One Frame At A Time: Houston and Texas A&M

One Frame At A Time: Houston and Texas A&M Comment Count

Ace May 1st, 2018 at 4:07 PM

I think I've waited long enough that I can post this now.

It's taken me a while to get around to tournament GIFs for a number of reasons, some NCAA-related and some not, but I finally made it through the Houston and Texas A&M games. (As per blog policy, there was no Montana game. It's just a figment of your imagination.) It'll take me a bit longer to get around to Florida State and Loyola Chicago, but I'll get to those too.

One thing I apparently won't get to: a supercut of three-pointers against Texas A&M, as this is what happened when I attempted to put that together with my normally unfailing GIF software:

In the words of the Texas twitter account: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

[Hit THE JUMP for every conceivable angle of the Poole Party, CJ Baird Tha Gawd, and much more.]


Let's Chart Some Threes Because We're Nervous

Let's Chart Some Threes Because We're Nervous Comment Count

Brian March 21st, 2018 at 12:12 PM


[JD Scott]

Michigan's offense during the opening weekend of the tourney was… not great. Michigan failed to hit a point per possession in either game. A sloppy, weird, late-night game against Montana with 14 turnovers rather explains itself. The Houston game not so much.

While Houston does sport one of the country's better defenses, Michigan turned the ball over just seven times. They shot 45% from two, nine points under their season average; they were a grim 24% from three before Jordan Poole's miracle pulled them up to 27%. If they'd hit their not-very-impressive season average of 36%, the end of that game is Michigan putting the clamps on whilst up 6-8 points.

Game-to-game shooting variance is of course the very heart of basketball but I wanted to see if Houston had done anything that warranted that kind of performance or if it was just one of those things. So I started poking around and got quite deep in the weeds, because quantifying what's a good three pointer and what's a bad one is tricky. But I'm willing to give it a shot after checking out this paper from the 2014 Sloan Conference. It uses NBA data to create a model of what a good shot is; that model is way beyond the scope of this post but there were a couple of graphs that confirm everyone's eye test.

The first: catch and shoot is better than off the dribble.


Second, and possibly counterintuitively, every foot matters when you're closing out.


As the paper authors put it it, "it is not simply a matter of a shot being “contested” or not but ... there is significant marginal value in every foot of space between the shooter and the closest defender." I wouldn't necessarily have expected that. (Also, I assume that the big uptick in long jumper eFG when a guy is in your grill is because he's fouling you.)

These are NBA numbers but there's no reason to expect that college basketball players would deviate from either of these assertions. So, here's a bunch of three pointers charted. Spoiler alert: the large majority of the attempts Michigan got off were good looks with reasonable space between the shooter and the defender. A fairly typical look:



Y/N Length Shooter State Defender distance Contest Notes
MISS 22 Mathews catch and shoot 3 light Late clock jack is surprisingly clean look
MISS 23 MAAR catch and shoot 2 heavy Curl screen gets vg closeout from Houston defender
MISS 24 Simpson catch and shoot 6 none PNR switch w big sagging off Simpson, no contest
MISS 22 Livers catch and shoot 3 moderate drive and kick rhythm three from wing
MISS 22 MAAR off the dribble 4 light switch confusion for UH gives MAAR opportunity to gather and go straight up
MAKE 28 Robinson catch and shoot 3 heavy late clock deep jack is worst look of game so far, goes down
MAKE 24 Robinson catch and shoot 7 light V-cut and Teske screen gets Robinson clean look
MISS 22 Wagner catch and shoot 3 moderate pick and pop open-ish, decent contest
MAKE 22 Robinson catch and shoot 2 moderate Robinson's defender is lax for a second and DR just rises over him
MAKE 22 Poole catch and shoot 4 light penetrate and kick to Wagner, extra pass, open corner
MISS 22 Simpson catch and shoot 8 none drive and kick, Poole upfakes and dribbles once to draw a second guy, Simpson wide open in corner
MISS 22 Poole off the dribble 2 heavy bad heat check stepback w/ 21 seconds on clock
MISS 24 Poole catch and shoot 4 light drive and kick from MAAR
MISS 27 Robinson off the dribble 2 heavy late clock, initial contest and one-dribble lanch
MISS 24 MAAR catch and shoot 8 none numbers for M, shot fake from MAAR gets wide open look, airball
MISS 22 MAAR off the dribble 2 heavy last ditch attempt at end of half
MISS 22 Matthews catch and shoot 4 light Wagner kick to Simpson over for open look
MAKE 23 Wagner catch and shoot 5 light Simpson pick and pop
MISS 23 Wagner catch and shoot 5 light Near identical pick and pop from same spot on the floor
MISS 23 Simpson catch and shoot 4 light Poole drive and kick, token contest
MAKE 23 Wagner catch and shoot 5 moderate Pick and pop from left wing, and one
MISS 24 Robinson catch and shoot 6 none wing pick from Matthews opens this up. No contest... airball.
MISS 25 MAAR off the dribble 4 moderate PNR switch, pretty good contest from the big MAAR rises up on
MISS 23 Robinson catch and shoot 6 light Simpson drives baseline and kicks to left wing
MISS 22 Robinson catch and shoot 5 light OREB to scramble drill to corner 3
MAKE 22 Matthews catch and shoot 4 moderate Simpson drive and kick; lucky bounce off heel and straight up and down
MISS 25 Matthews off the dribble 2 heavy late clock jack is not at all a clean look
MAKE 30 Poole catch and shoot 2 heavy THIS IS A BAD LOOK BUT OKAY

