Zach Travis over at MnB penned a lovely narrative surrounding Trey and friends. Also, another well-formatted story that I'm getting so used to seeing with all of the Vox sites.
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!”
Remaining Games Chart:
Since the last time I've modified the chart a bit so instead of a non-sensical number average, "Difficulty" is now on a log scale of 1 to 10 of the KenPom/RPI average weighted by site of game.
|23||#South Dakota St.||5||103||75||71-56|
Well, Here We Are
Not surprisingly, the most difficult game by the numbers comes last. Michigan displaced the previous #1 KenPom team convincingly and is rewarded by playing the new #1 for the championship.
The good news is that these rankings and statistics are a formality at this point. The game is a one-off, winner-take-all, who is hot on the right night, who gets the 50/50 call, who can make the shots. Michigan has been in every single game this season except for one and the circumstances leading up to that game are not what we have here tonight.
NCAA Tourney Run vs B1G Gauntlet
If you laid out Michigan’s tournament games from the Sweet 16 to the Championship you would see before you, at least according to KenPom, an unrivaled task of difficulty – four consecutive top 10 opponents, with lots of travel and not much time to prepare.
Michigan, incredibly, has already run an equally challenging gauntlet earlier this year. There are no advanced statistics that can measure what kind of benefit of experience a team takes away from playing the top four teams consecutively (three on the road) in a nine day span; but it is safe to say that these are the kinds of things that either make you or break you. Regardless of outcome Monday night the answer is already clear.
February 2nd – 12th
March 29th – April 8th
As painful as it was to watch, can you draw up a tougher cluster of regular season games with which to teach and prepare this extremely young Michigan team?
- Without Burke, could Michigan have rallied vs Kansas?
- Without Hardaway pouring in 21 points on 5 of 7 three point shooting in a fifteen point victory, does Michigan have what it takes to beat South Dakota St?
- Without Stauskas firebombing Florida, do the Gators keep it close and have a shot to win?
- Without Robinson III's offensive efficiency and offensive rebounding does Michigan sputter in any of its tournament matchups, particularly Syracuse or SDSt?
- Without McGary becoming a world beater, doesn't Michigan suffer an inevitable "Wisconsin"-style loss to Syracuse or get blown out by Kansas or get upset by VCU?
- Without Albrecht becoming the most eligible bachelor and putting together a tournament highlight reel all his own, does Burke get worn down to the point Michigan exits early?
- Without LeVert making two critical three pointers and playing a terrific defensive game, does Michigan have what it takes to outlast Syracuse?
- Without Jordan Morgan "getting stops", does Michigan make it to the Championship game?
The best part of this run has been every rotation player has made plays crucial to the success of the whole team. As much as I thought the team's success would be utterly reliant on Trey Burke's performance, as went he so would the team's fate. Now vs Kansas this was true. But against South Dakota St and Syracuse in particular this was very much not the case. As a whole, the team has exceeded wildest expectations.
The Path To 32:
At Christmas I had seen this team play three games out in New York, I knew they were special. Now to climb to the top of the mountain we can throw out all the numbers, forget all the statistics, take our own time-out and appreciate how awesome this team is. The most difficult game of the season is the last. There is no tomorrow, but there is no fear.
(Photo from UMHoops)
POY award #5 and it's a big one—Naismith Award for Trey Burke! Congrats!
EDIT: Make that six: Burke has also won the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division 1 Player of the Year award.
Michigan's press release on these awards points that Burke is the first Wolverine in program history to win either honor.
I believe the only major POY award yet to be awarded is the Adolph Rupp Trophy.
To recap, Burke has won the Oscar Robertson, Wooden, and Naismith awards, plus the AP, NABC, and SI player of the year awards.
Brandon Triche has had a few interesting things to say about this matchup, all the following are quotes from Kyle Meinke's twitter feed. https://twitter.com/kmeinke
Brandon Triche said he hasn't watched film on Michigan's Florida game. Triche plays Michigan tomorrow. OK then.
Triche said "I don't see Burke being much better than Kemba Walker" against the 2-3 when Walker was a senior. Had 8 pts.
Nik Stauskas, on Syracuse's Brandon Triche saying SU has mismatch at every position: "I feel slighted."
Mitch McGary says he disagrees with Triche's mismatch quote, says U-M has length too. "I would never talk that bad about another team."
This should be fun.
Here's Baumgardner's article with full quotes http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2013/04/brandon_triche_says_syracuse_w.html
Yawn—another day, another award for Trey Burke. But seriously, kudos again!
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today announced that Trey Burke from the University of Michigan is the winner of the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. This annual honor is given to college basketball’s top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy. An original list, consisting of 60-plus candidates from around the country, was trimmed by a Hall of Fame appointed, nationally based committee to 20, down to 10 and a final five before voting on the winner of one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards.“The Hall of Fame is proud to present Trey Burke with one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Trey is a natural born leader, and an exciting player to watch. He has proven himself to be a winner, and demonstrates so many of the same characteristics that made Mr. Cousy great.”“It is truly an honor to recognize Trey for his extraordinary efforts this season,“ said Ken Kaufman, Chairman of the Bob Cousy Award and former NABC President. “All year long he has shown tremendous poise, especially down the stretch of the NCAA Tournament. He has certainly shown the same type of leadership and determination that Bob Cousy displayed throughout his career.”Burke, a sophomore, from Columbus, Ohio was named Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year in 2013 and was a unanimous 2012-13 Big Ten first team selection. He finished the 18-game 2012-13 Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball season schedule as the conference leader in both scoring average and assist average and finished second in steals per game. Burke became the seventh Wolverine sophomore to reach 1000 career points. He was also named Sports Illustrated National Player of the Year and Sports Illustrated All-American Team; he started all 35 games and helped Michigan go undefeated (13-0) in non-conference play for the first time since 1985-86. He is the only player in [the] Big Ten [this season]
historyto score at least 15 points in every conference game. in a season.As a freshman, he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.“It’s an honor to have Trey Burke selected as the recipient of the Bob Cousy Award,” said Michigan head coach John Beilein “Trey has been the floor leader of our program, a terrific teammate and critical to our success. He epitomizes the selection criteria for this award and will represent the Cousy family with great pride and honor. Trey is a fantastic representative of our institution and will be a great ambassador for this award.”