things go poorly
One of the great things about this here blog is the user-generated content. After the Michigan State game the board came though with a photoshop thread inspired by Melanie Maxwell's great shot of Trey Burke's steal. This, in turn, has inspired a new regular feature—"Shop Class"—where we'll highlight the best work from these threads (and I'll throw my hat into the ring, as well).
Let's start with one of the many variations of that Maxwell shot, this one posted by hail2thevict0r, who maximized the Appling shadenfreude:
In a similar vein, BlueBarron was reminded of a meme of yore—though I'd imagine the Spartans were quite impressed, actually:
Brian's front-page commentary led to my own effort:
If you're all welped out, I made an alternate version with just Burke's laughter.
[Hit THE JUMP for the, er, inspired(?) work of resident gif wizard chunkums and more.]
The moral of last week: don't lose to Penn State, you guys. Providing the Nittany Lions their only win of the conference season was sufficient to knock Michigan out of one-seed contention for now. Despite the Michigan State win, Michigan has fallen into a mass of teams duking it out for spots on the 2 and 3 lines on the Bracket Matrix, a hair behind Louisville and Florida for the final twos. This isn't a lag effect; brackets updated today are evenly split, with guy-whose-job-this-is Jerry Palm declaring Michigan a 3.
Crashing the Dance also has Michigan in the 3 range, though they're significantly closer to the last #1 seed than dropping to a 4. Kansas and Gonzaga are the main beneficiaries, with Miami hanging on the cusp of a one after a narrow defeat at Cameron. I still think Gonzaga's schedule should disqualify them from a one seed but since Michigan's not in line to replace them, whatever man.
Could Michigan get back in the conversation by winning their last two? It's not out of the question. Indiana is by far the #1 team in all these ranking systems and a win over them would at least vault them up to a solid 2. But they'd have to jump a half-dozen teams at this point, one of whom is the extremely-unlikely-to-lose Gonzaga. Getting back on the top line is not entirely out of the question, but it requires a closing streak that is, to put it kindly, unlikely.
Projected ones: Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Miami
i changed the pictures. run, BJ, run!
Last win for IUPUI: December 27th. Binghamton: January 19th. Central Michigan: won! Against Northern Illinois, but still. IUPUI is done with the regular season and has a Saturday matchup with SDSU that will probably end them. Kenpom gives Binghamton a 1% chance of advancing past Stony Brook in the America East tourney, also on Saturday.
Cleveland State lost their final game and enters conference tourney play at 5-11; their season probably ends tonight. Bradley remains a 500-ish MVC team. Eastern Michigan beat Western in a 50-49 OT Wisconsin special. Both teams have a couple of games before their conference tourney kicks off.
Big sorts of teams
USF: W 64-44. Villanova: W 73-64 (OT)
Crushing rebounding and defense against one of the worst teams in the Big East to start their week, then a home escape against 'Nova in which the stats are close to identical save a burst of OT scoring from the Panthers. With just DePaul left, Pitt is likely to enter the Big East tournament as the #4 seed.
The Panthers are going to be a trendy upset pick in the second round what with their sterling Kenpom numbers, but I've watched them enough to be wary of them against any team that can match their size and rebounding. If Pitt isn't crushing the glass it's hard to see them taking out a 2 or 3 seed.
SEEDWATCH: A strong six on Bracket Matrix; a seven on Crashing The Dance.
Kansas State (24-5)
@ Baylor: W 64-61
Scraped by the Bears thanks to excellent two-point D (38%) and a slight TO advantage in a game with lots of offensive rebounds and a swingy win graph:
That's some high leverage right there. May all tourney games not involving Michigan look like that.
K-State has a gimmie against Texas Tech tomorrow and then a season-ender against high-flying Okie State that could spring them to the three line if they perform reasonably in the Big 12 tourney. That one's on the road.
SEEDWATCH: Narrowly a 3 on Bracket Matrix; four on CTD. Jerry Palm says 4.
North Carolina State (21-8)
Boston College: W 82-64. @ Georgia Tech: W 70-57
Given NC State's defensive struggles this year two solid wins over not-great teams is actually a positive step. This is a team that lost to Maryland and Wake Forest, and BC and GT are hovering around 100 in the Kenpom rankings.
BC actually scored just over a PPP in their matchup but could not compete with an NC State team hitting 62% inside the arc and rebounding half their misses. GT shot horribly and turned it over 15 times; NC State got easy distance despite going 1/11 from three thanks to excellent twos and a lot of FTs.
MCHOBBIT UPDATE: 16 minutes against BC, four points on three shots, 5 to 1 A:TO. 11 minutes, 8 points on five shot equivalents, 2 A, 0 TO.