Leaving out the two must-launches at the end of each half and Michigan had just 5 off the dribble looks on 28 attempts, two of those from MAAR in pretty good situations. One was a pick and roll switch with the big playing off, the other an opening when Houston got confused on another pick and roll.

Houston did force five heavily contested late-clock jacks, one of which went down when Robinson hit a deep one. There was also one more heavily contested three as Corey Davis came around a screen really well on an early MAAR attempt. The other 20 attempts I charted were all reasonable to excellent looks that simply didn't go down. Eight attempts from Michigan's worst three-point shooters, Simpson and Matthews, isn't a particularly unusual ratio. Those guys have about 20% of Michigan's attempts on the year. 8 of 28 non-desperation threes is a couple more than you'd expect, but not outlandish.

Verdict: just one of those things. One that happens to a team like Michigan that's not exactly Villanova.


Unverified Voracity Is The Only Dolphin In Upstate New York

Unverified Voracity Is The Only Dolphin In Upstate New York Comment Count

Brian March 20th, 2018 at 1:02 PM

Sponsor note. Well now you've gone and done it. You hugged a police horse after Jordan Poole's shot. The police horse enjoyed it. And now you have to extricate yourself from an uncomfortably long hug while a fairly upset policeman glares down upon you. We have all been there. (We have not. Just you, the guy who gets in situations with police horses.) On the bright side, now you have an idea for a company that sells a watch that periodically reminds you that you have been barred from approaching within 50 feet of any police horse in the state.

Well, have I got a lawyer for you.


Richard Hoeg will help you incorporate, and get your contracts right, and get that small business up and running. He will also allow you to write ad copy that becomes a long-running saga of a man who just can't quit police horses. This latter probably won't come up if you engage him, but if it does you are going to be super happy that you picked Richard.

First weekend slice of life. The university has an extensive photo gallery with a lot of behind the scenes stuff from the first week of the tourney. They've apparently decided the David Turnley model is a good one to extend. Jaaron Simmons eats a potato!


Moe Wagner temporarily grows to extraordinary size!


And so forth and so on.

Spring game. It's at 7 PM again on April 14th. The time is unfortunate since there's a 50/50 chance that takes the weather from fine to Not Great, but at least its not on April 1st like a couple of Hoke spring games. Also it will be an actual competition, insofar as that is possible, and not a punting exhibition. It'll still draw a ton of people if Shea Patterson is declared eligible in the next few weeks here.

Various videos. While it's unfortunate that the replay feature is gone from MMOD, there is a small compensation from the NCAA's youtube page, which has various items of note, like oh I don't know, the last 90 seconds of the Houston game.

We'd be talking about that tip-in miss and MAAR going up with his right hand for a while if not for Poole's shot. There's also an every-make video from the Houston game…

…but not MSU-Syracuse, because that would require someone to make a basket. Also some Montana stuff if you've completely forgotten that game.

