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.
fuck these refs
C Webb is walking into the game now! Let's get it DONE!
I was watching pre-game coverage when a bout of inspiration hit me. I ignored all else so I could get this down before I forgot it. I hope you enjoy this. Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear there’s a pretty big game on right now.
The devil Pitino went down to Georgia, he was looking for a title to steal.
He was in a bind, his team was way behind because Burke was making steals.
He had run into some young men raining down threes and making some blocks.
the devil Pitino jumped up onto the hardcourt and said “Boys, let me tell you what:
“I bet you didn’t know it, but my team’s pretty damn good too
“And if you care to take a dare I’ll make a bet with you.
“Now you’ve playing good basketball, but give my Cardinals their due:
“I bet the national title against your game ‘cause I think we’re better than you.”
The boys said: “Well we’re the Fresh Five and this may not be wise,
“But we’ll take your bet, you’re gonna regret, cause we’re the best since the Fab Five.”
Wolverines take your practice shots and get ready to play hard.
‘Cause Louisville’s in Georgia and
the devil Pitino deals the cards.
And if you win you gain respect from M fans young and old.
But if you lose, it just might crush my soul.
The devil Pitino chalked up many plays and said: “We’ll start this show.”
And threes rained from beyond the arc and put backs went down low.
And the Cardinals were the darlings, making Wolverine fans hiss.
Then the Cardinal sang a song to their glory and it sounded something like this:
When the Cardinals finished, the Fresh Five said: “Well you’re pretty good ‘ol chaps.
“But sit down on that bench, right there.” And Burke gave the court a slap.
Stauskas nailing three balls, one by one.
Burke showing all why we’re number one.
Robinson and Hardaway alley-oops, WHOA!
“Beilein does Big Puppy bite?”
Go, Mitch, go.”
The devil Pitino and the Cardinals sank low once they were beat.
And they laid the national title on the court at the Fresh Five’s feet.
Burke said: “
Devil Pitino just come on back but I warn you that’s not wise.
“’Cause we told you once, you sorry old man, we’re the best since the Fab Five.”
And they sang “Stauskas nailed three balls, one by one.
“Burke showed all why we’re number one.
“Robinson and Hardaway alley-ooped, WHOA!
“And Mitch got a double-double.
“Go, Blue, Go!”