Well said. Lousy ending to a great, great season.
Kentucky 75, Michigan 72
Postgame locker room, via @umichbball
67 of the 68 teams that make the NCAA Tournament have their seasons end in heartbreak. For the second straight year, Michigan came excruciatingly close to being that lone exception, only to lose in a classic game.
Even though it's exceedingly likely your team will be one of the unfortunate 67, it's impossible to prepare for a moment like this. We got to bask in the glory of the Tennessee win for, oh, half an hour before fretting about the next opponent. From the moment Kentucky emerged over Louisville, we've spent our time worrying about that matchup.
From the moment of tipoff this afternoon, two of the most talented teams in the country played an incredible back-and-forth affair. And until Nik Stauskas's prayer thudded harmlessly against the backboard, we held out hope. Then it hits, the realization that this amazing run is done—and another shot at that elusive, ultimate banner has gone with it. It's like having your breath return after holding it for two days, only for the first inhale to precede a deep sigh, or perhaps a body-shaking sob.
For Jordan Morgan, there are no more shots. He'll be fine when the shock wears off—Michigan engineering grads tend to do okay after college—but in the interim, I ache for him. To a lesser extent, that goes to the rest of the players and the coaching staff, but I wasn't ready to see Morgan's pundit-defying career end.
I've got no more to offer in the way of words or feelings; after three weeks on tilt, I'm completely spent. Thank you, Kentucky, for giving us a whale of a game. Thank you, Michigan, for being a source of joy all season, again. Thank you, Jordan Morgan, for everything.
Some of their guys shoot poorly at the FT line - not the entire team. Their guards (who handled the ball on that possession) are solid FT shooters. Harrison is just under 80% on the year. You'd put him on the line?
I really don't think you can complain too much about that last possession. LeVert was right in Harrison's face and he hit a cold-blooded three.
Intentionally putting yourself down with less than a minute left. That's a bold strategy, and by bold I mean insanely stupid.
They do it in European basketball routinely. Not sure how it works out, but I'm guessing it's roughly a coinflip. With the one-and-one that we had in tact, it might be the right play.
I did have some issue with Morgan not fouling Johnson on his layup even though he had 3 already. He's a terrible foul shooter.
Why do you hate America?
True but what's to say they don't miss the FT and get the Oreb or tip it in? They were rebounding over us all game. We were in a damn near impossible situation and LeVert and the team did everything as best as anyone can do. It just was a better shot.
I do agree about fouling Johnson, but it's tough - you don't normally want Morgan fouling. I think we maybe should have had Bielfeldt use up his fouls when he was out there. Make them earn it.
What makes you think that Kentucky wouldn't have dunked the rebound over the top of one of our players. They were getting rebound dunks all game and we couldn't stop them. No way you put them on the line. You force them to make a tough shot to win it. They just made the shot. There is nothing you can do!
We had 14 offensive rebounds and they had 17. I even believe we had more second chance points than they did. The stat advantage we had all year was our 3 point shooting - but we ended up both making 7 which was the difference in the game.
You never give another team free points on the hopes they miss and you can score on the last shot. No sane coach in America would employ a strategy to put the other team on the line to go ahead. You play tough defense and try to deny a good look, which they did. Kentucky just made the shot. Nothing you can do about it. They made a play to win it. The only way you avoid getting beat that way is by having a significant lead at the end of the game.
Not necessarily. It is a simple matter of stats. What percentage of the time does a possession result in 2 or more points. If it is higher than 50%, you should do it. UM scores more than 1.15 points per possession on average for the season. If there were no such thing as a 3 pointer and no such thing as getting fouled and only scoring 1 point on a possession, then a 1.15 ppp would mean you score on more than 50%. Since UM gets a lot of their points from 3's and rarely misses free throws, they probably score a deuce or better less than 50%, but probably not much. I don't have that stat available to me.
You also have to look at what the odds of the other team scoring per possession. If it is higher than 50% you should also foul, since odds are that they will score and if you leave it to them, then they will score on their time, not yours, leaving you with no time . . . which is what happened.
I would always prefer to have the last shot, be it tied or down. I thought the same thing thing about putting them on the line - but it is against "the book". Point is - we were never a great defensive team this year. They shot unbelievably well from 3 - so there's that. Had we shot the same % fromm 3 we would have had 15 more points ....
Great season though .... just a tough, tough, tough way to lose.
