Tennessee is not recruiting well just because they got 18 dudes
12pm on ESPN and ESPN3
Biggest game of the season. Not in the Face.
60% to 28%
voting ends noon Sunday, keep our feet on their throat
(Edited to fix records before post-season play)
Today our basketball team will take the court against Indiana with a chance to cement a bid to the big dance. Given that Indiana is one of the top teams in the country and essentially playing a home game it is pretty likely that Michigan will lose. But I will be rooting anyway - for all the reasons I usually root for the team and my alma matter. But also because I've been frustrated with how so many members of this blog have reacted to this team in the past couple of weeks.
Maybe the last few years of Brandon, Hoke, and Rodriguez have made it easier for us to bash our athletic programs and demand someone be fired. Anyone who thinks that Beilein needs to be fired, when the season hasn't even finished, has a warped sense of perspective. I'm hoping we somehow win today so that Beilein can get yet another team into the dance....even if it means a quick exit. He's done so much for this program and so many people have turned against him that it makes me frustrated.
Some things to remember:
- In 2008-2009 Beilein ended our NCAA drought with a weird mix of walk-ons, no-names, and could-have-beens.....with a 21-14 record (19-12 at the end of the regular season). We loved that team for what they meant.
- In 2010-2011 Michigan took a scrappy bunch of guys lead by a tiny Novak at PF and can't-shoot PG in Morris who told MSU to get off his $&%^ court. We loved that team too. They went 21-14 (19-12).
- We're 21-11 this season and haven't lost to an inferior team....though we have definitely struggled against the good teams. We don't have to love this team, but we shouldn't hate them either.
Beilein is in his 9th year at Michigan and has taken us to 5 tournaments with this year being on the bubble for the chance to make it a 6th. (Even though he lost two of his five best players for most of the season.)
- Amaker and Ellerbe coached for 10 years and made one tournament.
- Fisher coached for 8 seasons and made 6 tournamanets (ignoring the sanctions and vacated appearances).
- Frieder coached for 9 seasons and made 5 tournaments.
- Orr coached for 12 seasons and made just 4 tournaments.
Beilein took our expectations from literally nothing and turned them into the exact opposite. That's good! And we should be critical of coaching decisions, of performance, and of players. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't root for this team. We don't have to love them, but we have to support them.
If Michigan hosted a Selection Sunday party it feels like the fans would be booing no matter what happened. Put that in perspective when you watch all the other bubble teams excited for the opportunity. We can worry about the future all summer, let's try to enjoy the present for now.