i refuse to even consider this a possibility
We needed the time to let it all soak in. We're going to the Final Four! We can win a national championship! Go Blue!!!!
That's why I didn't post right away.
That said, tomorrow, we worry about Syracuse, so really I think now was the best time to recap the game.
My thoughts... We beat two damn good teams this weekend. Peeking again at the right time?
Edit: more like, did we hit our low at just the right time in order to peek again..
Peak...Peaking. As in mountain peak, not peek-a-boo.
Peak vs Peek. You are a dirty sheepdog, no?
Open Thread by me early, Live Blog, then your recap. Not jinxing it for two more nights hopefully.
Don't forget about the pregame threads. http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/morningearly-afternoon-elite-8-sunday-ncaa-tournament-thread
Keep it going my man, let's keep it going.
I hope we get Wichita State in the final so we can still, in some way, beat Tebow. I wonder if private jet refueling stations have convenience stores that play Mozart and sell caviar and fur coats.
1) Almost anti-climactic after Friday night. Today was never in doubt. Friday night felt like a bigger celebration because it was; I was dancing and screaming. Today it was just one long, extended smile, I guess.
2) Florida had about the worst game plan possible to play us. On offense, they took themselves out of their three-point game early, and on defense, I don't even know. That stretch in the first half when they constantly left Stauskas open to help out on the bigs or help stop penetration was just nutso.
3) Mitch McGary has picked the perfect time to unveil his MMFM alter ego to the world.
4) SO. MUCH. BETTER. DEFENSE. We played D the way we played the last three minutes of the Kansas game. With this sort of intensity, I think we can D up anyone.
5) Everyone else here is rooting for Syracuse. I'll be the only one laughing next Saturday at midnight.
Stauskas started out 6/6 for 17 points in the first half but finished the game 7/8 for 22 points. We are going to need the first half Stauskas these next two games. Syracuse, we'll need him to get around the 2-3 zone. Louisville, we're just going to need to flatout out score them.
Hardaway hasn't exactly been lighting it up either. We are going to need him back to normal form. Everyone else has had a massive game at some point. If he can find his stroke again along with everyone else playing how they've been playing, we'll be unstoppable.
Was quiet for Stauskas because Florida switched back to man defense after Nik showed them what a bad idea zone was. His man didn't help off him either.
If Syracuse wants to abandon their zone on Saturday, I'm sure I'll already have a pretty big smile on my face because it'll mean we've buried them under an avalanche of treys.
It's cool that all 15 players on the roster got in the game today.
And they weren't afraid to break up their Trillions, either.
The ball movement on this team never ceases to amaze me. These guys are sensing each other on another level right now. The level of comfort and awareness is all peaking at the right moment.
This is why I thought that the couple of games where Burke struggled with his shot was just what the doctor ordered for this team. We have too much talent 1 through 5 (with all having a reasonably good chance of playing in the NBA) for us to play a one or two man game irrespective of whether that man is the best player in the Country. A free flowing Michigan offense is an opposing coach's nightmare.
I'm going to keep this "short" (yea, right). Honestly, at this point I don't care enough to comment...we're going to the Final Four!
That said, a few thoughts.
Overall/Coaching: I thought Michigan's game plan was again right on point, that's 3 games in a row now. We got some great looks on the offensive end. There were probably 2 minutes in each half that were frustrating, but you can't harp on that when you execute and shoot the way we did.
Defensively we played well, but UF missed a TON of shots. I thought we got sloppy at times which is somewhat understandable, but when you've got a trip to Atlanta on the line, you can't get sloppy.
Subs were solid, our guys were GASSED and it showed, I liked the rotation. It wasn't VCU good, but it was better than Kansas. The only thing I think we should've changed was putting Stauskas in more with Burke and Albrecht over THJ...it just wasn't Tim's day, no reason to have Nik on the bench.
Burke: Get this guy some rest, he was clearly bothered by that stomach virus and his back, he just looked drained. I thought he played an excellent first half. He took a couple bad shots, but you'll live with it.
Hardaway Jr: Just wasn't his day, nonetheless he kept his head in the game and never pouted about it. He stayed involved, the shot just wouldn't fall. My only thing was his last couple of shots were forced, when you're not hitting and someone like Stauskas IS...sometimes you have to change you game and become a facilitator.
Stauskas: Game, Stauskas.
Robinson: They tried to pick on GRIII early and he held his own. Probably his best defensive game of his career. At least in terms of the post it is. That 2nd alley-oop was nuts.
McGary: He's move into another level, this isn't a fluke or a streak or a run. He's flat out better than he was a month ago and MUCH better than he was 2-3 months ago. Biggest thing *knocking on wood* is that he's not fouling.
Bench: Albrecht was great. I say no more. The kid is going to be awesome for Michigan over the next 3 years and 2 games. LeVert has to settle in on the offensive end, but he plays great defense, he's 2 years away from being able to get starters minutes. Vogrich #swag.
All in all, a great game. Michigan dominated start to finish and we just wanted it more. A pleasure to watch a pleasure to be a Wolverine.
Subs were solid?