...was all we could do. 2 feet behind the 3 pt line is all you can ask for defensively and that is a low % shot in anyone's book - including the Gospel of Trey Burke.
It's one thing to lose, but to see a guy like John Beilein lose to Rick Pitino and John Calipari in successive seasons is proof that there is no justice in the world.
LordGrantham says, but when he makes sense.. he makes sense...
The two coaches who won the last 2 national titles? Yeah, we got screwed there.
Its more of a commentary on a guy like Beilein - pretty much the standard for the coach you'd love to have respresenting your school and team - losing to a few skeezeballs like Pitino and Calipari
Just don't see the point in denigrating those guys. It is so anti JB to hate on people that it does not feel right to hate on people on his behalf. Pitino gushed over Michigan so much last year. He was a class act toward us the entire time. Say what you want but those guys are 2 damn good coaches.
Pitino at least has earned his success; Calipari is a POS.
Calipari is far worse than Pitino...
I actually respect Pitino as a coach, all Calipari does is put out talented players and say 'win'...
That's what I said.
I agree, but I do believe that Beilein will win a national title here before he retires. It must and it will happen.
If Mitch comes back, it could well happen next year.
If MItch and Glenn were to come back to play with junior LeVert and sophomore Irvin and Walton, we would probably be preseason top 5 and rightfully so. I could definitely see title run with that group. It's crazy how far Michigan basketball has come under Beilein. He's an excellent coach and seems to be a great man. Couldn't be happier with the direction of the program.
Calipari is as greasy as they come, and I have never cared for Pitino.
Grantham - you no like Italianos?
I love Italians. I don't love people who are shit human beings.
That's a made man you're talking about.
Pitino used to be as shady as Calipari, but Beilein is as classy as they come-miles ahead of those two-and I am really looking forward to his first of hopefully many NC banners in Crisler
If you watch J-Mo's post game interview over at umhoops (warning: it might get dusty), he repeatedly says that Kentucky is weird because they don't really run anything and just play you one on one, but their athletes are so ridiculous they can be effective.
It's infuriating they're in the Final Four.
Kentucky really doesn't play organized basketball. They just pick a guy, have him charge at the rim, push his defender away with the off-arm, and throw something up. About half of the time it goes in, and if it doesn't a swarm of tall guys tip-dunk it. Hell, I could draw that offensive plan up.
I thought the play they drew up for the last shot of the game was awful--pretty much the worst shot they could have gotten give how easy they had been getting to the rim all game. It just went in.
other schools should sign great athletes, too.
Even with the loss, what a great season under the circumstances. Proud of the team.
Nik, Glenn, and Mitch... #OneMoreYear?
If Nik feels unfulfilled enough to come back for another run? Mitch was sorely missed.
If somehow all three decide to come back next year, we could be in line for something special. Michigan would certainly be top 5 preseason and would have to be a favorite to repeat as B1G Champion!
that won't happen. Nik is gone and GRIII is tired of playing power forward. McGary is our only hope.
In the short term good doesn't always triumph over evil but at least Michigan men can go home with heads held high. We played our hearts out- the right way. Now lets remember this taste.
-Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS
...win with Calipari. Michigan had a great year and is an admirable program.
One of the best games I've ever watched. Just wish it could have went our way.
Thank you JMO. We've talked about the growth of LeVert and Stauskas all year, but JMO really took it to another level at the end of the year.
While I hope he is the only one we say goodbye to, I have my doubts. Great season boys. Go Blue!
He went from my least appreciated player last year to most respected this year. Jackass fickle fan caveats apply. Always perked up when he went into the game this year. We absolutely would've gone nowhere without him. Love that man.
But I think it's at least worth considering retiring #52. Was a huge part of bringing the program back, plus the whole "also got his engineering master's" thing.
Didn't retire 0, but yeah I'm with you.
So....we can expect JMo to be on the MgoStaff Monday? Aces!
Most heartbroken that will probably be the last time seeing Nik in a Michigan jersey.
I know it's intuitively likely, but has anyone actually heard anything from Stauskas suggesting he's leaving? People are acting like it's a forgone conclusion, and I don't know why.
He's a guy without ridiculous athleticism projected in the lottery. He probably can't do better.
It's a safe decision. If he leaves, then people can just say that they saw it coming. If he stays, well MUCH HAPPINESS AND FRIENDSHIP.