Argh, But All Right

Submitted by Brian on March 20th, 2011 at 5:36 PM


This is not a muppets post. I'm not even sure what this is since I don't think Michigan's had a team like this most recent edition of basketball since the blog's existed, and probably not since the 1997 football team went from "M stands for mediocre" to a national championship.

Expectations this year were on the floor, like "I hope they win ten games" on the floor, and they end it watching a runner to tie the defending national champions clang off the back rim. They swept Michigan State for the first time since 1997, breached Tennessee's reactor core, reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, and didn't bother to have a senior day. A friend kept saying he just wanted to keep seeing them play basketball, and that's about right, and when's the last time you could say that about Michigan anything?

The team is hereby awarded the above image of slightly silly looking Vikings charging headlong to glory. Denouement Monday.



March 20th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

I am probably one of the "seniors" on this Ann Arbor native who grew up watching Campy Russell and Wayman Britt and Steve Grote and Ricky Green give me the thrills of a lifetime as a kid.

Then came Frieder's teasers in the 80's, the miracle run in '89, then the walls (and banners) came tumbling down after that.......and we got lost in the wilderness.  Threatened to emerge a few years ago when we finally made it back into the tourney...but now we are really back.

I appreciate the fantastic coaching and class shown by Belein and this year's really is unparalleled in my experience. We may not have gone as far as some of those other Michigan squads but I have never been more proud.

Go Blue...we always have and always will support you!


March 21st, 2011 at 10:17 AM ^

Do you plan on getting a new job next year, or are you just going on a plant tour?

Sorry, that spelling error was just glaring at me. I am far from perfect when it comes to spelling and grammer but when I see an oppurtunity I take it.

Hopefully next year when you visit there you will really enjoy Crisler.

I love that lifelong Michigan football fans are finally hopping on the bandwagon with those of us that have sat through many tough seasons at Crisler, hopefully this team can continute to excite our fanbase and bring some rowdiness back to Michigan basketball.


March 21st, 2011 at 10:46 AM ^

I actually do know enough that it's Crisler, but just barely.  Apparently not enough for the subconcious to kick in the mental auto-correct.  Can't wait for next year

In defense of my bandwagon-ism, which I don't deny, I stopped watching all forms of BB years ago.  M and the Pistons were both solidly in my sports rotation, as well as the national games (Lakers, Knicks, etc.).  But the foul calls - the inexplicable and unexplainable randomness of foul calls - finally led me to give it all up (though M and the Pistons falling apart in the mid-90's surely affected this as well).  Some things haven't changed.

If you don't mind me asking - are you still in OH (username)?  You drive up for BB games?


March 21st, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

Sorry I really didn't mean to call you a bandwagon fan, or to put you down in anyway. I was saying it might be good if the MBB did get some new bandwagon fans, help grow the fanbase for the BB team and ensure that Crisler is always full.

Unfortunately yes I do still live in OH. Since moving here I haven't made it to as many games, but I usually try to make a couple trips there a year.


March 20th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

It was a helluva fun time watching this bunch all winter long.

They went 10-5 down the stretch. The five losses were by a combined 21 points with three losses combined to OSU and Duke. They covered in 14 of their final 15 games.

I dont think we can say they overachieved anymore. We can just say they're a good team. And, no, there hasnt been a type of team like this--gutty, expect to win, swagger, comfortbale playing from behind and in close games because they know they will just win it in the end--in Ann Arbor since the Fab Five.

So, on to next year. Let's whet the appetite for what could be one of the best Michigan regular season sporting weeks in a long, long, long time. Next November.

Saturday, 11/20.....Nebraska comes to the Big House. Historic Big 10 Football game

Mon-Wed, 11/22-24.......MICH hoops plays in the Maui Invitational with the likes of DUKE, Kansas, Memphis, UCLA, Tennesse, and Georgetown,

Thursday Thanksgiving

Saturday, 11/27.....OSU comes to town

Holy hell, what a week of MICH sports. Let The Good Times Roll Indeed


March 20th, 2011 at 6:50 PM ^

    you David Brandon. Football would have done same or better a year earlier you football meathead with onion and garlic.  Because of you M goes back to it's traditional meaning on a nati'l level. and you're buddy fired Bo...

Stuck in Ohio 2

March 20th, 2011 at 6:59 PM ^

I know players/coaches probably won't see this but thank you for a great season.

Brian's post sums it up perfectly. This team certainly overachieved. I'm not upset they lost today by any means, only upset that I can't watch them anymore.


March 20th, 2011 at 7:00 PM ^


Beilein is a ridiculously great coach.  It's hard to lose a close one like today but this team far exceeded expectations and were a bad bounce away from beating a great Duke team.  The future is very bright - all players return with the best players all underclassmen.  With more experience and more Beilein coaching, who knows how good they will be?  And some more great talent coming in.  It would be nice to have one more talented big - imagine how good this team would be if they could hold their own on the boards.  Maybe Horford will develop into that player with more muscle and experience.  Maybe McClimans will continue to develop under Beilein.  Maybe they'll add another decent post player to this year's class.   As is, this team is the real deal and should be a solid tourney team in coming years.  Michigan bball is back!


