One last look at the MBB Seniors

One last look at the MBB Seniors

Submitted by trueblueintexas on April 9th, 2013 at 3:21 PM

After finally closing out this season, I thought it worthwhile to spend a few moments on the MBB seniors.  There are five of them. None of them start. None of them see many minutes. How rare is that in today’s game? Think about that. Five seniors, none of them with significant minutes. And yet, they are as much a part of this team as Trey, THJ, Mitch, Jordan, GRIII, etc.  Let’s look back to when they agreed to give of themselves to Michigan:

Eso Akunne: When he signed, there was broad agreement that his tank of a body would someday be filling the lane, getting to the rim, and shooting copious amounts of free throws. It was assumed he would be the future point guard. That was before we knew two years of Darius Morris would yield to two years of Trey Burke and now Spike Albrecht. By his senior year, the only question was how soon would he be launching a three?

Matt Vogrich: When he signed, everyone agreed he would be the shooter John Beilein covets and the fan base was already checking how many threes it would take to break Louis Bullock’s record. Then we learned the kid could hustle and get a few key rebounds. Now my lasting image will forever be Vogrich measuring up his three pointer as soon as he passed half court to make sure he got in the box score* against an already defeated Florida team. And all his coaches and teammate cheered when it went in. And no one felt it was running up the score.

*for the younger crowd, in the old box scores the only way you got in the box score was if you scored. They had to conserve space in these things called newspapers so only scorers showed up.

Josh Bartelstein: Let me correct that, Team Captain Josh Bartelstein. Admit it, when he joined the team and you learned his Dad was a well known sports agent two thoughts crossed your mind. 1) This has to be good for recruiting, right? 2) Please no infractions, please no infractions. I’m not sure Josh has even scored in a game. I know he has seen the floor in the ultimate clean up minutes. He’s still one of the voices of the team, in fact, he was the first person who got the megaphone when they got back to Ann Arbor after beating Kansas and Florida.

 Blake McLimans: When he signed, everyone agreed Beilein had brought in some height and had his sweet shooting power forward. Could he be Pittsnogle Jr if he puts on weight? I still have visions of Minute Bol launching threes when Blake gets all those arms into shooting motion to launch a three. He got those arms coiled one more time as the final seconds were draining off against Florida, sadly, his did not go in, but the team and coaches still cheered.

Corey Person: When he signed on as part of the Kalamazoo Plan the first question was, does this count as a scholarship or did Michigan just get a free player.  The second questions was, is he part of “THAT” Person clan? Because Chuck “the rifelman” and nephew Wesley could shoot it.  If so, great. Moar shooters please. Corey got off a few shots over the years in garbage time.

What we thought when they arrived isn’t important. What’s important is that they came…and stayed. They came on a promise. A promise of better facilities. A promise of conference championships. A promise of beating our rivals. A promise of Tournament appearances. And yes, probably a promise of a National Championship.  Thanks for staying and fulfilling the promises that were made to you.

May you five be remembered when that 2013 National Runner-Up banner is raised to the rafters of the now Crisler Center. You helped make it all happen.

Grantland on the loss

Grantland on the loss

Submitted by J.Madrox on April 9th, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Good article by Shane Ryan over at the Triangle and Grantland.

The Pain of Losing Well

 

That sense of composure, even amid the tears and the reality of the loss, was what stayed with me after I left. The situation in the locker was not ideal, but the sport makes money because people care, and because people care, journalists have to ask their questions, and the players have to answer. And even though the players aren't compensated like professionals, this particular bunch behaved like them. There's strength in that, and you can't help but be impressed. It's a measure of their character and John Beilein's.

 

Not usually a fan of Shane Ryan but I felt this article was a good summation of the fact that there is still a lot to be proud of with this team even after the loss.

Should Burke's Jersey be hung up?

Should Burke's Jersey be hung up?