SEEDWATCH: 7 on Crashing The Dance, 8 on Bracket Matrix. Drawing these guys in the second round as a 1 or 2 seed would be awful.
@ LSU: L 65-60. Kentucky: W 73-60.
Arkansas keeps giving themselves hope at home—wins over UK and Florida—and then blowing it on the road—losses to LSU and Vandy. Their vague flutter towards a spot on the bubble comes down to winning at Mizzou and at home against A&M, plus a run in the SEC tourney.
Likely? No. But not impossible. Crashing the Dance has moved them up from the fringe bubble to Next Four Out territory, with Kentucky and Tennessee the last at large bids in and two more SEC teams (Ole Miss and Alabama) just in front of them. Lunardi also has them in Next Four Out. They've got a 10-20% shot at a bid.
SEEDWATCH: CTD next four out; no one has them in on the Matrix.
West Virginia (13-16)
Baylor: L 65-62. @ Kansas: L 91-65
At least we won this coaching switch.
SEEDWATCH: exploding seeds that kill spiders like in Zelda or something
Games relevant to your interest that are on the TV and may be worth watching after the first ten minutes. Bolded teams are suggested teams to root for, calibrated for …
1) helping M win conference title
2) best chance for quality-win pile-up to help M seeding
3) greatest number of tourney teams from league
4) eff Michigan State
5) also Wisconsin
Yesterday; no games.
Illinois at Iowa, 7:06 PM, BTN
Ohio State at Indiana, 9PM, ESPN
Arkansas at Missouri, 7PM, ESPN
MICHIGAN at Purdue, 7PM, BTN
Minnesota at Nebraska, 9PM, BTN
Wake Forest at NC State, 9PM, ESPN3
Penn State at Northwestern, 7PM, ESPNU
Wisconsin at Michigan State, 9PM, ESPN (rooting interest: meteor)
Minnesota at Purdue, 12PM, BTN
Kansas State at Oklahoma State, 1:30, no tv(?!?)
Texas A&M at Arkansas , 2PM, ESPNU
Nebraska at Iowa, 2:21 PM, BTN
NC State at Florida State, 9PM, ESPN2
Wisconsin at Penn State, 12PM, BTN
Illinois at Ohio State, 12:30, ESPN
Indiana at MICHIGAN, 4PM, CBS
Northwestern at Michigan State, 6PM, BTN
Left: Leon Jones doing a thing that kind of resembles defense while a teammate goes in search of somebody to foul. Right: Dani Wohl when fully assembled.
So let's get a thing straight: I'm not the basketball guy around here.
When I was a wee little freshman on the Daily the seniors were busy exposing the Ed Martin scandal and Michigan was busy carousing and hacking their way through an unwatchable season. For those reasons I didn't go to my first game as a student until Christmas Break of sophomore year ('99-'00), when LaVell Blanchard, Jamal Crawford, Kevin Gaines and Leon Jones dropped 98 on Towson in a student-less Crisler. They didn't play defense then either—unless fouling counts as such—but they were young, and fast (when Ellerbe didn't make them play Bo Ryan ball), and most importantly they were winning.
Winning makes everything likeable. Recruiting red flags were full-page Chris Duprey personality features on overcoming adversity. Rumors of goonish behavior (e.g. Jamal Crawford fighting one of the assistant coaches in November) were evidence of personality and competitiveness (or that coach's fault). Michigan could face anybody except Duke and expect to win, and Duke we made close.
When the students got back Michigan went on a brutal losing streak, ending the regular season with a 114-63 curb-stomp courtesy of Cleaves et al. in EL. Gaines got into a fistfight on the side of
US-23 [EDIT: M-39], Crawford had to leave for the NBA, and we were off to mediocrity.
The first sign of post-Fisher life proved to be just the first of several high-water marks in a long and terrible ice age. In this one I learned to make references to Leon Jones and complain intelligently about Crawford's de facto forced departure. In another I got some stories about Horton as a freshman and Amaker-era student traditions. In another it was Dion Harris and Courtney Sims. Then suddenly it's a different Harris and Sims and I have to ask someone "whatever happened to that big guy we were excited about—Ekpe Udoh or something. Oh he did transfer after all? I missed that." Then I learned this Harris's name was actually Corperryale L'Adorable. Then he argued with Beilein and here we go again. A chart of that:
SRS is sports-reference.com's "Simple Rating System" and is meant to represent that team's expected points differential versus an average team.
There's a small segment of the fanbase who stuck it out even when Michigan's backcourt was down to the heart of Dani Wohl plus a few other functioning body parts of Dani Wohl. Dani today would tell you that was a good investment that's now paying off with a high return, but that's because he doesn't understand why anyone should be afraid of a little pain.