March 21st, 2011 at 10:22 AM ^

I have not spoken to him but I am about 99.9% certain Morris will be back next year. We are also picking up two top 100 guards who can both play the point. If Morris goes pro after his junior year, we will be just fine. Actually, I am more worried about losing the leadership of Novak after 2012, as good as Darius is.

Sweet Life

March 20th, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

This is my 20th year of season tickets for UM hoops and it is definitely my favorite team.  How could you not love a team of over-achievers who aren't intimidated and never give up?


March 20th, 2011 at 7:02 PM ^

My favorite Michigan basketball team of all time. So many likable guys that gave it their all every game. Loved the teams Manny was on, but you could tell he didn't always play as hard as he could have. Definetly cannot say that about any of the guys on this team.

Next year should be fun.


March 20th, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

Brian, I have to assume you watched the game on regular TV.  Because if you're like me and you watched the streaming online version--"Visigod TV"or whatever it's called--sponsored by Capital One, you'd be so sick of Vikings you would've HAD to choose some other visual.

Also, I hope the denouement features some type of warning to the team not to let their heads swell upon hearing the prognostications that have already hit the internet, which say they're going to challenge for the Big Ten title next year.  Seems that sort of hybris afflicted the '09-'10 team.


March 20th, 2011 at 8:47 PM ^

In '09 we were also coming off a well-played loss to a top seed in the Tourney after winning convincingly in Round one.  We thought we had momentum going into 2010, but it all came crashing down.

I agree, the biggest difference next year will be the Senior leadership of Zak and Stu.  They won't let it happen again. 


March 20th, 2011 at 7:14 PM ^

God, I love this team too.  I knew I would enjoy this team this year, but I had no idea how much.  I can't believe how much I am going to miss Michigan basketball until the backside of another football season.   It has been so many years that basketball season was a wasteland between football seasons.  It is great to have it back.  In fact, I'm not sure it was ever as much fun as it is right now.

I miss these guys already, but am so glad we're not losing any of them to graduation.

Hey, jblpsyched, you're not the only older one on this board.  I have great memories of Ricky Green, Steve Grote, and Phil Hubbard too.

One other thing:  thanks to all of you on this board for just being here for me and each other.  You do kind of make me crazy at times, but I can't imagine not having this Go Blue outlet.

Back to life in Ohio with my Buckeye neighbors.   Groan.

matty blue

March 21st, 2011 at 9:07 AM ^

totally agree - was a season ever this fun?  that's the blessing of low expectations right there...

the only comparable seasons i can think of are:

  • 75-76 - the phil hubbard / steve grote / wayman britt team that lost in the finals to indiana...the first time i remember crying after a basketball loss.  at the time, i cried after the last game of every football season (either regular season or a bowl game) and HATED scott may and bobby knight.
  • 83-84 - the tarpley / rellford / wade team that won the n.i.t.  i seem to remember us being mediocre for a couple years and suddenly there we were...i think this was a senior-free team, too (although - tim mccormick?  was he on that team?  i forget), and we came out the next season just kicking ass...hope that's the pattern for next season.

Webber's Pimp

March 20th, 2011 at 7:23 PM ^

Very proud of this team and this coach. I hadn't seen a Michigan team put up this kind of fight in a torunament game in a over a decade. I just hope somwhere out there a high school PF recruit was watching because rally that's the one piece that is istill missing.


March 20th, 2011 at 7:24 PM ^

Is the product of a good system coach with enough talent and total buy-in to what he is trying to do. Previous teams of his (especially last year) just didn't gel around the system. Only two criticisms are the lack of bigs and inability to finish big games. Clearly, the latter problem improved during the Big Ten and NCAA tournament and I agree that more development time helps with the bigs problem. Still, a couple more guys in the post will be needed for future, deep tourney runs. Overall, though, great job, and Michigan fans are really proud of their effort!


March 20th, 2011 at 7:29 PM ^

The guy up front with the shield is Novak. I told one of my West Coast Michigan buddies  when we were hashing out the game:  This season turned when they slept through the early part of the first MSU game coming off the 1-6 start, and Novak came to the sidelines so irate that he looked ready to tear someone's head off.

From my observation, the team then seemed to take on his identity.

Next year, the senior leaders are going to be two guys who are done with organized basketball when their Michigan career ends. There isn't any personal end point at stake beyond the team's success. They'll demand the same level of urgency this off-season, each practice, and every game next season.  The possibilities are exciting.



March 20th, 2011 at 8:44 PM ^

In a parallel universe somewhere, Morris would have kicked it back to Novak for the 3 and the win. Novak is gonna carry the team to the championship game next year.


March 20th, 2011 at 9:34 PM ^

to say that I gave up on them about 5 minutes into the second half. I gave up on them so many times this year. I just thought the run had ended. I am ashamed and I apologize to the team that never gave up. Shame on me for giving up. I will not do it again. This team and this staff are here to stay and many good years lie ahead. I am sure we'll feel the same about the football program after 2011 too.