Some A&M scouting from the same source. If you'd like to get an idea of what a couple of A&M's prominent players are like, here's PF/C Tyler Davis:

And PG TJ Starks:

They left out eight turnovers between the two, because it's a highlight video. I've watched a couple of A&M games from earlier in the year and they are heavily dependent on Starks to create shots, thus explaining his usage and sky-high TO rate.

Beat all the A&Ms. LeMoyne, coached by one Patrick Beilein, takes on Mini A&M today in the D-II Elite Eight:

Almost cruel to nickname a college in upstate New York the "Dolphins." has a long profile on Patrick, who is likely to move up to D-1 after the season even if he's being a bit wishy-washy about it at the moment. He evidently takes after dad:

"For me, it was really simple," said Bassett, the athletic director at Le Moyne. "When you get into the process and you have to get into some details about salary range and things like that, Pat was interested in talking about other things. His comment at that point was he knew Le Moyne would be fair with what they could do, and he wasn't overly concerned with that.

"You never hear an answer like that."

If he succeeds at his (presumed) next stop he'll be in the conversation when Beilein decides to hang it up.

Slow vs fast. In the wake of That Upset, a lot of folks are wondering about whether slow teams like Virginia—and Michigan—are more vulnerable to upsets.

Torvik then suggests that Virginia's glacial place is a way to conserve energy so they can go all out on defense. That's perfectly reasonable, and maybe that does help Virginia compete against better athletes.

Personally, though, I think the tempo thing is pretty overblown. The difference between Michigan's tempo and that of FSU, the fastest team left in the tournament, is 65 possessions versus 72. A ten percent increase in possessions doesn't seem like it's going to swing more games to the hypothetically better team. And Michigan fans are no doubt aware of what slow tempo implies: open shots and scanty turnovers on offense and a lack of transition on defense. 

Virginia might be enough of an outlier that they are more vulnerable to upsets because of their tempo. They are dead last in the country at 60 possessions per game, three fewer than the next-slowest team. The difference between #330 Michigan and Virginia is the same as the difference between #121 Morehead State and M.

Starting to notice. Tom Izzo's brand of on-court football isn't helping anyone's draft prospects. ESPN's draft experts on Miles Bridges:

Bridges certainly hasn't made the jump scouts would have hoped when he elected to return for his sophomore season. …hasn't done much this season to convince teams that he belongs firmly ahead of positional peers Mikal Bridges and Kevin Knox.

And Jaren Jackson:

Plenty of questions have been raised about the decisions Izzo made down the stretch, as this is the third straight season in which the Hall of Famer has been unable to advance out of the first weekend of the tournament. From an NBA standpoint, most of those questions revolve around the outdated lineup configurations and overall style of basketball the Spartans played all season. Izzo's insistence on having six different centers on the roster and playing all of them (two at a time) in virtually every contest -- despite the obvious toll that took on the team's spacing, ball movement, shooting and aesthetic appeal -- makes it difficult to draw too many conclusions on Jackson's NBA outlook.

At 6-11 and 240 pounds, with a 7-5 wingspan, it is unlikely that Jackson will see much time at the power forward spot in the NBA like he did all season, certainly not next to a non-shooting center who lacks relative athleticism. How much better would Jackson have looked playing in a more up-tempo system at his natural position when surrounded by more skilled teammates? NBA decision-makers will have to decipher that on their own.

Looking forward: It is important to remember that Jackson is the youngest prospect in this class and was clearly not being utilized to his full potential.

Bridges dropped from a guy projected 6th last year to one projected 12th in ESPN's most recent mock draft. Ain't enough bag in the world to justify that.

FWIW, A&M C Robert Williams is also in the lottery:

Williams reminded everyone why he was such a highly touted prospect entering the season with a tremendous opening weekend in the NCAA tournament, helping Texas A&M reach the Sweet 16.

Despite playing out of position all season, he has shown that his game is tailor-made for the NBA as a rim-running, pick-and-roll-finishing, shot-blocker/offensive rebounder in the Clint Capela mold. With DeAndre Jordan in the final year of his contract, the Clippers could certainly look to Williams as a potential successor.

Wagner checks in at 49th, FWIW.

