Michael's news conference, after defeating Florida, 64-49, to reach Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament on March 23, 2019.
NCAA, Detroit Free Press

DES MOINES, Iowa – Let us turn to the ancient Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu, to explain how Michigan has advanced to Sweet 16 for the third straight year.

Because the secret of Michigan's suffocating, demoralizing life-threatening defense is on Tzu's Twitter account, War Art.

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Michigan coach John Beilein speaks to Zavier Simpson during the first half against Florida in the NCAA tournament Saturday March 23, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Okay. So Tzu was never really known for his presence on social media again, but Michigan assistant coach Luke Yaklich, the team's defensive coordinator follows this Twitter account and incorporates it into their messages to the team.

"All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to the dark." – Sun Tzu – Art of War.

Oh, Wolverines are on their way to the sun okay – back to Cali. Wolverines beat Florida on Saturday night, 64-49, to move on to Sweet 16 for the fifth time in the last seven years. They did it because they play defense with militaristic precision. Wolverine swarms and loads and adjusts and seems to be stronger when the game carries, suffocates and demoralises the opposition.

Michigan has the nation's best defensive efficiency rating, giving them a shot to get to the Final Four. [19659013] "The appearance of troops is like a rush of a torrent that will even roll stones in its course."

And rush of torrent. It may be the best way to describe Michigan's defense. Bodies flying around cut through passing paths and communication and effort and desire.

It's not a fluke or gimmick defense. It's just sunny with a face, I'm just better than you, attitude, across the court.

"We saw first hand how tough, physical, covenant that defense is," Florida coach Mike White said. "They are amazing."

Michigan guard Zavier Simpson (3) tries to steal the ball from the Florida Center Kevarrius Hayes, left during a second round of men's college basketball games in the NCAA tournament, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall) [ Michigan basketball can get to the Final Four: Here are 16 reasons why ]

Wolverines are smart and gritty and work be in the right place at the right time.

You can break this defense down through the numbers, how they block shots and go in matching paths and compete jumpers and fill space, but in their core, it comes down to effort and discipline.

"I think it was just how disciplined they were on defense, set driving angles and not let us remove our images easily, good ball-screen coverage, but only overall their defense throughout the game was quite consistent," said Florida Andrew Nembhard.

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"If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory you have received, you will also suffer a defeat."

OK. So it took some time for Wolverines to know and understand Florida. Gators shot 50 percent from long range in the first half (6-12). But Michigan kept them at 21.4 percent in seconds (3-for-14). Games over.

"I just thought they were super disruptive at the defensive end and they really played their principles and it was hard for us to get into the track and shake them at all," says Florence Jalen Hudson. "You have to credit them for their defense tonight."

"Therefore, there will be a lot against different parts of the whole, which means that we will be many to the enemy's few."

Isn & # 39; t it how it looks? Michigan has so many parts that it looks overwhelming.

You have guarded Zavier Simpson on the spearhead, mixing your feet and moving with precision. And you have Charles Matthews on the wing and lock down the team's best players.

But the real secret? It's great Jon Teske, locks down inside, competes shot.

"Jon Teske is incredible," said Yaklich. "His ball defense defense, his ability to influence the shot on the rim, it is incredible. He is the anchor of our defense. He controls the record and he controls the ball defense."

<img itemprop = "url" src = "https: // www / presto / 2019/03/24 / PDTF / 27d24275-3737-4f96-8a49-eece7e03532c-MichiganState_032319_kd3112.jpg? width = 540 & height = & fit = bounds & auto = webp "alt =" Michigan coach John Beilein talks to assistant Chinedu Nwachukwu during a break in action against Florida at the NCAA tournament Saturday March 23, 2019 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Michigan coach John Beilein speaks to assistant Chinedu Nwachukwu during a break in action against Florida in the NCAA tournament Saturday, March 23, 2019 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Michigan Basket Found his swagger again, watch out, the NCAA field]

All these parts seem to be something magical.

"I can see why they are No. 1 in college basketball for defense," Hudson said. "They were super fast. Everything we tried to run or the mistakes they made they had to cover them so fast and they had the 7-foot and even when you got in the color it was difficult and he blocked them. And on the perimeter we had to take late shots that also changed our shots. "

" Examine and intentionally before making a move. – #Maneuvering. "

Oh, that's also a part of the. They did not win this game on Saturday . They won it in their preparation.

"It is a mixture of having large individual defenders, combined with a toughness and a grit, coupled with great daily habits of building and introducing instincts and actions into the game," says Yaklich. our staff put together and the fourth is wear and our ability with our teams and coaches to work together through each media timeout.

"It cools down that we have really talented players who are gifted defensively, who have completely bought to the plan, to the team and to each other."

"When the flame's force has reached its height , follow it up with an attack, if it is practical.

That's what this defense is.

It seems to be stronger when the game carries.

When the flames flash and the heat grows, this team gets stronger

"I prepare myself in the summer, to be mentally strong, mentally tough for such a situation," Simpson. When the game continues, "If you want to win as a time like this, then you have it Hopefully we can turn it higher. We have to crank it high to move on to Elite Eight. "


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" Attacking, an abundance of strength. – #TacticalDispositions. "

It takes strength and power to play defense like this. It takes endurance and strength and gravel.

" It feels like the more tired we get the better the defense we play, "says Michigan & "Isaiah Livers." It sounds weird, but it is quite comparable to training. To get out of that drill, you're gong, tired, you have to quit. We have to stop to win this game. Exercise defensive exercises probably more than anyone in the country. We do it for half of the exercise. Most teams are shooting. We work with defenses, slides and things. "

After exhaustive investigations, to our best knowledge, Tzu did not train any basketball.

But if he did, he had a flat-out love that Wolverine's defense plays.

Contact Jeff Seidel: jseidel @ freepress .com. Follow him on Twitter @ seideljeff. To read his latest columns, go to

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