Elite Eight might make it a good season, but it doesn't make the rest "awesome/gravy."
Edit: and can we stop with the '89 comparisons? As Seth pointed out, these teams aren't close.
Elite Eight might make it a good season, but it doesn't make the rest "awesome/gravy."
Edit: and can we stop with the '89 comparisons? As Seth pointed out, these teams aren't close.
In actual composition this team bears little resemblance to 1989. Frankly, there aren't many teams anywhere with a Glen Rice on the floor. But then, actual paper comparisons are of little use anyway; Michigan fans endlessly contextualize their hopes for a future football season based on some resemblance the new team bears to the 1997 squad, just as we talk about '89 in basketball. In hockey, everyone is crossing their fingers for a repeat of the '10 playoff run to earn a tournament bid. It is the nature of the sports fan.
Of course it doesn't make sense on paper, because there are always going to be differences. But the experiences are similar, and that's what we talk about.
And sometimes the bigger picture is a better view than the smaller one. In this case, Michigan does not have a similar roster to 1989 (then again, very little about college basketball resembles the 1980s at all). However, it is not unreasonable to think that whatever frustrations we've experienced in the regular season, a one-game postseason rematch can go differently. I think, given the strength of the conference, there is both a good chance of a high-level B1G rematch and a good chance that Michigan will win. And on that basis, I think the 1989 comparison may apply.
I would say at least an Elite 8 for this to be a success. Winning the Big Ten tournament and getting to the Elite 8 would make this an awesome season in my mind.
I'm not expecting it, but I think anything less can be considered dissapointing...
When you spend the entire season in the Top 10 and you're out before the Sweet 16 after pissing away the B1G championship, then I actually think this season is a failure...
WINNING IT ALL DAMMIT
At this point, not a lot. We had a chance for the conference title, and blew it. That's the most important accomplishment to me. The Big Dance is a crap shoot based largely on matchups, and though a title or a final four would obviously do it, that's probably not going to happen. I think it's fair to call the season a disappointment based on our conference performance.
The conference championship is great and all but success in the NCAA tournament, in college basketball at least, is what distinguishes coaches, players, and teams in the history books. This isn't football, the tourney is not just a glorified bowl game. It's about as much of a 'crapshoot' as any sporting event and the strongest team, more often than not, ends up winning the entire damn thing.
Yes, I am serious. Quick, name me the last 24 teams to play in the Elite Eight. No? How about 8 of them? No? Oh well. Can you, without googling, name all of the Final Four teams from last year? Now can you name the Big Ten champions? Me too.
The NCAA tourney is fun and all, but the strongest team does not win it more often than not. It's far more of a crapshoot than the National Title for football. The Big Ten title gets us a banner. Without that, it's not likely we'll be hanging one.
At this point, the FF or a title will set things right. Otherwise, this season was a letdown. I'll cheer like hell for the team, but these things are extremely difficult to get, even for good teams.
of course we remember who won the Big Ten last year, because we shared the title. That's like asking, "remember who was in the final four in '92 & '93?" I'm gonna be honest, I can't name any Big Ten champions with certainty beyond last year, but I could probably name the two teams that played in the NCAA championship game for the past 10 years...
It's all about NCAA success in college basketball.
The ESPN specials we have been watching about the Fab Five would never have been produced if they had not won Final Fours.
Gene Keady would have given his right arm for a Final Four banner. Purdue was a perennial Big Ten champion during his time, but was never in the conversation about great teams because of its limited NCAA success.
The '85 and '86 Big Ten champion Michigan teams were some of the best teams in Michigan history. But there is a shadow over them because of their dissapointing NCAA performances.
I guarantee that if Michigan makes it to the Final Four and Indiana does not, we'll all be crowing about what a great season this was, and Indiana won't be.
Here's the point: If you don't make it to the final four or the title game, people aren't going to give a shit about what you did in the tournament. Nobody cares who makes it to the Elite Eight. Now, given that making the Final Four and Title game are extraordinarly difficult and require a little bit of luck along the way, I personally place more importance on the conference title.
Obviously, IF we made it that far, it would be huge. But that's not the premise here, is it?