ENDORSE. 40 of these 42 ways to fix the NHL—and hockey in general—are excellent suggestions. I was standing and applauding by the end of this bravura section:

5) Leaving your feet to block a shot is a penalty. I hate when sports reward no-talent try-hards, and hockey rewards them more than any other sport. It boggles my mind when people get pumped about a fourth-line penalty killer sliding to block an Alex Ovechkin bomb from the face-off circle. Seriously? You don't want to see where that slapper was headed?

This would increase goals and reduce injuries. You can dive to take away the puck if you're in chase mode, but no more squaring up a shooter and sliding in front of the shot. Remember when John Tortorella took over the Canucks and people were excited about the Sedins blocking shots? The Sedins! Get out of here with this nonsense.

6) Bigger nets. Let's go three inches vertically and horizontally and see what happens. I've heard the argument against this idea because goalies would eat more blasts in the mask but whenever that happens, it's always by accident and it's always with the goalie on his knees well below the crossbar. If anything, creating more room around the goalie's skull would reduce those instances but really, shots to the mask are always accidental and wouldn't go anywhere either way. More goals, though. Let's get more goals.

7) Puck off the netting is in play. If there's one general thing I'd change about the NHL, I'd reduce the number of whistles during games. Hockey sells itself on flow and speed, but man can there be a lot of whistles. I don't understand why shots that hit the protective netting above the glass can't be played when they bounce back onto the ice. Everyone has had time to adjust to the netting over the years and everyone knows when a puck leaves a stick if it's headed toward the netting. When it bounces behind the goal line, go get it. Keep playing.

For the sake of fairness, anything off the netting and into the net off the goalie doesn't count.

8) No more offside. This also means no more offside reviews. Everyone is happy. Why do we even have offside? If I could go back in time, I'm killing Hitler and kidnapping the guy in 1898 or whenever who was so passionate about an offside line. It's not like the offside line makes the game safer; it's there to give the defense an advantage against oncoming opponents. Why?

Removing offside is another way to get some whistles out of the game and help with flow.

Yes. All of that. Beyonce picture dot gif.

Etc.: EMU drops four sports. Sean McDonough back! Lecturer salaries at Michigan currently 1) embarrassing, 2) being negotiated. Radio call of the buzzer-beater.



HUG PROTOCOL Comment Count

Brian March 19th, 2018 at 12:30 PM

3/15/2018 – Michigan 61, Montana 47 – 29-7, Round of 32
3/17/2018 – Michigan 64, Houston 63 – 30-7, Sweet 16

It's a list I don't even have to keep, because it is so narrow. A list gets written down. When you can count the number of persons given TOP SECRET access to the HUG PROTOCOL on your hands—and you could probably have had a finger lopped off in a bag accident and still gotten by—it's not really a list. It's an iron-clad fact of life. The hug protocol is buried deep behind passcodes and false leads and a butler who keeps the secret in a tattoo behind his ear.

So here are the persons that I have engaged in uncompuncted, mutually enthusiastic, joyous hug activities with before this weekend:

  • my parents
  • my brother
  • my wife
  • my son
  • a guy who I can confidently state was from the Indian subcontinent and think was probably Pakistani in the King's Head, a bar in Galway, Ireland, when Robbie Keane scores against Germany during the 2002 World Cup; our hug occurs largely because everyone else in the bar was Irish and we were the dudes left over
  • Everyone within 10 feet of me when Landon Donovan scored against Algeria 

I spent the 1998 Rose Bowl amongst very wrong people. When Trey Burke hit The Shot 1.0 there was still a lot of work to do; fist-pumping and guttural Viking cries were the order of the day. Jumping up and down in a pile, not so much. That shot just swung Michigan from certain defeat to potential defeat. Burke, of course, made damn sure his moment wasn't wasted. That still took some time.

It's a different thing, being rescued half-way.

Jordan Poole (and Isaiah Livers and Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman) rescued Michigan all the way, draining the very last tenth of a second off the clock in doing so. And, man, 100% is an entirely different feeling than 95%. Ask a Houston fan today, or yourself a few months ago during the Maryland game when Isaiah Livers dropped a dime on MAAR in an eerily similar situation. MAAR got to the line, swinging Michigan's win probability from LOL NOPE to PRETTY DANG LIKELY. And the main thing to feel was a restricted, conditional hope; after the android version of MAAR nailed both free throws the new feeling was relief.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Things that would make a win probability chart fold in on itself. My first reaction when I saw the thing the NIT's quarters did…


…to the Louisville-Northern Kentucky game on Kenpom was "this is the most accurate chart." If your sports life doesn't feel like that I don't know you. 95, 96, 97… these are not 100. 100 is 100, and only 100 is 100.

