Even after putting on an impressive performance in their second-round win over the Tennessee Volunteers, the Michigan Wolverines will enter their Sunday contest against the Duke Blue Devils as significant underdogs.
The Wolverines present an interesting matchup for the Blue Devils, however, in large part because they are not a traditional team that plays in a conventional way. John Beilein designed his offensive and defensive system to "win with less" when he coached at Le Moyne, Canisius and Richmond, and carried it forward to West Virginia and Michigan.
The offense was designed over time, when Beilein didn't have the best athletes and needed to play a different way to be competitive. His offensive scheme incorporates Princeton-style backdoor cuts, reversals followed by dribble penetration and kickouts and staggered screens. It is 5-out, motion-based, lifted off the baseline, and has quick-hitting options that take advantage of 3-point shooting.
There are two things that the Wolverines don't do: they do not get offensive rebounds and they do not get to the free throw line (case in point: they became the first team in history to win an NCAA tournament game without making a foul shot in their win over Tennessee).
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