It seems kinda watered down when so many teams can and often do share the title. If we make the FF this year, there is no way you can compare this season and last and say are team was more successful last year. Even if we had won this game today and won a share of the regular season title, we'd still not even be the best team in the big ten...so why is it such a big deal in your mind? The FF is the FF!
EDIT: Sorry I think I missread you. Are you saying Big Ten regular season champ > elite eight or final four?
How would we not have been the best team in the Big Ten with having the highest ranking and fewest overall losses?
EDIT: What I'm saying is that given the statisical improbability and uncertaintnies involved in going deep into the tournament, I place more importance on the Conference Title, which represents an entire season of work. Now, if we were to make it to the Final Four or title game, I think that would be bigger than a conference title.
Big Ten Champ > Elite Eight
Big Ten Champ < Final Four
we would not have had the number 1 seed entering the the btt. We would have been the 3 seed. It's still unclear we would have gotten that 1 seed over Indiana even with a win today.
Just like last year, we won a share of the title, but we were clearly not the best team in the big ten nor did we have the best regular season in the big ten.
I think big ten championship in football >>>>>>>>> basketball in terms of measuring the success for your season.
But I would still agree with Elight 8 < Big Ten Champ < Final 4
So you are claiming that if we had won today, we would not have been the best team in the Big Ten. I want to know why you think that.
If you compare our resume with Indiana's (with a win today), we'd have slightly different seasons but essentially the same level of "success." I could go through and compare and maybe say IU is better, maybe Michigan, but it would be pretty subjective. So I guess this is kind of why the regular season championship isn't that important to me if it's shared. We weren't clearly the best, we were one of the best. In a tournament setting, you go against the best of the best and you do exactly as well as you did. No subjectivity to it. Much cleaner.
I'm sure many people around the country can name you the final four teams (or even Elite Eight teams) of the past couple of years over the B1G champions. I'm now even more perplexed; was the purpose of your first sentence to tell me that the Big10 championship is more presigious than a Final four berth? Because that is highly debateable.
And you're joking if you think that a program like Kansas would give half a fuck if Bill Self had won all those Big12 championships but at the same time had crashed out of the NCAA tournament on the first weekend. Or do you think that Duke considered last year a sucess because they won the ACC championship, regardless of the fact that they lost in the second round of the tournament due to a 'crapshoot' Lehigh performance?
Now, I'm not saying we're at the level of Duke and Kansas nor am I saying that conference championships are usless. But, unless you're new to college basketball and just came over from football, you have to admit that the tournament is the 'meat' of the college basketball season.
" but the strongest team does not win it more often than not."
Like when? What year did you look at the ncaa champion and consider them not worty of that title?
" It's far more of a crapshoot than the National Title for football."
What the balls?
"The Big Ten title gets us a banner. Without that, it's not likely we'll be hanging one. "
You do realize that a Final Four berth gets us a banner, right?
1. Connecticut two years ago.
2. I'm not sure how to respond to your very insightful "what the balls" comment.
3. Yes, I do, which is why I said that a Final Four WOULD be enough.
4. We aren't Kansas or Duke. We have regional expectations right now, not national. Sure, a title would fix everything. That isn't going to happen.
To your main point, I just fundamentally disagree that the NCAA tournament is the meat of the season. It's a couple of weeks often determined by streaky play and matchups. I'd much rather have a title from the best conference in the country that make it to the Elite Eight.
Aside from Burke, this team is pretty ordinary and disproportionately freshmen. Going into the season, would you have taken 12-6 in the league and 25-6 overall knowing how tough the league is? I suspect you would have.
Agree that anything can happen in the tournament, but I would say it's a good season if we make the sweet 16.
Based on expectations coming into this season? A final 4 is a success.
Based on what has transpired over the course of the season? I would be happy with an elite 8 with a chance to go to the final 4.
Would us losing one side of the Final Four and IU losing the other side suffice?