Submitted by TheDirtyD on April 1st, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I have been thinking about this, if Burke leaves after this year.. Does he still get his jersey retired? I mean Wooden Award winner the only player at Michian to do so. Big Ten player of the year. 1st team All-American. I know people will say you need to stay atleast 3 years. I think he's earned it after this season no matter what happens in Hotlanta.Whats everyone else think?

Another Final Four wallpaper

Another Final Four wallpaper

Submitted by FabFiver5 on April 1st, 2013 at 9:58 PM

After seeing some of the other Final Four wallpapers posted over the last few days, I figured I'd throw my hat in the ring, because you can never have too many cool wallpapers. No, there's no throwback 70s-style afros this time around, but a simple Atlanta-themed one will do.

Here's the link to download the "throwback" wallpaper from earlier in the year and the new Final Four one. You can also click on the images below for each iteration...

Desktop with slogan:

Desktop without slogan:

iPhone 5:

iPad:

Where I React to the Prediction by KenPom

Where I React to the Prediction by KenPom

Submitted by Mmmm Hmmm on March 31st, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Wonderful win, outstanding game.  Final Four Woooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

Michigan beat the KenPom expected result by 25 points.  What does that mean about KenPom?  Absolutely nothing.  What does it mean about Michigan? The team played an outstanding game.

Time to take sharp objects to defenseless nets...on to Atlanta!

P.S. Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

C-Webb Sings The Victors

C-Webb Sings The Victors

Submitted by Spunky on March 27th, 2013 at 9:24 AM

During the Clippers-Mavericks game last night, the play-by-play announcer asked what team will Kansas face on Friday, and Chris Webber responded by humming "The Victors," which I think is a wonderful reply.

There is a clip with sound of the exchange at  http://www.annarbor.com/mi/wolverines/2013/03/video_ex-michigan_star_chris_w/

Webber isn't vocal about his support of the team, like Jalen and others, so I found it interesting and somewhat surprising. Please delete and forgive a newb if this isn't thread worthy, though.

Toughest Path to NCAA Title?

Toughest Path to NCAA Title?

Submitted by LJ on March 26th, 2013 at 6:16 PM

The difficulty of our region with Florida as the three seed got me thinking: if, other than Michigan's games, all remaining matchups play out according to seeding and Michigan wins the national title, would it be the most difficult path of all time?  Here's what that path would be, with current Kenpom rankings included:

Round Opponent Kenpom Ranking
64 SDSU 102
32 VCU 16
16 Kansas 9
8 Florida 1
4 Indiana 3
Final Louisville 2

I'm guessing previous winners have had paths nearly that difficult, but this would be quite a murderer's row.

THJ: "We took Ohio(The Bobcats) lightly last year"

THJ: "We took Ohio(The Bobcats) lightly last year"

Submitted by TheDirtyD on March 19th, 2013 at 5:08 PM
When discussing SDSU THJ admits that we won't see another let down like last year because Michigan isn't taking anything lightly like they did last year Link a> Figured it was somewhat already known but its been a slow day I'm too anxious form Thursday at 7:15PM to be here.

Michigan Men’s BB, one of Yahoo sports “Bracket Lames” and "Fake Five"

Michigan Men’s BB, one of Yahoo sports “Bracket Lames” and "Fake Five"

Submitted by markinmsp on March 18th, 2013 at 4:55 PM

 Brad Evans of Yahoo sports calling Michigan one of 6 “bracket lames”. States their defense will give them an early departure from the tourney. Other lames they mention: Gonzaga, New Mexico, Marquette, Florida, and Arizona.

 Overall, not too kind, including such gems as "Blinding opponents with its retina-damaging florescent yellow uniforms hasn't even helped."  Last line of article sums up their whole take; “Michigan is currently in the midst of a rebirth under John Beilein, but unless it maximizes defensively, its Final Four drought will surely continue.”

