I'm not sure Matta came into a "better" situation. Yes Ohio State had much more recent success in 1999-2002 when Matta took over in 2004-05 as compared to the lack of success preceding Beilein, but the O'Brien era sanctions put a hit on the program.
Toledo Blade on the Matta hire:
"He replaces Jim O?Brien, who was fired June 8 after violating NCAA rules by giving $6,000 to a recruit who never enrolled at the university. The Buckeyes, coming off a 14-16 season, likely are facing NCAA sanctions."
The transition from O'Brien to Matta wasn't a great time for Ohio State basketball. We'd just lived through some AWFUL years in the mid 90s (one year only winning a single conference game) and the 1999 Final Four run put a spark back in the program. Fast forward to 2004 and that Final Four banner, those two shared Big Ten titles and a BTT title are suddenly gone. It almost felt as if all of the good from 1998-99 through 2001-02 was erased. That 2005-06 outright Big Ten championship was special because it was our first in 14 years. The conference may have been down that year (only OSU, Iowa, and Illinois finished ranked and the Bucks only faced the Hawkeyes (L) and Illini (W) once each) but it was still special. Landing Oden and Conley and the results of the 2006-07 made it feel like 1991-1992 all over again.
So I'd contest that Matta had a climb to make out of a hole for the program despite the recent success.
All that said, as much as I've hated Michigan basketball, I couldn't find reason to dislike Beilein. I sure didn't root for them, but they just didn't make my blood boil like Steve Fisher and the Fab Five did. So as much as I'd like to say I'd look forward to a slip, I prefer the schadenfreude version of hating Michigan and am hoping they remain competitive enough for Holtmann and Co. to painfully keep them from outdoing the Buckeyes.