I'm planning on going to the Sweet 16/ Elite 8 rounds assuming we make it that far. If we win those two game, I'd consider it a success. Remember, Beilein hasn't won more than one NCAA tourney game with Michigan a season. But it was always because we ran into brick walls after winning our first game. Oklahoma with Blake Griffin, the Duke game that was a missed floater away from OT, and Ohio (Bobcats). Ok, maybe that last one isn't a brickwall. My head says to be happy with two tourney wins because that would at least show Beilein is improving, but my heart says final four or bust... whatever the case may be, QUEME LOS BARCOS!
It was a very solid team - a team that should have and nearly did beat UNC the next round.
Did they win a game after they beat us? I know they almost took down UNC but I think there was a game before that that they also won...
B1G Tournament championship game appearence and making it to the Elite Eight. I have a tough time seeing this team in the Final Four, but I do think they're one of the 8 best teams in the country.
Winning game 9 of the big ten tournament over Indiana would help.
Big 10 Championships are the expectations of every program....Tourney wise, I hope we can advance further than we ever have under Beilein.
I don't care at all about the Big Tourney. I would rather UM lose a close game and be motivative then win it and crash out in the real tourney.
That being said this team should and probably will bow out in the sweet 16. The lack of rebounding and weak permiter D gives too many teams a fighting chance. UM could lose in the 1st round again, they could make a run....There will likely be no easy wins for UM at all.
With the right draw UM could make a Final Four but the same could be said for literally 12-15 teams this year.
What would be needed for me to say "awesome, this season is just gravy?" I'd say that means what would make me feel the team exceeded expectations. For me UM would exceed expectations by reaching the Final Four.
If/when they crash out in Sweet 16 I'll say "that's about right", Anything before sweet 16 and its a disappointment.
it's more likely we make a deep run in the NCAA if we are hot, and that means winning the B1G tourney
Anything less than sweet 16 would be a disappointment. Honestly, I don't really care about the BT tournament. At this point it seems anti-climatic. This team has the capability of winning it all. That's what's so frustrating as a fan. Last year's team over-achieved through most of the season then fell flat against a senior-laden team that was on a hot streak. I think it's fair to say this year's team has under-achieved in a few games this year, but the true test will be in the NCAA.
I used to think that this team had the capability of winning it all. But now if I am honest, I would have to say that they would need some lucky breaks and very favorable matchups to win it all. They would need some serious help.
to Final Four will ease the pain of missing against PSU and IU for a B1G title.
Great to see us playing big games again, but we need to win the games on national tv to regain our cache with future recruits. Final Four would add a lot of cache and mojo for next year.
Championship or bust, we play to raise banners
To me. Yeah it's cute but as long as they get to the semis it's ok.
As for ncaa's;They make it to elite 8 ill be happy. Final four ill be overjoyed. Championship game insanely happy. Champions and ill be jumping with joy and won't have a voice for a week after.
Elite 8 would make this a great season and a step in the right direction for our staff. We haven't gotten out of the first weekend in a long time. That alone though will be a disappointment. An Elite Eight will be a good season given our talent level and how far away we were when JB took over.
Always kind of plugged this team around #10, so Sweet 16 would be slightly underacheiving, and the Elite 8 would be slightly overacheiving.
That said, I think that 30 wins for this team would be a nice total, granted if they get 4 in the BTT and then lose in the 2nd game of the NCAA it would be a terrible disappointment.
At least a BTT semifinal, and sweet 16 would be minimal and anything past a BTT championship and a final four would be "gravy"
Final Four appearance that involves knocking off Duke, followed by wiping the floor with Indiana in the national title game.
Followed by Burke winning the Wooden award and announcing that he's returning for his junior year.
About it in a nutshell.
Either a Big Ten Tournament Championship and at least the elite 8 or a final four trip would make this season a success in my mind.
Final four or bust. I think we see Indiana again next week. I'd like to beat them. Maybe beat Ohio in the final. We do that I'll be happy.
Walking through the options:
- Big Ten regular season championship: This would have been great, but that door is closed. Next to a Final Four, this would have been the biggest achievement possible.
- Big Ten Tournament championship: Not nearly as good or impressive as a Big Ten regular season championship, but it is a tournament win and it's fun to win tournaments (those NIT wins in the past were a lot more fun than they should have been). The biggest thing is that we get to replace one of the banners that was taken down.