4 to 100 in 3.6 seconds is when the hug protocol is broken out and the room becomes a single hopping organism for a solid 20 seconds. At the same time, Poole is displaying his lateral agility by temporarily escaping the on-court pile. The walk-ons track him down, because walk-ons are crafty by necessity, and then you get the sports picture.

Afterwards, twitter is checked and re-checked. Poole talks to the media, and then John Beilein says Poole has an "overdose of swag."

26007287727_3c90877dd7_z (1)

[JD Scott]

Folks congratulate a man who just won an Oscar for finally doing something with his life. John Beilein ups his water-fight ante with poncho and goggles.

(It is only a matter of time before he invades the locker room in a firefighting mech.) Over the next 36 hours, Michigan's entire half of the bracket commits seppuku. It's all in front of them, and they didn't even play particularly well.

Take a breath. Enjoy it for what it is, right now. Down big to UCLA this looked like an NIT outfit, and now they're here. Sun yourself. Bask, until you have reached your swag limit, and then bask just a little more. Weekends like this stand on their own.


[JD Scott]


The other side. Devin Davis feels horrible today despite exceeding his season average on free throws, because the makes and misses came in the worst possible order. Wagner gave him a thought…

…and it didn't help much.

Maybe we can get together later and talk about the funniest Tom Crean transfers who made the tournament while Indiana did not. If that doesn't cheer you up, nothing will.

THE DOOR OPENS. You may be aware of this already, but: Michigan is the highest seed remaining on their half of the bracket after the ignominious demises of Xavier, North Carolina, Virginia, Cincinnati, and Tennessee.

This doesn't mean you should be disappointed if Michigan isn't in the national title game. Everyone is good at this point, and there are no home games unless you're Kansas. A&M over UNC was most welcome but Kenpom gives M a 62% chance against the Aggies—it is anything but a slam dunk to get to the Final Four.

Still… coulda, coulda been worse. #7 Gonzaga and #16 Kentucky are the top teams Michigan can face on the way to the title game. All those teams above are gonzo, and there's a decent chance Michigan beats A&M and gets a team (Florida State) that's currently one slot behind Penn State in Kenpom.

Going to have to do better, though. Michigan is going to run into a team that can score adequately on them despite their excellent defense, and at that point they're going to have to get back to Big Ten Tournament-level offense or they're going to crash out. Michigan's weekend was ugly, ugly stuff. More analysis later. I tried to start writing analysis and, nope, let's hold off on that for a second here.

An excellently timed and cromulent article. The New York Times on Michigan's short shorts:

“The long shorts are out of date,” the sophomore Ibi Watson said. “If they can touch your knees, they’re way too long.”

It is said that fashion is cyclical. The irony is that the same program that bucked the trend by concealing its legs in the 1990s is helping bring skin back in now.

In fact, players on Michigan, seeded third in the West region and set to play Montana in the first round of the N.C.A.A. tournament on Thursday night, lamented that they can’t get find shorts that are quite revealing enough.

So they roll their shorts at the waistband. Once. Twice.

“Three rolls is the max,” Watson said. “If you go four, it’s too much.”

He added, “I think they should just start making shorter shorts.”

Jalen Rose's furious letter to the editor has not yet been published.

I watched them all, and this is the best one. All songs have been put over the buzzer-beater, and I like this one best.


Another angle. Via Alejandro Zuniga and reddit:


MGoPodcast 9.22: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

MGoPodcast 9.22: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Comment Count

Seth March 19th, 2018 at 7:00 AM

1 hour and 15 minutes

2018-03-19 mgopodcast 9.22

We are back at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown where the conference rooms are fortunately safe right now since 1 seeds apparently can lose to Rutgers-level teams now.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan there would be VERY long hiatuses between podcasts.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and Ecotelligent Homes


1. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! the Houston Game

starts at 1:00

Even while not handing out bags John Beilein is among the most successful coaches in the country. Naming a Top 10 without him becomes impossible. Tommy Amaker? Borderline Top 5, obvious Top 10, hard-pressed to find a better tactician. Breaking down The Shot II. The walk-ons are so crafty at post-buzzer beater dogpile tactical moves you wonder if they’ve been coached on that too. The game before that was a #refshow. Other than that: defense continued to be superlative. Want to see Simpson create more—Houston forced drives to the baseline. Weird shots—CM gets his but a lot of great shots rolled out.

