 3 points. Brazdeikis, Matthews and Jordan Poole combined for 63 points. Michigan missed the game early, but did not panic. He scored 17-2 in response.
Brazdeikis was on the bench after committing a foul when North Carolina hit a shot, but he checked to help Michigan take control.
"I was like:" Damn it, I have to do everything I can, I will not care, I'll take my leg if I have to, I'll do everything I can. " it takes to win the match, " Brazdeikis said. "I have the impression that we all have this mentality – it is about winning for us."
And Michigan wins faster than some of Beilein's recent teams. Even with the playoff success – two consecutive titles in the Big Ten tournament, an appearance at the national championship last season – Michigan had some difficulties early in the season. Matthews did not understand why this trend should continue.
"We had a good run at the end of the year and basically came together to say: Let 's not wait until the end of the year is special. start the year and continue to progress from there. "
Growth is the key. Beilein will insist on that. "I hope we will be much better," he said before presenting some solutions: development of the bench, better offensive balance, sharing the ball.
"From one thumb to the other, you get one percent better every day, who knows what could happen?"