There were entire stretches of Ellerbe and Amaker when this team basically dropped off my plane of interest. Like many others squishing into a crowded bandwagon since Beilein's ceiling started to look an awful lot like the sky, I've had to play a little catch-up. I got about 75% through putting together an all-drought team, but then I stumbled onto the same thing by AC1997 in 2009. So…yeah…an article on this. Well I made a database and some charts to visualize the stats to help me put "Back" in perspective, so have those I guess.
The Family Measuring Shtick
We've yet to face MSU in the Big Ten Tournament so the head-to-heads since '89 are all regular season matchups. Here's what that looks like:
Click for bigger. The blowout in East Lansing this year was the worst of the series except for the three-year span that began with the afore mentioned 2000 thing.
I tried but couldn't find historic league averages (the above was calculated from Bentley's stats) and compiling them myself would have taken too much time, but you should know that non-Wisconsin teams in the Big Ten averaged 71 to 85 points a game in 1989, and this year that spread is 59 to 82.
EDIT: I forgot to post the 3's chart. Treys chart. Trips chart.
They're not going in any more often, but there's more of 'em. That's a good thing. The 3-point line was moved back a foot for the 2008-'09 season, so that may have depressed the numbers after Beilein's first year and made that 46.8% in 1989 seem even further from possible.
On the Road:
This makes me feel a little better: it's really hard to win NCAA basketball games on the road. Wait until after Indiana to declare anything about how well we fare at Crisler. By the way I forgot to label: the Y-axis is # of games.
Details for home (left), neutral (right) and road (below) sites:
It's just hard to win on the road.
Have at it:
The database is here if you'd like to piddle around and find more things.
Source needed, but too good to pass up. This image is awesome.
Message board random who posted this only linked to imgur, so it could come from anywhere. UPDATE: Melanie Maxwell of MLive is the photographer.
Burke is of course going WHEEEEEE, and then the Michigan State folk from L to R are going "welp," "welp," "welp," "I am terrified of all things," and "welp."
All the better to rip your heart out. Burke called his shot with McGary earlier in the game:
Michigan forward Mitch McGary said Appling used a spin move earlier in the game, which Michigan won 58-57, and Burke told him exactly how he was going to swipe the ball.
"He told me whenever (Appling) spins, he puts it in his right hand and it's an easy steal," McGary said. "Tim and I were just hoping he didn't hang on the rim."
Note that if it didn't work Appling would have had a choice between pressing the opportunity presented and giving Michigan a last shot of their own or holding for the final shot—it was an excellent time to go for broke.
Champions are made in the hot tub eating pizza. Greg unearths this great shot of Michigan kicker Bob Bergeron eating pizza in a hot tub that made SI:
He got to keep the pizza. Wild west back then.
CIVILIZATION. This is the end of it. There is nowhere to go but down from this.
Gritalanche. It was a gritclone on Saturday. A toughdome.
Michigan's Mitch McGary provides much-needed energy, toughness off bench against Michigan State
It was a tickertocker.
Michigan shows its heart in critical win over MSU
It was a toughygritintestinalblockage.
Michigan finally shows grit, toughness, desperation in gutty win over rival Michigan State
It was a basketforge.
Trey Burke, Michigan show mettle in win over Michigan State
To be fair, John Beilein started it:
“We’ve had some real pretty wins here, where we did everything right and the ball went in and we just played lights-out,” Beilein explained after the win. “Today, it was all about grit.”
Michigan allowed Michigan State to rebound half of their misses. Congratulations to Mike Rothstein, who did not play along.
Burke steals a signature win for Michigan
Or at least his headline writer. You never know who does those things these days.
Make sure you use the right block M, as long as it's some shade of blinding yellow. Via Kyle Meinke, Michigan's persnicketiness about the block M:
I'm fine with this. Persnicketiness is good with the whole branding thing. but don't try to tell me that that color maize represents the colors Michigan is using on their uniforms these days. Y'all need to get your persnick on more.
BONUS: Hey, #FFCC000 is what I settled on when I was eyeballing what maize was way back in the blogspot days. I was off on the blue, using #000022. This portion of the post brought to you by things no one cares about but me.
Tiebreaker scenarios. The events of last week have caused an enormous hairball in the Big Ten standings below Indiana. Michigan actually has a not-infinitesimal shot at the title since Indiana finishes with Ohio State and Michigan. These teams are still in the hunt:
- Indiana: share clinched. Win outright by winning at home versus OSU or @ Michigan.