I first had "Substitutions" but when I put my post in Word to "proofread" for spelling it was spelled incorrectly. I changed to to subs because I was too lazy to spell it correctly. When I read it, I thought it was fitting.
We had subs.
a young buck named Nik was born to a couple named Paul and Ruta. As Nik grows, Paul & Ruta are shocked to discover Nik's affinity for the foreign 3-googles instead of the customary stick in the air celebration. When Santa Claus visits their cave to meet the boy and sees Nik performing the 3-googles gesture, he warns Paul & Ruta that Nik will be unqualified to represent his country in sport if he continues with this odd reaction to happy events.
A few years later, Nik's parents take him to participate in the Maple Leaf Games. Here Nik, along with all of the other young bucks, will be trained to fly around the ice and be a part of Santa's team. While there, Nik meets a friend named Stan Mikita and they quickly become friends. The pair then sees a group of does including one named Clarice, who seems to take a romantic interest in Nik. Stan then encourages Nik to speak with Clarice who tells him that she thinks he's cute which causes Nik to perform a dazzling leap into the air and fly instead of going top-shelf. This act of "non-conformity" scares Stan and ends their friendship. All of the other youngsters then make fun of Nik for his odd athletic moves and he is prohibited by Coach Comet from taking part in any more Maple Leaf Games. Clarice, who is not the least bit bothered by Nik's unusual talent, catches up with a sulking Nik to try to comfort him. Soon after, Clarice's father forbids her to hang around with Nik, which shatters the young buck's heart and prompts him to make the decision to run away from home.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Hermey B, a member of Santa's Elves who dreams of choreographing plays on hardwood floors instead of on the Zamboni-smoothed ice. However, his supervisor is outraged at Hermey's persistent disruption of the Zamboni class with his strange X & Os studies on a rectangular diagram. Feeling ridiculed and misunderstood, Hermey also decides to run away. Later, Nik meets up with Hermey and the pair decide to set off together.
Along the way, they meet a cheerfully boisterous prospector named Yukon Burke, who dreams of discovering a wooden and gold trophy, before the trio bumps into the Abominable Tall Monster, a gigantic hairy, white, yeti-like creature who is attracted to 9" orange balls. Escaping on an iceberg, they stumble across "The Island of Misfit 4-seeds" where unwanted playthings with cosmetic or physical flaws go to live with the island's ruler, King Moonrainer. Nik, Yukon Burke, and Hermey B travel to King Moonrainer's castle seeking shelter and he agrees to let them stay for one night in exchange for a promise from Nik that as soon as he returns to the North Pole, he will deliver the Misfit Toys from the sky. Later that night, while Hermey B and Yukon slept, Nik decides to leave the island alone knowing that his forehead scar is going to endanger his friends.
After Nik grows older he eventually decides to go home, returning to his cave where he finds that his parents, along with Clarice, have left to search for him. Nik then sets out to find his family and discovers that they have been captured by the Abominable Tall Monster, who plans to finish them off. As the fight goes on, Nik is rendered helpless. Fortunately, Hermey and Yukon Burke arrive and hatch a rescue plan. Nik tries to awaken, but he and his family are blocked from their escape by the also awakened beast who blocks the entrance to the next round. Yukon Burke and his sled dogs chase the now toothless Tall Monster to a cliff, and attempt to jump onto the monster from 30 feet away before the whole group seemingly falls over the edge. Mourning the assumed miss of their friend, Nik and Hermey B nonetheless decide to watch the desperate attempt. Much to their surprise and joy, Yukon Burke's last gasp slays the Abominable Tall Monster, whom he kindly teaches to place stars on top of Christmas trees.
However, a top KenPom ranked storm blows in which threatens to cancel their participation in Santa's Atlanta tourney. While announcing the news to the elves, Santa notices Nik's smooth stroke and decides that Nik could light up the arena to cut down the nets. Santa then asks Nik to lead his team and Nik agrees. After the group sets off, Nik delivers six Misfit Toys in perfect King Moonrainer fashion.
Dastardly story, Muttley
The biggest positive observation for me is the fact that in 3 of the 4 games we held very good offenses (SDSU, VCU, Florida) to an average of 56 ppg. Our defense in the Kansas game was lacking but it was always going to be a tough matchup and we still turned it up when we needed to at the end of the game. If we can maintain this level of defensive performance we should have a good chance in Atlanta.
We get to hang a banner next year. Don't get me wrong, I'm as excited about a potential national championship as anybody, but in my opinion a final four appearance qualifies this season as a success. Anything more is just a whole lot of icing.
Also, enjoy Burke & the rest of this team as much as you can. It's unlikely we get another PoTY guy with this much talent around him for a long, long time.
A Banner season AND a 30 win season.
Excellet defensive rotations today. I can't believe this is the same team that struggled with defensive rotations a month ago.
Mitch McGary has elevated his game quicker in-season than any UM player in recent memory. He played great defensively today by altering a lot of shots. And he runs the floor as well as any other big in the nation (reminds me of J. Morgan two years ago when D. Morris was the point guard...JMo got so many offensive looks by running the floor well).
