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

DES MOINES, Iowa – Let's turn to ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu to explain how Michigan advanced to Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year. The secret behind Michigan's stifling, demoralizing and Vital Defense can be found on Tzu's Twitter account The Art of War

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

All right. Tzu was never really known for his social media presence, but the team's defense coordinator, Michigan assistant coach Luke Yaklich, follows this Twitter account and hooks him into his messages to the team.

"All armies prefer high to low and sunny places to darkness. "- Sun Tzu – Art of War.

Oh, the Wolverines are heading for the sun – back to Cali. The Wolverines defeated Florida on Saturday night (64-49) to rise to Sweet 16 for the fifth time in the last seven years. They did it because they play with militaristic precision defense. The Wolverines are raving about themselves and seem to be getting stronger as the game progresses to stifle and demoralize the opposition.

Michigan has the nation's best defensive efficiency level, which gives them a shot to reach the Final Four. "The beginning of the troops is like the stream of a torrent that will even roll stones in its course."

An onslaught of the torrent. This could be the best way to describe the defense of Michigan. Bodies that fly around, cut off fast lanes, communication and effort and desire.

It is not a fleeting defense. It's just solid with an in-your-face attitude, I'm just better than you, anywhere on the court.

"We've seen first-hand how hard, physically, and networked this defense is," Florida coach Mike Said White. "They are amazing."

Michigan security guard Zavier Simpson (3) attempts to steal the ball from central Florida. Kevarrius Hayes, left, during a second men's college basketball game on Saturday, March 23, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall) (Photo: The Associated Press)

The Wolverines are clever and gloomy and seem to be to be in the right place at the right time.

You can break this defense with the numbers that block shots and jump into passing lanes and jumpers and fill the room, but at the core it all depends on effort and discipline.

"I think it was just the discipline that kept them on the defensive, lowered driving angles and did not easily distract our shots, good screen coverage, but overall your defense was pretty consistent throughout the game," said Andrew Nembhard

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"If you know yourself, but not the enemy, you will suffer defeat with every victory."

OK, so it took some time for the Wolverines to know and understand Florida, with the Gators firing 50 percent from a distance in the first half (6-12), but holding Michigan at 21.4 percent ( 3: 14) The game is over.

"I just thought that they were extremely disturbing at the defensive end and were really playing their principles and it was hard for us to get into the Ga to come and shake them at all, "said Florida's Jalen Hudson. "You must credit her for her defense this evening."

"Therefore, there will be a whole against individual parts of the whole, which means that we will be many to the few enemies."

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

They guard Zavier Simpson at the top of the spear, shuffling their feet and moving precisely. And you have Charles Matthews on the wing imprisoning the team's best player.

But the real secret? It's the tall Jon Teske who locks in the interior and denies shots.

"Jon Teske is incredible," Yaklich said. "His defense on the screen, his ability to punch on the edge, is incredible. He is the anchor of our defense. He controls the post and the ball defense.

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Michigan coach John Beilein speaks with assistant Chinedu Nwachukwu during an action break against Florida in the NCAA tournament on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. [Photo:KirthmonFDozierDetroitFreePress)

[ Michigan basketball found its boaster again. Attention NCAA Field]

All these parts seem to be magical.

"I can see why they are number one in college basketball for defense," said Hudson. "They were really solid. Anything we tried to run, or the mistakes they made, had to cover them up so fast, and they had the 7-foot position, and even if you got in the paint, it was hard and he blocked them. And on the edge we also had to make late recordings that changed our attitudes. "

" Think about it before you make a move. – #Maneuvering. "

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

" It's one Mix of great individual defenders, combined with tenacity and sand, combined with great daily habits to instill and instill instincts and actions in the game. "Yaklich:" Then there's the game board our staff put together and the fourth is the wear and our ability of our team and our coaches to collaborate on any media timeout.

"It boils down to us having really talented players who are defensively talented and who have completely bought the plan, to the team and to each other. "

" When the flame power has reached its peak, follow it with an attack if practicable. – #Attack "

Such is this defense.

It seems to get stronger over time.

When the flames flicker and the heat increases, the team becomes stronger

" In the summer, I'm preparing to be mentally strong and mentally tough in such a situation, "explains Simpson." If the game continues, "if you want to win such a time, then you have to do it we need to turn it up higher to get to elite eight. "

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" Attack, an abundance of strength. " #TacticalDispositions. "

It takes strength and power to play this defense. It takes stamina, strength and effort.

"It feels like the more tired we are, the better we'll play," said Michigans Isaiah Livers. It sounds funny, but it's a bit like the exercise. To get out of this exercise, you have to be tired. You have to get a stop. We have to get a stop to win this game. We probably practice more defensive exercises more than anyone in the country. We do that for half of the exercise. Most teams work at shooting. We work on defense, slides and so on.

After thorough research, Tzu did not train basketball.

But if he did, he would babble about the way Wolverine's defenses play.

Contact Jeff Seidel: jseidel@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @ Seideljeff: To read his last column, go to freep.com/sports/jeff-seidel. [196659058]
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