This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
While You/I Were/Was Out
I awoke from a tryptophan-induced haze to find this space un-updated for four damn days. Who's running this thing and how do I cancel my subscription?
Midway through the third quarter a missed shot
caused God to start the rapture.
So what happened? Well, basketball beat Butler 79-74, though a report from someone who attended the game held that they played like "crap." This description probably does not extend to the suddenly-efficient Daniel Horton, who saved Michigan's bacon early, late, and in-between with 28 points on just 13 shots. Horton was 9-13 from the field and 9-9 from the line. Take that, know-nothing bloggers Big Ten Wonk and Hawkeye Hoops! Er. Cough.
Someone turned on the Sims machine, too, as he shot 10 of14 and finished with 21 points. Lester Abram was quietly 6 of 9, hurray Lester!
(Did that paragraph seem useless and bad to you? Perhaps; I don't think CSS handles floated pictures and blockquote backgrounds very well so I have to prattle on and on about something whenever I post a sizeable picture so that I can push whatever quotes I have past it to avoid severe ugliness. So whenever you read a paragraph that seems even more fatuous than usual, check for a picture followed neatly by a quote.)
And I think this word does not mean what MGoBlue.com thinks it means:
All of Sims' 21 points were detrimental to the Michigan cause as he scored 18 of the Wolverines' 37 points in the first half.
Er... instrumental? Yeah.
What to make of another narrow win over a seemingly meh mid-major? This one seems much better than the ugly BU game. Michigan shot 54%, had 16 assists to only 9 turnovers, and acquired 75% of the available defensive rebounds. Butler, despite being only 2-3 so far, has a long history of being one of the midwest's more major mids (say that five times fast) and took Ohio State to overtime on Tuesday. They return all five starters from a year ago, too. They're probably going to be quite good down the road.
On the downside, Michigan allowed the Bulldogs to shoot over 50% and though Dion Harris played 31 minutes he continued to show signs that he is hampered by his foot injury, going 3 for 9.
Meanwhile, the hockey team blew OMG chunks, getting swept in the College Hockey Showcase for the third straight year and severely damaging their chances for a #1 seed come tournament time... again. The following is a complete list of players who done did good:
- Brandon Naurato
- Andrew Ebbett
- Maybe TJ Hensick.
And that's it. Michigan ceded 5 power play goals to the Gophers on Friday and then Jack Johnson and Matt Hunwick--who are, like, the best players on the team--got shamefully split by some guy named Adam Burish with two minutes left in a 2-2 tie. That tie was broken moments later by that Burish guy and his unimpeded romp to the net.
So that's no good. In retrospect it seems all very predictable. Michigan had managed to streak out to a 9-1-1 record and the #1 ranking, but no one who saw them play really believed they were the top team in the country. Far too many goals giftwrapped by defensive zone turnovers (including an unassisted Robbie Earl goal against Wisconsin that David Rohlfs provided with a pretty bow), not enough firepower, and a goalie situation that isn't settled. Given the team's extreme difficulty breaking out of the zone against teams slower and less skilled than they, it was a given that the blackly comic sight of Tim Cook throwing the puck back behind his own net for the third time in a shift was going to come back to bite us hard against the Minnesotas of the world. We match up against the Gophers in this way: not at all.
The Wisconsin loss is harder to swallow. The final Burish goal was a devastating summary of the weekend: the #3 pick in the latest NHL draft and NHL-bound-sooner-than-later Matt Hunwick parted like the Red Sea. What can you do? Weep softly into your pillow and kick a
baby dog, that's what.
Oh, yeah, that team from South Bend blew a six point lead in the final two minutes of the game but because they did it quickly they got the ball back with almost two minutes left needing only a field goal. They got the kind of field goal you get when you put the ball in the endzone and won and stuff. They did not feature a tight end hurtling across the field with 10 seconds left in the game. I'm just sayin'. (So is Johnny.)
And I should note a particularly disorienting instance of this phenomenon cited by SMQ:
This is entirely his own fault, but SMQ is always disoriented by scrolling scores at the onset of basketball season. "Wait, Iowa's scored 45, and it's only the second quarter? I didn't even know they were playing!"
So yes, on Saturday the score "Temple 66, Miami 62" flashed across my consciousness, causing me to scour my apartment for the wormhole that would lead me back into the universe I call home. I must have found one after several hours in the various closets of my apartment, because when I emerged somebody had beaten the hell out of the Lions.
(Temporal discontinuity? Blame the wormholes! Quick, end this post before they catch o--