I'd like to talk a bit of strategy here. I know most of us are inclined to chalk up this loss to Villanova just being dominant, Michigan going cold from 3, etc. but I think there are a few lessons Beilein should build on from here.
I need to first apologize for my dad, who declared in a group text that this DiVincenzo guy was Luke Hancock 2.0... at a time when Michigan was still winning and DiVincenzo had just made his first 3 and had a total of 5 points. This was deja vu in the worst way possible: guy comes off the bench to light it up from 3 and Michigan has no answer. Meanwhile, we hold the Naismith winner to 9 points on 13 shot equivalents with 2 turnovers. What?
Did Michigan's defensive strategy simply not account for DiVincenzo's ability? I really hate the notion that sometimes players just get hot and there's nothing you can do. Clearly, there was something Michigan was doing defensively that was allowing DiVincenzo to get too many clean looks. Mathews was on him most of the game and did an abysmal job anticipating picks, Michigan tried to switch and DiVincenzo was able to either a) step back for a 3 if the switching defender played off, or b) drive to the hoop if the swiching defender played tight.
All in all, I think this actually was a very winnable game if Michigan had scouted DiVincenzo properly and primed Mathews to guard much tighter and evade the pick. Can't let this type of bullshit ever happen again, as it's now cost us 2 national championships in 5 years. Also would be nice if we could get one of these absurd 6th man performances in a national championship some day.
We didn't win that last game the way I'd have liked to. The team from Pennsylvania was pretty darn good. But I really did like this run.
If you were to ask me though, would I rather hoist a banner, Louisville style, or would I be willing to take a banner if it meant we have the ethics of schools in the area, some in E Lansing, some programs not near, but bluebloods by any stretch, it would be an easy choice.
I'm glad our program, from team leader Beilein, to a junior forward who went to console the opposing player, to freshmen who go to congratulate the opposition's chaplain, has been who they are, every step of the way.
They have been everything I could hope for and more, from start to finish. And congratulations to Villanova. I look forward to playing them again this time next year.
So thank you guys, for being just what we wanted and needed, in a time when that is so difficult to come by. This team is made of Michigan Men.
It might feel a bit too soon to share your feelings, but science doesn't stop for your pain or suffering.
It's time for the last basketball fan satisfaction survey.
How are you feeling about the season with all things said and done?
How are you feeling about next year?
Take the survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/vaO1zAH11UwEK5Kh2
A few hours ago, during my endless nervous pacing, I made note of the fact that the last game thread I made was for the Texas A&M Game in the Sweet Sixteen. I then realized that I must step up to the same task tonight, to add some good luck for our team to deliver that same shooting performance, along with defensive shutdown, that is necessary for the win.
Before we get to our reactions throughout what will be a long and bumpy night (good or bad). I'd like to express my gratitude toward this team. In January of this year, after quite a New Year's Day. It didn't feel that great to be a Michigan fan. Now, here we are in April, and we have a basketball team once again shocking the world, THE RIGHT WAY, and they've got a lot more shocking to do tonight. Thank you to all these players for the hard work and great memories already made! I can't wait to potentially see another one made, with John Beilein at the top of that ladder tonight, as no coach deserves it more. From me and the rest of this dysfunctional MGoBlog family, regardless of the outcome: I thank him for putting a once lost program back in a state of not only stability-but stability on a high level. In a year of scandals sucking all of the credibility out of College Basketball, the program being widely regarded as the cleanest is the one wearing maize and blue. It just seems like tonight would be the perfect night for endless muppets, super soakers, maize ponchos, water bottles, screams and tears of joy, and most importantly, the greatest fight song ever written.
We have said less, and done more. Now....
LETS DO THIS!!!!
TV: TBS and The March Madness Live App
Michigan Teamcast: TNT and The March Madness Live App
Message from the last Michigan Basketball National Champions:
And all of the Michigan legends who couldn't pull it off themselves are rooting for you as well!
(The sign is at the game, btw)
Seton Hall so Lets Go Blue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
COME ON! LET'S WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
While we are all waiting for the game, I thought I'd pose a genuine question about Mo Wagner for the Board -- particularly those who know a lot about basketball. In my exuberance over Wagner's excellence, I mentioned to people that he should be a top 10 pick in the draft. My brief reasoning was the a 6 foot 11 inch player who can shoot 3 pointers is valuable in the NBA today particularly because he looks like he is going to fill out and gain weight. This was immediately guffawed by the other people around me (who aren't Michigan fans) and I did some research on it. I was suprised that he isn't more highly regarded for the NBA.
What am I missing about today's NBA and/or Wagner's skills that don't make a higher draft pick? And, separate question, how many spots has this tournament's play moved him up?
Any thoughtful answers greatly appreciated. Dayenu! And Let's Go Blue!