- OSU: win out (@ IU, Illinois), Michigan beats IU
- Michigan: win out (@ Purdue, IU), OSU beats IU
- Wisconsin/MSU: IU loses out, win UW/MSU game, don't blow last game against low-level opponent.
The chances are not good, but they're not zero. You may shake your fist at the Wisconsin and Penn State games now. In the event that a bunch of teams tie at the same record, Michigan is hurt by going 0-1 against Wisconsin (grrr) and often loses the tiebreaker and gets stuck without a bye in the first round of the Big Ten tourney, playing (grr) Penn State. If Michigan finishes 12-6 in the Big Ten that is at least a 50/50 proposition.
Lolizzo. Classic "my players destroyed the universe, but it's my fault" line:
"We were looking to get Gary a shot at the top of the key or to Keith and we didn't run it right," Izzo said. "We had a couple of freshmen in there that struggled with it. That was my fault."
Izzo : "my fault" :: humans : "just sayin'"
MINUTES FROM FRESHMEN, M/MSU, 3/3/2013
- Michigan: 93
- Michigan State: 72
Roy Manning has broken news that Roy Manning is the Jerry Montgomery replacement guy on his twitter:
Let's check that most recent tweet.
Wow this cat on American Idol just killed it..
Manning's brief history as a position coach was covered in Friday's UV. He was a backup who emerged into as starting role as a senior, played well enough to get drafted late and have a brief practice-squad NFL career, and then turned to coaching. After a GA stop at Michigan, Manning headed to Cincinnati in the same capacity, got hired as defensive position coach the next year, was left behind when Butch Jones went to Tennessee, and was hired at Northern Illinois as a running backs coach.
Montgomery was the Beyonce of this staff and Manning seems to fill a similar role as the young energetic dude who does not love Hall and Oates. That goes double when a team wants to hire you to be the RB coach, which is usually where "guy who just recruits his ass off" goes on any staff. Triple when you have absolutely no history as a RB coach.
Note that Manning's coming in as an OLB coach. That indicates a bit of a shift from the previous setup with the three DL coaches. I presume this means Hoke will continue with the nose tackles, Mattison will take the SDEs and 3techs, and Manning will be in charge of both the SAMs and WDEs. That's more of an even distribution than before.
Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on Drake Harris and Da'Shawn Hand, the potential Tarpon Springs package deal of Cole-Scott-Campbell, an offer to the son of a Michigan legend, and more.
In Our Base, Possibly Stealin Ur Dudes Anyway
Devin Gardner, Drake Harris, and Shane Morris, via Harris' Instagram
Grand Rapids Christian WR Drake Harris may be a Michigan State commit, but it's becoming clearer and clearer that he's a commit only by the loosest possible definition of the term. Harris admitted as much to 247's Steve Lorenz($) after taking in yesterday's game while sitting between Devin Gardner and Shane Morris:
"My commitment to Michigan State is a soft verbal right now and say that Michigan is up at the top as well," Harris said. "I really like being there a lot."
Reports flew around Twitter last night that Harris was spotted singing "The Victors" after the game, with some suggesting that Michigan has even opened up a big lead in his recruitment. While that may be going too far at this stage, it's clear that the Wolverines have made up a lot of ground, and they'll have the chance to continue that soon—Harris will be at the Indiana game on Sunday for his third visit in a matter of weeks. If Michigan isn't already in command, that trip could put them there.
A couple 2015 prospects were also on campus last week. Cass Tech quarterback Jayru Campbell was at yesterday's game; he told Scout's Josh Newkirk that the visit went well, and while Michigan isn't likely to offer him any time soon* it sounds like they'll be a contender if that does happen ($):
“They just told me they weren’t in a rush to offer me,” he said. “They told me to make sure I come to camp this summer and will sit down and talk again. But they’re really not in a rush to offer me. I guess they’re waiting to see my development…I like Michigan, so it would definitely be a school that I would want an offer from. I think it would be pretty interesting to get a Michigan offer.”
Campbell is a long way from making a decision—he mentioned a desire to play the hat game at the Under Armour All-American Game, which recently sent him an invite—so there's plenty of time for the Wolverines to evaluate him.
2015 Westerville (OH) OL Rob Dowdy made a mid-week visit, which gave him a chance to get some one-on-one time with Coaches Hoke, Borges, and Funk. After the visit, he told The M Block that Michigan is his top school despite growing up an Ohio State fan, though that's likely because the Buckeyes have yet to show much interest.
*I don't think this is a sign that they're not very interested in Campbell—keep in mind how long it took for the coaches to offer a 2014 quarterback.
[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Artavis Scott and George Campbell, plus much more.]