- NCAA Sweet Sixteen: It sounds good because it has a catchy name, "Sweet Sixteen", but really, after all we have been through this year would any of us be satisfied to say that we are the sixteenth best team in the country? After being #1 and no less than in the top 10 most of the year? It is nothing more than a milestone that shows progress is being made.
- NCAA Elite Eight: This is the opposite of the Sweet Sixteen situation. Rationally, given where this program has been, to make it to a Regional Final and finish in the top eight is an excellent achievement. One that any reasonable Michigan fan at this point should consider a successful season. But I just can't be reasonable about it.
I'm here to tell you it SUCKS to lose in a Regional Final. A win and you're cutting down nets and hanging Final Four banners. A loss and . . . nothing. Nice season, see you next year.
When we lost to Arkansas in the 1994 Regional Final on a missed Jalen Rose 3 late in the game, it was crushing. It was not rational, but it felt like a failure. I even felt bad for some guy named John Beilein back when he was with Pitt and lost in the Regional Final in OT.
Regional Final losses in the NCAA's are IMO, the toughest losses to take in all of CBB. An NCAA Elite Eight is a success, but it does not feel like it until months go by.
- NCAA Final Four: This is clearly an outstanding season for any CBB program. Anything beyond is gravy.
So, where does that leave us to be able to call this season a success? Door's closed on the B1G regular season Championship. Sweet Sixteen would be a letdown. Final Four is a fantasy.
So probably the B1G Tournament and/or (rationally) the Elite Eight.
Excellent explanation, particularly strong on the frustrations of an Elite Eight loss.
One of the reasons the regional final is so crushing is that, due to it being the same weekend as the Sweet Sixteen but a different weekend than the Final Four, the dropoff in attention is awful. Win and you have a week of hope and talk and Sports Illustrated articles and radio interviews. Lose and you have to spend a week thinking "it could have been us." The dropoff with a Sweet Sixteen loss is nowhere near that sharp.
five of those to highly ranked opponents and all but one of those on the road.
This season was a success you bloody git.
This season has not been successful. Fair or not, expectations were set pretty high going into this season and this team kept them high with their play through the first half of the season. It's no longer good enough to take comfort in the fact that this program is now positioned to be a perennial participant in the NCAA tournament, they need to achieve more.
The bottom line is that this program is now on the cusp of rejoining the elite, but elite programs get measured by hanging banners. This team had numerous chances the past couple of months to seal up hanging a 2nd consecutive conference title and let it get away. I don't know you characterize that as anything other than disappointing.
The good news is that these guys still have a chance to redeem themselves and make a run at the BTT title and a run at a Final Four. They come up short there though and I don't know how you label this season as anything other than a disappointment.
Now that's grossly unfair to ladle that kind of pressure on a group of kids who are mostly freshmen and sophmores, but as long as we're going to be recruiting elite level players, timetables are going to be short. Players the caliber of Burke or Robinson III are not going to be around for four years. You have to seize opportunities when they come.
a Final Four and nothing less... Anything less I would consider a disappointment. I know it's a young team, but we spent the entire season in the top 10. I have high expectations for obvious reasons.
this was supposed to be the year. After this year we lose one of the best PGs in school history and possibly the versatile threat of Hardaway Jr. Next year looks promising with Irvin and Walton, but this was supposed to be the year in which we had all aspects of the game at tip top shape. Obviously, it all fell through with the defense and interior game, which is no stranger to Coach B.
If THJ goes this year, he's getting some bad advice.
Maybe some people care about the Big Ten tournament...but not the country. Say if Indiana won the Big Ten title and the conference tournament and then lost in the first round, what would be the story of the season to everyone in the world? Yep, the NCAA loss.
Last year's team overachieved winning a share of the Big Ten, and then underachieved by being a first round out. I hope this team underachieved by not winning a share of the Big Ten and overachieves by making it to the Final Four.
This season will be a failure if we don't make it to the Sweet Sixteen. If we get past that it's a success. If we get there and lose it's just decent.
This is Michigan Fergodsakes.
