game's in AA, not St. Paul...
and we're playing for our NIT lives!
|WHAT||Michigan v. Minnesota|
|WHERE||Ann Arbor, MI|
March 2nd, 2010
|THE LINE||Michigan +1*|
|TELEVISION||Big Ten Network|
*Line provided by online sports betting site Sportsbetting.com.
Michigan pulled off a road upset of the 8.5-point favorite Gophers. It was a tease. The team shot the ball well and forced 15 turnovers. DeShawn Sims led the way despite being benched early in the game. During Sims' stay on the bench, his backup Zack Gibson did some work of his own by nailing all three of his shot attempts. Darius Morris showed serious flashes of why he's going to be a damn good player in the next couple years, and everything was sunshine and lollipops.
The Wolverines even put themselves in a position to play their way onto the NCAA Tournament bubble, and made Minnesota's path to The Big Dance a little rougher. That worked out basically awesome.
Winning is overrated, right? The only time Michigan's done it since their upset in the Twin Cities was on the road against Iowa. Since then, it's been three straight losses, two of them coming at home against teams Michigan should have beaten in Penn State and Illinois. (The other was at Ohio State, where they put up a valiant effort in defeat). The Wolverines quickly went from potential NCAA bubble team to a longshot for the NIT. You've probably watched most of it; it hasn't been pretty.
Minnesota, on the other hand, has gone 3-2 since falling to Michigan, including a statement victory against Wisconsin. As shaky as their Tournament bid looked after falling to the Wolverines, wins in their last two games would lock up a tourney bid. The Gophers know they have a ton to play for tonight.
The big question seems to be whether Michigan will be able to respond to the urgency Minnesota will bring to the table. The poor performances over the last few games - including lackadaisical effort at times - can't continue if the Wolverines want to at least be respectable, even if it doesn't turn into a postseason bid.
If you need an explanation of the stats, check out Ken Pomeroy.
|Michigan v. Minnesota: National Ranks|
|Category||Michigan Rank||Minnesota Rank||Advantage|
|Mich eFG% v. Minn Def eFG%||259||58||GGG|
|Mich Def eFG% v. Minn eFG%||230||30||GGG|
|Mich TO% v. Minn Def TO%
|Mich Def TO% v. Minn TO%||47||99||M|
|Mich OReb% v. Minn DReb%
|Mich DReb% v. Minn OReb%||234||173||G|
|Mich FTR v. Minn Opp FTR
|Mich Opp FTR v. Minn FTR
|Mich AdjO v. Minn AdjD||125||36||G|
|Mich AdjD v. Minn AdjO||50||36||G|
Difference of more than 10 places in the national rankings get a 1-letter advantage, more than 100 gets a 2-letter advantage, more than 200 gets a 3-letter advantage, etc. G is for Gophers.
From the previous Minnesota preview:
Michigan has gone from a mediocre-yet-improving team to a flatly bad one over the course of a couple weeks. Minnesota is a pretty good squad, which means they will probably truck the Wolverines.
Michigan has an advantage in but
twothree categories, which would be forcing the Gophers to turn it over (something they did well last year, forcing 30 Minnesota turnovers in two games), and not sending them to the free throw line, along with not turning it over themselves. The flip side of that is that Michigan probably won't shoot a single free throw , and the Gophers actually have an advantage in forcing Michigan turnovers, something we won't see too many times this year.
As you can see, not a whole lot has changed. Of course, the Wolverines managed to pull off the surprise victory last time, as well. Ken Pomeroy and Vegas think this game is much closer than last time (Pomeroy likes the Gophers by 2, and Vegas pegs them as 1-point favorites). I'm still not sure what to think, as this could be the game where this Michigan team surprises - and teases - us all with a complete effort. I think a 5-10 point margin either way is likely, so I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the team with something to play for.
game's in AA, not St. Paul...
and we're playing for our NIT lives!
Whoops, fixed. That's what I get for copy/pasting to try and get this done during a lunch break in Breckenridge.
haha - figured as much.
Enjoy the vacation, and thanks as always for the great work, Tim!
The line just moved to Even on Sportsbook.
Folks are feeling good about our chances for some reason...
Did that just happen?
I thought perhaps someone at ESPN had typed in the score incorrectly or something like that.
Does that mean that the Year of Doom is officially over? (Even if the effects on hockey and basketball are not.)
It is comforting to know that even when we have our worst football team ever, our worst hockey team in decades, and our most disappointing basketball team in a while we can always count on demolishing Minnesota.
I was at the game last night. That 360 dunk from Minnesota only seemed to charge up Michigan. As soon as that happened Michigan came out of the time out on fire.
I've seen the team play with great all-around effort in a few other games this season. This last one at MN looked like the best of that small bunch. Nevertheless, I've seen Michigan falter too many times this season after strong performances.
I'm happy that everyone on the team showed on the court against MN all the work they're putting in to improve the team and more importantly THE PROGRAM. Despite disappointment from this season's record, I'm proud of my team and I think they have improved the program even though it doesn't show in the record.
The next step is CONSISTENCY for this program and a STRONG FINISH for this team.
Morris, Sims, Harris, Douglas, Novak, Gibson, LLP and Vogrich(!)all played with great effort and with intelligence. Well done, fellas, but don't celebrate too long b/c there's still much work to be done.
I think that we saw some true potential start to blossom last night. Did anyone else see that pass from Morris to Sims right before halftime? I can't believe that didn't make top plays on Sportscenter.
from Morris to Sims a few times last night just to try to see how Morris sold it with the direction of his eyes. It happened so fast though, it's not easy to see. Yes, I see potential for sure. Vogrich looks like a worker too.
He seems like he has some shooting skills. Hopefully in the offseason he puts on a few pounds though. Granted, he's just a freshman, but right now he's a boy among men.
The ball possession/security that Coach Beilein teaches in his system is pretty great; we usually turn the ball over at a very low rate. We're so small that we suffer (b/c it's basketball) from an inherent disadvantage; couple that with no team getting surprised by our program(perhaps Duke or UCLA last season) this season and the fact that we squeaked into the tourney 2009, and I'm not really surprised by the result of this season. Despite our overall record, we look much deeper than any Amaker team (which while alone says little, in context shows improvement and growth) and now look deeper than even last year's Michigan-tourney team. This season's team might even be playing better than that one by big-ten-tourney's end even though its record currently gives it virtually no chance to get to the NCAA tourney. I definitely see improvement in the program and I think Michigan will surprise people next season simply b/c of it's proximity with this season's record by the numbers (let's face it: that's all people will remember). Let's get another strong recruiting class and enjoy the process. Go Blue!
We beat Minnesota's ASS last night. In case anyone missed it.
Too little, too late.
Well OK, the Big 10 Tourney still looms.
If we can just get hot, we are a streaky team after all, and where is it written that we can't go on a hot streak instead of just cold streaks, and blah, blah, blah . . .
I was right the first time. Too little, too late.