Better Know A Gavitt Tipoff Games Opponent: Michigan

Nice inflatable mascot, y'all. - Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Blue & Gold vs Maize & Blue...

Marquette has a varying history with the members of the Big Ten.  They have a long running series with Wisconsin, of course, and there are a few other schools that MU has squared off with over the years.  With the announcement of the Gavitt Tipoff Games and at least six games against Big East opponents, we're going to check in on Marquette's history against each of the 13 teams and see what could make for the most interesting match ups.

For lack of any particular order of importance, we'll go in order of how many times Marquette has seen each particular opponent.  This week, our attention turns to the school that shares Marquette's interest in color palettes.

Michigan

All Time Series: Michigan leads, 13-6

Last Meeting: November 29, 2009

Through the 1940s and the early 1950s, Michigan-Marquette was a game that you could expect to see on the schedule more often than not.  The two schools connected 10 times in that stretch, including a home-and-home series contested 19 days apart in December of 1953.  Michigan won seven of the first 10 encounters between the Wolverines and your Golden Eagles, although things haven't exactly turned around for Marquette since then.  The series went inactive between 1954 and 1969, and since it has "resumed," MU has only won three more games in nine tries, including a win over #15 Michigan in the 2009 Old Spice Classic semifinals.

One thing we do have to hang our hats on is the 1974 Elite Eight.  On March 16, 1974, Marcus Washington had 17 points and Bo Ellis added 15 points and 10 rebounds as Marquette edged out Michigan 72-70 to earn the first Final Four berth in program history.  An interesting note from that game: Michigan played just six guys in that game, and since Steve Grote fouled out, I'd wager that head coach Johnny Orr intended on playing his starting five for the full 40 minutes.  Can you imagine the complete frenzy that would occur if a coach refused to go to his bench for any reason in an Elite Eight game in 2015?

Michigan is coached by John Beilein, and MU has a little bit of history with the 61 year old from Burt, New York.  The very first time that Marquette tangled with a Beilein coached team, Mike Gansey and Kevin Pittsnogle both threw in at least 30 points and the West Virginia Mountaineers bombed Marquette out of the building 104-85.  WVU set a Big East record with 20 made three pointers, connecting on 61.5% of their attempts behind the arc.  MU was able to gain a measure of vengeance the following season when the Golden Eagles came away with a 81-63 victory back in Milwaukee.  MU ran out to a 10 point halftime lead before hiding in the second half behind a 21 point outburst from Dominic James.  Of course, MU also saw a Beilein coached Michigan team in that Old Spice Classic game.

Beilein carries a record of 150-94 at Michigan, and is 443-269 overall at the Division 1 level.  He's put the Wolverines into the NCAA tournament five times in his seven seasons, including each of the last four years.  Beilein has put Michigan on the national radar the last three seasons with two Big Ten regular season titles, two Elite Eight appearances, and one national title game appearance, where they lost to Louisville.  Odds are that they're not disappearing from the ranks of the titans any time soon.

The Crisler Center plays home to the Wolverines, and it's turned into a fortress for them over the last three years.  The Wolverines have lost just three home games in that stretch, one each season.  It's been the home to Michigan basketball since 1967, and while it started with a capacity of 13,684, that has slowly dwindled down to 12,707 today in the current arrangement.  No worries from the athletic department in Ann Arbor, though: They averaged 12,698 per game this past season.

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