Role players inevitably make big plays in long tourney runs. Albrecht's steal and smooth layup might be the 1993 version of the James Voskuil late in the game floating jumper type of play that will forever resonate in UM fans' minds years from now. That was the dagger that sealed any hope of a Florida comeback in the 2nd half. It was effectively a 4-point play coming off of McGary's basket. Smart, heady play.
BEAT SYRACUSE. can we get a drinking thread?
If not, BELLS OBERON. (Also beat syracuse)
McGary had 5 STEALS! That was neat
That's good. That's what he has to do. 82%
I'm so proud that I understood that reference before even having to look at the video.
Twenty years of waiting for elite basketball is a long time. I know we have been slowly getting back to 'good' the past couple of years. We just beat two great teams - let it soak in, get some rest, let Beilein slice the tape, and win 2 more.
While it'd be great to win a national title, we have to try and remember that no matter what happens from here on out, this season should be defined as a success. For one, we outlasted all our B1G counterparts. Especially OSU and MSU.
But two, It doesn't matter if you're a 15 seed that just made the tournament for the first time in your program's history or you're a blue blood powerhouse like Duke. It is so damn hard to get to the Final Four. Its even that much harder to win a national title. You could be the consensus #1 team in America, have one bad night of shooting in the second or third round, and your season's over just like that.
Or you could be a four seed, a team that lost 6 games down the stretch, including being embarrassed by a team with no conference wins. A team that got bounced pretty quickly in the conference tournament, be more or less left for dead and put on upset alert from the get-go, and all of a sudden gets hot at the right time. Maybe a few lucky breaks fall your way (Burke Hail Mary), but that's the tournament for you. Suddenly a week later, you find yourself in the Final Four, beaming with confidence, fresh off of leveling a top 10 team, and you're so close to a national title that you can taste it.
It's so hard to get to this point, and that's why its important that we consider this season a success no matter what happens. Even with the talent Beilein is bringing in, we never know when we'll get here again.
Okay, rambling over. Beat Syracuse.
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The kid from the land of snow and ice certainly came up huge today.
In the NYT:
"It’s all a result of Burke,” Florida Coach Billy Donovan said. “Those guys, they do not have players that really are able to create for themselves.”
It's undeniable that Burke is the floor leader, but Mitch can't create anything himself? Nik's hot night shooting is all attributable to Trey?
...especially for Spike IME.
I am excited to see where Nik's handle is by next season.
Teams focus so much on taking away Burke and Hardaway that it creates open looks for everyone else. I mean look at Stauskas today, he just camped out and waited for a pass, getting his shot off over and over while the Florida player was scrambling back from help defense.
I do think Burke is probably the only player that can consistently get his shot against most defenders. We don't often see Mitch, Stauskas, Robinson or even Hardaway going one-on-one, they are getting either open shots or lanes created by the offensive action.
Some of this is talent related but a lot of it is by design because Burke is so good with the ball that there is no reason to make other people run offense through them.
Mmm. Sour candy.
he's 100% correct tho.
Staukas doesn't create for himself. he's in the corner waiting for a drive and kick out, or coming around screens and rolling to the hoop.
Same for THJR, but get has at least he's shown the ability to hit pull-up jumpers off the dribble.
McGary doesn't have any post moves- all his stuff comes from penetration into the paint, P&R, or Rebounds
Trey is the only one who generates the penetration himself.
Stauskas gets to the basket quite a bit. Where do you think the Not Just a Shooter meme came from?
Like someone else said, though, Trey does such a good job at it that there is no reason for anyone else to try to get penetration on a regular basis. That will change next Saturday, though.
except for Mitch, Spike, THJ, GRIII and Stauskas...
...oh wait, he's wrong.
just a wonderful, wonderful team effort. never saw players fighting (a la msu's nix and appling). just lots of respect for one another. no ridiculous sideline antics.
looking forward to m beating syracuse. i believe beilein has never beaten boeheim (say that 5 time quickly). i think we are going to end that streak!
Spike scoring twice in like three seconds was AWESOME.
In other news, transition buckets = money, especially when you can throw no-look passes around like whoa.
Can we have more steals on defense please? It was a cornucopia of extra possessions! The raw talent these boys have is inspiring, if only they could find this kind of inspired individual and team play going forward in the tournament. The defensive play was lackadasical and/or nonexistent at times near the end of the regular season, which is now wholly forgiven and set aside. Final Four in 2013! Good times for us all!
now we're stuck with pompous Kellogg and, even worse, Michigan hater and all-around prig, Jim Nantz.
Was anyone else sitting there with a grin on their face after we were up by 24? Obviously the game was far from over (still in the 1st half) but there was something about it that just spewed with "we aren't losing this game!"
Interesting enough, I purposely bought tickets to the Slippery Rock game because I wanted to see this team's first ever official game together. Obviously Slippery Rock was no match and we beat them by like 40 points but my point is, even before this team had played a single game I had a feeling they could do something special. I wanted to go the game so basically if they won the B1G or made a Final Four I could say, I saw their first ever game together in person and they kicked as much ass in that game as they did against Florida.
But it was too early...it actually made me more nervous up 24 than when were up 4-5 early. I didn't want them to relax.