Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

April 2, 2013

Beilein Madness

Lockport-area family & friends joyous over Final Four berth

LOCKPORT — “It’s in the genes.”

That’s how Lockport’s Molly Maigret, John Beilein’s sister, explains the family’s devotion to each other and her brother’s men’s basketball team — Final Four-bound Michigan.

In fact, her brother’s secretary has been inundated this week in Ann Arbor, Mich. with so many Lockport-area family members calling about tickets, she reportedly asked the coach, “And exactly how many brothers and sisters do you have? Oh, I can tell this is gonna be a great day.”
Not as great as Sunday, when Michigan advanced to the prestigious Final Four — Beilein’s first as a men’s college basketball head coach — by defeating Florida, 79-59, in Arlington, Texas.
Several Beileins were there, of course, including John’s roommate of 18 years growing up in Newfane, his brother, Joe Beilein, of St. Louis.
Driving hundreds of miles and back to one of John’s games is quite normal, after all, Molly says, for the sports-crazed Beilein-Niland family of Western New York, most of whom are headed to Atlanta for this weekend’s NCAA tournament semifinal and final.
“Out of about 100 Beileins and Nilands, I’d say that at least 60 percent are going to Atlanta,” said John’s nephew, Niagara County Community College men’s basketball head coach and Appleton native Bill Beilein, who watched Friday’s amazing Michigan come-from-behind overtime win over Kansas and Sunday’s big win over Florida with his wife and family in Syracuse.
“The Syracuse radio guys were just awful,” Bill said. “I didn’t like the way they were discrediting Michigan. But Friday night’s game was amazing the way it transformed — and the fact that we were watching my uncle coaching — we were all glued to the television screen.”
Joe Beilein, who was at the Kansas game on Friday night, said Michigan had been the victim of so many buzzer-beaters this year, he thought, trailing by double digits late in the game, that it was a fitting time for a major reversal of fortunes.

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