Link:  Bracket Lames: Fake Five, No. 4 seed Michigan a likely early round victim

Reviewing the Historical Performance of Four Seeds (Since 1985)

Reviewing the Historical Performance of Four Seeds (Since 1985)

Submitted by saveferris on March 18th, 2013 at 3:08 PM

So now that the brackets are out and Michigan has drawn a 4 seed in the South Region, I thought I'd take a look at how 4 seeds have fared in tournaments past, going back to when the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.  Surprisingly, Googling "Historical Performance of Seeds in NCAA Tournament" yields a plethora of data that just begs to be analyzed statistically and have conclusions drawn over which one can agonize.  I wish the news were better.

 

The News Is Bad?  How Bad?

In the 28 years since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams, squads seeded fourth have won grand total of 167 games for a per tournament average of 5.96 wins, give or take 2.06 wins.  Essentially this falls in line with confirming chalk.  If you're a 4 seed, you're a great bet to win your first game, a 50/50ish bet to win your 2nd, and then you're probably ewww.  This probably doesn't come as a surprise, since if you're a 4 seed coming out of the first weekend, you're probably facing the 1 seed, and beating a one seed is hard.

 

So It's Hopeless Then?

Well no, it's not hopeless.  Being a 4 seed is definately better than being a 5 or higher;  as the numbers show that fortunes for teams not seeded in the Top 16 of the tourney fall precipitiously.  For all the romance that media-types assign to "Cinderellas" in the tounament; runs like George Mason or Villanova are very much the exception. 

Since 1985, 11 four seeds have advanced to the Final Four in 10 separate NCAA Tournaments (The 1990 Tournament saw 4 seeds Georgia Tech and Arkansas both advance to the Final Four).  Of those 11 teams that managed to make it the Final Four, 2 of them advanced to the Finals (Syracuse 1996, Arizona 1997), with only Lute Olsen's 1997 Arizona Wildcats having the stuff to find themselves hoisting the championship trophy.

The only precedent we have to lean on, but there is a precedent

 

Only One Champion In 28 Seasons?  That Sounds Pretty Hopeless.

Well, it does occur to me that this only has any real meaning if there is something to compare it against, say the 1 - 3 seeds.  This sounds like a perfect opportunity for a...

Chart?  Chart

  1 Seed 2 Seed 3 Seed 4 Seed
Final Four Appearances 46 25 14 11
FF Success Rate 41% 22% 13% 10%
Championships Won 17 4 4 1
Champ. Success Rate 61% 14% 14% 4%

Lest we forget, one of those four 3 seeds is 1989 Michigan, woo!

So yeah, big surprise here.  One and two seeds make up 2/3rds of all the teams that have appeared in the Final Four and have won 75% of all the titles since 1985.  This can mean one of two things.  One, that the Selection Committee is very good at seeding teams based on their relative strength or two, the path of the one and two seeds is conducive for advancing.  Personally, I tend to think it's more Door #2 than Door #1.  The real takeaway from this with regards to Michigan 2013 is that the distinction between a 3 and 4 seed seems to be pretty small.

[EDIT:  I would like to point out the anomaly that while 2 seeds appear in the Final Four about half the rate of 1 seeds and twice the rate of 3 and 4 seeds, they only come away with a quarter of the titles, a disproportionately low number.  Y U no pull your weight in the Finals two seeds?]

 

So What Does This All Mean For Our Guys?

Well, I'd rather see us as a 3 seed personally, and was a bit miffed to find us slide from a predicted 2 seed to a 4 based upon one loss to Wisconsin (F#*k, Wisconsin), but then I think the Selection Committee has undervalued the competitiveness of the B1G in general with the brackets.  I am looking forward to seeing  Michigan play some non-Big Ten competition.  I think we'll be pleasantly surprised at how good we suddenly look again, assuming the guys haven't completely lost their confidence.

Still, Michigan has it's work cut out for it as the four seeds have historically had tough sledding in the NCAA Tournament.  I do take some comfort in the words of my old Econ professor who liked to remind his class that, "past performance is no guarantee of future earnings".  Here's to a deep, entertaining, and trend-bucking tournament run from the 2013 Wolverines.  Go Blue!