2. Unnnnngggghhhhhhh the Montana Game

starts at 30:32

Least fun 14-point victory in tournament history. At one point Montana’s offense was so out of ideas that the tried to post up their 6’8” Big Sky bigs on Teske. In a slugfart game when you need someone to barely scrape the lower reaches of offensive adequacy Charles Matthews is your man. Let’s not get in that situation again. Wagner and MAAR had bad weekends; need better to beat North Carolina Texas A&M. 

3. Gimmicky Top 5: Wild Emotional Swings

starts at 43:59

Doesn’t have to be sports but 9/10 are sports because who are you talking to? Jordan Poole shot is not eligible. Glorious trollface steal, the 2002 Red Wings-Vancouver series. The Shot. UTL1. Also some sad things.

4: Ace’s Hockey Podcast (wsg David Nasternak AND Ace Anbender)

starts at 59:36

It’s the #8 overall seed which means 2 seed, which means you get an ECAC team instead of the #1 overall seat in your part of the bracket. Northeastern: eerily similar to Michigan two years ago. Second-worst at puck possession. They have son of Keith Primeau. (why not MSU or another Michigan team?) and the Hobey leader—Michigan’s awful PK unit means whistles matter a lot. Cornell on the other side: super old players, play a lock system, goalie with super-high SV%. Unless it’s BU, which is super-talented high draft picks but not well-coached.



  • “Turn My Swag On”—Soulja Boy & Tellum
  • “Hate It Or Love It”—The Game & 50 Cent
  • “Funkin Around”—OutKast
  • “Across 110th Street”


Can we talk about fun things because Jordan Poole hit a really awesome shot!


Michigan 64, Houston 63, Jordan Poole Forever

Michigan 64, Houston 63, Jordan Poole Forever Comment Count

Ace March 18th, 2018 at 1:17 AM

HOW [JD Scott/MGoBlog]

Jordan Poole, overdosed on swag from birth, lives for this moment.

It didn't matter that he'd made only two of his 13 three-point attempts in the month of March. It didn't matter that Michigan had gone 7-for-29 from beyond the arc in the game. It didn't matter that the game had been a brutal slog of a refshow. It didn't matter that Michigan had to inbound the ball from under their own basket. It didn't matter that Poole's view of the basket was so obscured he didn't see if the shot fell. It didn't matter that he's just a freshman.

Poole was born for this. With time about to expire, he took a sharp pass from MAAR, squared up, and fired. With a defender in his face, he struck the Jordan pose as he released the shot, then fell to the ground. Our hero arose and... ran for his life:

"After the shot went in I didn't know it went in," said Poole. "I looked at the bench. I was always thinking if I hit a shot like that I didn't want to get tackled. So I was kind of trying to avoid everybody, but I gave up and they tackled me and it was an amazing experience."

Instead of a heartbreaking early tournament exit to end the Michigan careers of MAAR, Duncan Robinson, and possibly Moe Wagner, the Wolverines move on to their second straight Sweet Sixteen in the most unimaginable way.

To everyone but Poole, that is. The young man had even planned his exit strategy.


[Hit THE JUMP for more photos and the box score.]


Hoops Preview: Houston, Round Of 32

Hoops Preview: Houston, Round Of 32 Comment Count

Brian March 16th, 2018 at 5:02 PM

UConn_Houston_Basketball_32304THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #9 Michigan (29-7) vs
#18 Houston (27-7)
WHERE Peak Wealth Management Arena
Wichita, KS
WHEN 9:50 PM Saturday
LINE Michigan –2 (KenPom)

i have theories about that hair


I mean… I told you. I told you!

