I want to say just how thorougly and sincerely thankful I am to the mods for stepping up and managing the board, especially through the past 12 hours. ZoneLeft, Seth, Profitgoblue, LSAClass of 2000, and justingoblue (I hope I'm not leaving anybody out): you guys rock. You help keep MGoBlog the class act that it is. (And of course thanks to Brian who is the one who set the tone for this blog from the beginning.) Your time and effort is much appreciated.
Discounting (a) the obvious complaints about the officiating in the NCAA championship game (even though that likely had a significant impact on the outcome), and (b) the fact that Michigan was the youngest team in the NCAA tournament field, IF Michigan had beaten Louisville, the head coaches of the last five teams that Michigan would have beaten in the NCAA Tournament were:
VCU’s Shaka Smart; overall record of 111-36 (.753); in the NCAA tournament in three of his four seasons as a head coach and won the post-season CBI tournament in his first season as a head coach; made the Final Four in 2011, his second season as a head coach; considered one of the nation’s top young college coaches.
Kansas’s Bill Self; overall record of 507-164 (.756); 2008 NCAA champ; in the NCAA tournament every year since 1999; twice in the Final Four and seven times in the Elite Eight.
Florida’s Billy Donovan; overall record of 450-186 (.707); 2006 and 2007 NCAA champ; except for 2008 and 2009, in the NCAA tournament every year since 1999; in the Final Four three times and six times in the Elite Eight.
Syracuse’s Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim; overall record of 920-314 (.746); 2003 NCAA champ; except for 2002, 2007 and 2008, in the NCAA tournament every year since 1999; four times in the Final Four, runner-up twice and in the Elite Eight six times; two-time assistant coach of USA Olympics gold-medal team.
Louisville’s Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino; overall record of 664-230 (.735); 1996 champ with Kentucky and 2013 NCAA champ with Louisville; except for 2002 and 2006, in the NCAA tournament every year since 1999; in the Final Four seven times; in the Elite Eight eleven times.
By comparison, the coaches of the last five teams Louisville beat on its way to the championship were:
Colorado State’s Larry Eustachy; overall record of 428-267 (.615); in 22 seasons as college head coach, in the NCAA tournament five times and only twice past his opening game.
Oregon’s Dana Altman; overall record of 483-279 (.634); in 24 seasons as college head coach, in the NCAA tournament nine times and only three times past his opening game; post-season CBI champ in 2011.
Duke’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski; winningest men’s Division One head coach in NCAA history; overall record of 957-297 (.763); NCAA champ in 1991, 1992 and 2010 with Duke; in the NCAA tournament every year since 1999; in the Final Four ten times; in the Elite Eight 13 times; two-time head coach of USA Olympics gold-medal team.
Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall; overall record of 333-153 (.685); in 24 seasons as college head coach, in the NCAA tournament nine times and only three times past his opening game; post-season CBI champ in 2011.
Michigan’s John Beilein; overall record of 598-360 (.624); in 21 seasons as Division One head coach, in the NCAA tournament eight times, six since 1999, and only once in the Final Four and twice in the Elite Eight.
The outcome was disappointing, but the run to the championship game was magical. Well done, Coach Beilein and the Men of the 2012-13 Michigan Basketball Team.
I know that there are going to be so many Michigan fans waking up this morning and trying to digest what happened last night. Let's consolidate all the philosophic waxing into this thread. Topics of interest:
- Based on baseless speculation, who is going to be suiting up for the basketball team next year?
- On a scale from one to Nickleback, how bad did the refs suck?
- What were some of the keys to the game? Should Burke have come back in the first half? Should we have stayed small with Albrect in place of a cold Hardaway? What would you have done differently?
- On a scale from one to Nickleback, how bad did the refs suck?
I finally calmed down enough to muster the motivation to see what ESPN had to say about the game, and it appears that Jason King and crew wasted no time and have already put out a way way too early and pointless top 25. Kentucky, Louisville and MSU are the top 3, and U of M comes in unranked. As expected, he points to the probable departures of Trey, Timmy and GRIII, and the increasing possibility of Mitch taking off as well:
"If all four of the Wolverines underclassmen enter the draft, it's likely Michigan will enter next season unranked. That's how I see the situation playing out, which is why Michigan didn't make the cut for next season's early Top 25."
After this year's wild ride, it will be weird heading into a season without the lofty expectations we briefly became accustomed to, but I'm already getting excited and am ready to embrace the underdog role again (assuming all of the departing 4 do in fact leave). Spike showed tonight that he can have spurts of dominance when needed, Stauskas can only get better, we have 2 veteran big men returning, and Caris with a few pounds added could be one heck of a force. To add to that, Mr. King seems to have forgotten that Beilein knows how to recruit guys that can make an immediate impact and that we have a heck of a class coming in with Irvin, Walton and Donnal.
I can't wait. Go Blue.
ESPN has the boxscore up at: http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/boxscore?gameId=330980097
Look at the play-by-play section. When we had the lead, 36-26 in the first half, we also had a 16-12 rebounding edge. The final rebounding numbers were 31-26 in favor of Louisville. That means they finished on a 19-10 rebounding advantage. Giving that team nine extra possessions is a recipe for disaster. So did the ball just stop bouncing our way, or did Louisville just up their intensity? Maybe McGary backed off a bit when he got in foul trouble. The way I saw their guys shoving our guys all over the place underneath, it seems like they out-physicalled us, if that's a word. How many times did Chane Behanan (or BO-hanon per Barkley) just shove Hardaway or GRIII out of the way? If THJr goes pro, perhaps GRIII can slide down to the 3, and let Morgan/Horford/McGary/Bielfeldt get more time at the 4 and 5 so we don't get pushed around as much.
McGary and GRIII, our 4 and 5, combined for 8 rebounds. Behanan and Dieng had 20. (I'm desperately trying to find a reason for that loss besides the refs because I don't want to be one of those fans, but jeez, that was WWE-style reffing in the first half, i.e., let's keep it close for TV ratings, and then we stopped playing defense.)
I saw one comment wondering why Beilein didn't call more timeouts to stop their runs. I suspect it was because he thought it was more important to prevent Siva and Smith to get rest, but a couple time-outs here and there could have been the difference.
This one hurts. It was there for the taking.
Still insanely frustrated from the game.. but feeling like i need to try and look on the bright side.
Michigan had an awesome run with 5 freshmen in the first half.. Stauskis, Spike, GR3, LeVert and McGary. They have all grown leaps and bounds from the beginning of the season.. and I think it is safe to say we are in good hands going forward.
I am proud of this team for making it as far as they did, and playing as hard as they did. They had heart and fought to the very end. We will be back.