Here I am, 4:50 AM, long work day looming, fast-forward watching the second half of the UM-Wisconsin game until roughly the 5 or 6 minute mark when I really watch-watch it. Michigan has a 6-8 point lead, I don't remember specifically. What I do remember specifically throughout the first half the night before and thus far in the second half, despite the consistent lead and periods of impressive play, I did not believe for one second that Michigan was going to hold on and win that game. Was it the Kohl Center and the Badger team we never beat there? Not really. Was it the actual play on the floor up until that point? I don't think so. Michigan had been superior, by a measurable amount.
I have began to realize that it was not a game-specific feeling, it has been a consistent feeling with Michigan for over a decade. Throughout the dark years, and the really dark years, and the NIT Championship banner years. Spanning the likes of Bullock, Ward, Baston, Blanchard, Horton, Pettway, Robinson Jr., Elerby, Tommy A., now Belien. At that five minute mark, regardless of what transpired before, there seems to be no doubt in my mind that what I am about to witness is 3 to 5 missed three pointers, four unforced turnovers, a multitude of offensive rebounds for the opposition, and then finally a devastating, blink of an eye loss.
Granted, there have been exceptions and moments where I feel the Michigan basketball team "defies the odds" and holds on for one. I was absolutely amazed by the Penn State win, I did not see that coming at all, but overall, why won't or can't Michigan just go get "that" game. So winnable, so painfully winnable. In all actuality, NO excuse for not winning. Is this a virus, a virus spanning players, coaches, equipment and uniform contracts, seven different court designs and arena renovations.
In years past, it was likely very explainable due to a talent deficiency, but this team has talent. Granted not Kansas talent, but there are all big-ten performers on the floor. But still this feeling, this consistent feeling, that no matter how impressive Michigan can be in spurts, doom is on the way. This feeling that leads to this consistently repeated question in my mind.... Why did I turn on my DVR?
What the hell is "it," and when is it going to go away?