Michigan, Detroit Mercy swing open new door on rivarly

When Michigan tips off against Detroit Mercy at noon Saturday in the opening game of an in-state college basketball doubleheader at Little Caesars Arena, it’ll mark a series of firsts. The first meeting between Michigan coach John Beilein and Detroit Mercy coach Bacari Alexander, who spent six seasons as an assistant under Beilein. The first crack at Michigan for Detroit Mercy redshirt junior wing Kameron Chatman, who spent his first two seasons in a Wolverines uniform before joining the Titans. And the first college basketball game to ever be played at the newly constructed home arena for the Pistons and Red Wings in downtown Detroit. “This is a great environment for us to be in,” Beilein said on Friday. “It’s a great way for the city of Detroit to bring college basketball back. “We got to be ready to play and it’s not going to be easy. We get a ‘W,’ it’ll be a great ‘W.’ It reminds me of the game where we went and played Bradley (in 2012) with a tremendous team and we had to gut out a win somehow. We’re going to have to gut this out to get a ‘W.'” Despite winning the past 14 meetings, close calls have become the norm for Michigan, with four of the past five victories being decided by single digits. But that’s just the start of Beilein’s worries. For the second time in the series, Michigan and Detroit Mercy will christen a new facility, and Beilein doesn’t want his… [Read full story]

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