Just win the whole thing, damnit.
our deficiencies I would say Elite 8 would make me happy. I would not rule out a Final Four appearance.
BTT doesn't make a difference. Hope we can get defensive minded and face those who are, but other than that, it's just a pointless warm-up for the championship run.
GO BLUE. Play strong boys.
This team underperformed relative to preseason expectations and what we saw in early-mid season potential.
I expect them to lose in the Sweet Sixteen.
So getting to the Elite Eight and putting up a decent showing would make me happy I guess. It just sucks because I think this is the best team Michigan will have for a couple more years. It's hard to imagine this core of players getting better with the loss of burke and possibly thj, especially without adding a bigger big to the rotation. I hate watching this team get abused down low, and no, I don't think it's youth and lack off "effort" and "toughness." I just think this team is too small. If Morgan and McGary/GR3 grew two inches (or McGary developed outside shooting), we'd be a dominant team.
That is the worst part. This is probably the best team we will see for awhile. I like Beilein but the lack of a solid big man who can rebound will always put Michigan at a disadvantage.
I'm not sure about that. If Burke is our only loss, between our recruits coming in and the development of the returning guys, I think we can be as good next season.
At least FInal Four and maybe a National Championship game appearance. Nobody hangs banners for the Elite 8 or Sweet Sixteen. I realize a lot of people here don't remember Michigan getting to those rounds but those really aren't a big deal. A Final Four is something to be proud of.
I'd also be very happy if we won a B1G tourney but I think that highly unlikely as we'll be more tired than our opponents in every round after PSU. Not gonna happen.
I think we're all underrating how tough the Big Ten was. I think a regional final is a real possibility. At that point, the lack of interior rebounding will potentially cost the game, but of I< can defend enough to run, who knows?
In truth, though, this is not a team that underachieved. The MSU win was very sweet, the way they competed should satisfy any but the most cynical.
The young 'uns will be older, and if Belein recruits some hardass defenders and rebounders, UM will continue to contend.
Play hard, play smart, get to the final game of the Big Ten Tourney and to the regional final of the NCAAs and that's a hell of a year.
They just played even with an outstanding basketball team, and took them out of what they wanted to do for long stretches. If you can't appreciate that....
I should answer my own thread.
I don't want to sound like a jerk, but I see more promising scenarios for a deep run in the NCAA tournament than in the B1G tournament. I'm not trying to go ESSSS EEEE SEEEEE "it's harder to win our conference than the national title" arrogant or anything (though our conference is very good), but for Michigan, there's some truth to it. To win the B1G, we have to beat Wisconsin, almost certainly Indiana, and probably one of MSU or OSU. Those last three games are very loseable; it's our four-game murderer's row compressed into four days. Well-nigh impossible.
On the other hand, the NCAA tournament has all the best teams, but it is also stocked with beatable teams. Upsets inevitably take out some of the threats (don't we know), and Michigan winds up with a path that gives it winnable matchups all the way to the regional final. We'd be dogs against a team like Duke or Kansas, but it's far from a sure thing, right?
I guess I'll be okay, in retrospect, with an Elite Eight bid regardless of how the B1G tourney goes. It would validate Michigan as "one of" the best teams in the country, and with where basketball has been in the past 20 years, that's pretty good.
I honestly think a Final Four bid is technically easier to achieve than the gauntlet Michigan would face to win in Indy; same number of games, more time, more beatable teams.
I predict two and done in the B1G tourney. And either one or two and done in the NCAA tourney depending on match ups. I now that sounds pessimistic and not supportive. Frankly, I just have not seen the overall team quality of play needed to have a long run in either tourney. Even "one man teams" rely on the other players doing the basic fundamentals of boxing out, playing man-you-ball on defense, keeping your man in front of you, and hitting free throws. The Elite Eight or Final Four should be minimum to claim success for a team that has been consistently top 10, and really top 5, all season. I wish I could see that happening, but after watching every game this season my experience playing and years of watching the NCAA tourney tell me different.
...needs an extra win or two to make the Big Dance. I have seen too many teams burn out in NCAA Tourney after grueling conference tourneys. Reaching Elite 8 would be success in my book...sure I hope we avenge losses to Penn Stae, Wisconsin and IU in BIG tourney, but college basketball success is measured in the Big Dance...period.
