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John Beilein Frustrated With Big Ten Schedule

By: Will Burchfield

Michigan's final two games of the season - at Northwestern on Wednesday night and at Nebraska on Sunday night - may well decide the team's postseason fate.

They'll also exact a heavy toll on the players, who won't return to campus until the wee hours of the morning and will have to be in class shortly thereafter. It's a scheduling issue that Coach John Beilein has taken issue with all season long, and he was asked about it again on the Jamie and Stoney Show on Monday morning.

"You're trying to get me in trouble with the Big Ten," he said with a chuckle. "But I tell you, man, this is really a unique new phenomenon and we have to really look at this going forward. When a team gets home at 1 or 2 in the morning and class is in the morning - because we'll get home at 2:30 a.m. (from Nebraska) - we have to continue to see what other options there are besides these Sunday night games."

The Wolverines have played five conference games this season that tipped off after 8:00 ET before a day of classes, two of which came on the road. Sunday night's season finale at Nebraska will tip off at 8:00.

"Maybe Michigan has such a great appeal on the West Coast that maybe the ratings are tremendous out on the West Coast where it's a 6:00 game," Beilein said. "But it is really difficult to the student athletes, because we already have to do it on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night...and so adding a Sunday night, we've gotta continue to discuss it and see what the options are going forward.

"The Big Ten Network and the league is tremendous, but we surely have to examine this and see where it goes -- maybe it stays, I don't know."

With a big win over Purdue on Saturday, its fifth in the past six games, Michigan (19-10) is in solid position to make the NCAA Tournament. Beilein is eager to flip the calendar to March.

"This is what we coach for," he said. "These guys go through 100 practices a year, 31 games, so when it gets down to this you want to have some fun with it, while you also understand this game could mean everything. When we're done at the end of the year, this could be the game."

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