…it looks like [Montana's] defense holds up much better than their offense when the biggish boys roll into town: PSU, Stanford, Georgia State, and Washington all had 1 PPP or worse when they played the Griz. Those were all losses because Montana's offense crawled in a hole and died, averaging about 0.8 PPP. Penn State is the best of those teams on D, finishing 21st. Michigan is about 4 points per 100 possessions better than PSU, and far better than the other teams.

This might be a bit of a meatgrinder.

It was a bit of a meatgrinder in the same way Stalingrad was. And now everyone's freaking out about a 14-point NCAA win. Including me, a little. Take a breath.


Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country..

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 32 Rob Gray Sr. 6'1, 185 77 30 117 Nah
Huge usage iso guy, rise-up 3PA shooter, 50/35 from floor.
G 5 Corey Davis Jr. 6'1, 190 75 19 124 Not at all
Huge volume Not Just A Shooter shooter hitting 43%. Decent attacking closeouts.
G 25 Galen Robinson Jr. 6'1, 190 61 15 101 Very
D pest has top 100 steal rate, disaster away from rim on O, many A, many TO
F 15 Devin Davis Sr. 6'6, 225 62 21 110 Very
50% 2PA shooter w about half his makes assisted. Good rebounder, good TO rate.
F 13 Nura Zanna Jr. 6'8, 253 53* 13 99 Very
Putbacks and zero else. Massive OREB rate, foul rate. 47% FTs.
G 3 Armoni Brooks So. 6'3, 185 51 18 128 Not at all
Just A Shooter hitting 42%. Does DREB well.
C 24 Breaon Brady So. 6'8", 250 24 21 95 Very
Some post up but mostly another huge OREB guy w huge foul and TO rates.
F 35 Fabian White Fr. 6'7, 210 41 19 109 Very
Another Zanna clone, or close enough.

*[Zanna's got a slight plurality of C minutes in Houston's last five. He's at 37% on the season.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]


MGoPodcast 9.21: Potato’s Big Bracket Show

MGoPodcast 9.21: Potato’s Big Bracket Show Comment Count

Seth March 13th, 2018 at 7:37 AM

1 hour and 26 minutes

2018-03-05 mgopodcast 9.21

We couldn’t do it at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown because Brian was on offspring duty. Note the distinct difference in comfort and quiet when you’re not at the Rez Inn.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan there would be VERY long hiatuses between podcasts.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. Michigan’s Quad

starts at 1:00

Michigan’s in Wichita, which doesn’t sting but c’mon MSU in Detroit? Previewing Montana, Houston, North Carolina. Don’t want to face SDSU (we don’t like zone teams with big fours!) but Houston looks capable of taking them out. Good draws otherwise: Michigan can run these PG-oriented teams off the line. UNC will be there if we make it to the Sweet 16—we like Providence more than the SEC mess. Ohio State-Gonzaga is a disagreement. Purdue against anybody but Nova.

2. Bad Bracket Opinions

starts at 22:40

Almost as bad as three of four ESPN analysts picking Michigan State as if they hadn’t watched every game (except the one) where they scraped by a mediocre team. Don’t take Oklahoma. We’re not picking against Clemson because of Donnal it’s because they lost a big man (which makes them play another Donnal).

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Bracket Outrages

starts at 44:37

Should Kenpom be on the teamsheets? Michigan-UNC Greensboro for the non-FBI national title. Not enough MSU schadenfreude. Too many weegionals. No regional in Anchorage. Tough for Saint Mary’s, not so tough on PSU and Notre Dame. Michigan State doof’s unbelievably bad KPI model, which doubles down on the worst parts of RPI and gets on the team sheets because Mark Hollis. Also Syracuse?!? The silly quadrants were important after all! Recommend Seth Barnes as the best ranking system.

4. Ace’s Hockey Podcast wsg David Nasternak

starts at 1:13:25

It is a visual, silent podcast. Death to posts. Michigan doesn’t look like they don’t belong on the ice with 1 seeds anymore. Quinn Hughes really coming into his own. Bench is tighter than under Berenson.



  • “P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)”—Parliament
  • “Knee Deep”—Funkadelic
  • “Can You Get to That”—Funkadelic
  • “Across 110th Street”


“SGA for the uneducated is Shai Gilgeous Alexander, who sounds more like a wizard I made up in DnD than any player since God Shammgod.”