Not sure right now. Too upset to answer.
but I would really like to see us make it to at least the Elite 8. We've been hovering in and around the top 5 all year, so making it to the Elite 8 would validate (to me at least) that we did belong up there and we weren't just pretending. Final Four and beyond would obviously be awesome.
If we don't even make the Sweet 16, I'd say that would be disappointing
Being No 1 and a top ten team most of the season, the last two or three weeks has been very disappointing. About the only thing to make up for it, would be a run to the FInal Four. Like it was said earlier, I don't expect it. I'm being overly realistic, I think they struggle to get to the Sweet 16, but Final Four would make up for what they were unable to accomplish thus far.
In my mind this season has been very good preparation for this team both for the remainder of the year and future years when the majority of this group will be back. I believe the Big Ten Tournament is good preparation for the Tournament and that the team could use it as a springboard to greater success. If they like each other as much as I think they do they'll be able to get through this adversity.
Personally I would be happy with a trip to the Elite 8 and ecstatic with anything beyond that. For reasons mentioned above it would stink to lose there but would be demonstrable progress.
I put a little more weight on the Big Ten Tournament this year not only for the valuable preparation it will be for the NCAA Tournament but also because I will be in the stands cheering for this team.
Unrelated, but you have the creepiest profile picture on this blog.
Being ranked in the top five has been a great boost to the program's image, but I've never thought they were truly one of the top ten teams in the country. They've got too many defensive weaknesses, are consistently outrebounded, have three freshmen getting major minutes, and only have one proven, consistent difference-maker on offense. Given that, I'd consider getting to the 16 to be a success.
Burke coming back for his Junior year would make it a success!
National Championship or a Final Four run
We've got to make at least the Sweet 16. That's the baseline expectation. We haven't been to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament since 1994 and that streak's got to end. I'd be disappointed with a first-weekend loss even if we'd won yesterday.
Beyond that, I can accept any result. If we could make the Final Four, I won't even care about yesterday.
at least elite 8 in NCAA. At this point, anything less would be unacceptable w/two players that believe they are NBA ready. I can accept the fact the majority of the team is very young. However, if we don't progress this far, everyone needs to look in the mirror and check themselves. BTW. I don't think Hardaway is NBA ready. Burke is probably NBA ready but one more year woudn't hurt. Seems to hinge on what he wants to accomplish as a college player and in life.
Win the B1G tourney and make the Elite 8
Make the Final Four
Otherwise, this season isnt a success. Tying for 4th regular season is an underachievement so the team has ground to make up.
First, one thing that I believe has happened this season, between the play and future development and recruiting, is that the groundwork was laid potentially for seveal good showings in the coming years. 25-6 is our best regular season showing in a while and there is a little something to be said for that.
That being said, we've not been to the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight since 1994, and to make it to that weekend this year would be a success for me because it would say that we're back to a level where we are competing fairly consistently with the best of Division I once again. Either of these outcomes would be acceptable. Even using Jerry Palm's projected bracket, for the sake of argument here, most paths to at least the Sweet Sixteen would likely be pretty doable for this team too.
Making the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1994 would still be a success, all things considered. It represents progress. I want to see evidence that Beilien's ceiling is at least at that level.
Better in either aspect makes the rest gravy. Elite 8 and early loss in the conference tourney is better than a conference win and early March Madness loss, but I think that the fan base has had expectations blown up into entitlement if you're thinking more is our birthright and the baseline for happiness.
(I mean, we act like Penn State didn't deserve to be on court with us, when the reality is that they played a great game and deserved to win. Sometimes teams play well against us and we have to raise our level or lose. Sometimes we do, and sometimes the ball rolls off the rim.)
Make it to the Sweet Sixteen and we have done just enough. Win in that round and I will consider it a good season that we can build on going forward. We are a good team, not a great one. We can play wonderfully, and also horribly. I do not know which team will show up, nor the matchups, so I am averaging the extremes here. Also, have to win at least the first two games in the BTT.