ATLANTA — For Michigan coach John Beilein, the Wolverines' trip to the Final Four really hit him when he woke up Tuesday morning.
"I'm going to tell you something that only my wife and a few people know," Beilein said Tuesday night. "I woke up this morning and – you know, after a loss, you wake up, and you know something happened bad, but you're not sure for like 2 or 3 seconds, and then you realize you lost the game the night before.
"I woke up this morning. I woke up, and I got up and I said, `I feel good.' And then I sort of said, `Are we still going to the Final Four? Is this true?' She says, `Yes we are.' There was a moment there, I realized it happened."
When Michigan returned to campus Sunday night after beating Florida in the regional final, the Wolverines were greeted by a crowd of fans in front of their home arena. That's been one aspect of this NCAA tournament run – the reaction back home – that players and coaches don't always get to experience.
The most dramatic moment so far for Michigan – and maybe for any team – was Trey Burke's 3-pointer to send the regional semifinal against Kansas to overtime.
"I wished I could be beamed into a restaurant here (in Ann Arbor) and watch everybody watch Trey's shot go in. I'd probably be right there with them," Beilein said. "We miss a lot."
This is the first time Beilein has coached a team to the Final Four, and he hopes it hasn't changed him.
"I'm just really happy that this could happen at this university again, with these young men, for our coaching staff," Beilein said. "I feel good for my family and things like that, but I feel the same. I know you may not believe this, but games are games to me. ... I know one thing: I'm happy I have a better seat than I normally have had for the Final Four."